Stadium at Regatta Point
|Category||Design awaiting implementation|
|Cost||750 mln A$|
|Design||Philp Lighton Architects|
Stadium at Regatta Point – design description
What is the purpose of a new stadium in Tasmania?
As Australian football is enormously popular in Tasmania, since the Victorian Football League (VFL) became a national competition (AFL) in 1990 there have been discussions about establishing a team in Tasmania that would participate in the league. Over the years, however, this goal has not been accomplished and the only tangible presence of the league on the island is the occasional games played by teams based in Melbourne, notably Hawthorn, making a guest appearance at York Park in Launceston, and North Melbourne, visiting Bellerive Oval in Hobart. Another opportunity for establishing an AFL team in Tasmania is the 2021 proposal, due to be voted on in August 2022.
Why is a new stadium needed in Hobart?
Back in 2019, a report emerged stating that neither of the island's two largest stadiums, either Bellerive Oval in the state capital, Hobart, or York Park in Launceston (Tasmania's second largest city, located in the northern part of the island and also aspiring to host an AFL team), which can each hold approx. 20,000 spectators each, are not a serious bid to become a major venue for a potential AFL team, and the desirable solution, which is one of the key conditions for a Tasmania team to join as the league's 19th team, is the construction of a new, larger and more modern stadium.
What should the new stadium in Hobart look like?
On 1 March 2022, Tasmania's premier Peter Gutwein unveiled a plan for a new arena in Hobart. The concept, prepared by Philp Lighton Architects, calls for a facility capable of holding 27,000 spectators. The stands of the arena would be fully covered, and movable parts of the roof would allow it to be fully enclosed (it would be the second stadium with retractable roof in the AFL league, after Docklands Stadium in Melbourne). The lower ring of oval stands is to be fitted with additional retractable rows, allowing for a 'rectangular' configuration for rugby or football matches.
Where will the new stadium in Hobart be built?
The venue is to be built on the banks of the River Derwent, on a man-made wharf, which would be created near the regatta grandstand and the obelisk of "The Cenotaph", not far from the city center. The second phase would also see an indoor arena built alongside the stadium. Interestingly, in 2019 Don Gallagher, an architect and co-owner of a local brewery, presented a concept to build an arena on almost the same site (right next to the obelisk, without having to pave an additional area on the waterfront), but it did not meet with the approval of the state authorities at the time.
What is the cost of building a new stadium in Hobart?
The cost of building the stadium is estimated at AU$750 million, which seems quite a large sum for a 27,000-seat venue, although it must be taken into account that the arena will be built on an artificially created wharf and will be equipped with a retractable roof. Both local and federal authorities, as well as private entities, are to be involved in financing the arena. It is assumed that the planning, design of the stadium and obtaining the necessary permits will take approximately two years. The venue is due to be completed in 2027.
What does the construction of a new stadium in Hobart depend on?
The beginning of the procedures for the construction of the stadium is dependent on a decision by the AFL league authorities to accept the 19th Tasmanian team into its structures as of 2028. The decision is expected to be made in August 2022, and following a positive opinion from the league's committee, a vote is expected to take place in which a minimum of 7 of the 18 clubs must agree to the expansion. The stadium in Hobart is not expected to be the only one to host the new team; York Park in Launceston is also expected to be ready to welcome them, with AU$200 million planned for upgrades.