$6m plan to transform Lismore’s sporting hub
A DEVELOPMENT application worth $6.5 million for the first stage of a $12 million state-of-the-art facility in the Lismore CBD has been submitted to the council.
Once approved, the project would see upgrades to facilities which will link Oakes Oval and Crozier Field.
The new facilities would help cement Lismore's place as the region's top sporting hub after last year attracting the Gold Coast Suns and Sydney Swans to play a pre-season AFL game at Oakes Oval.
The multi-million dollar upgrade will cater for the future needs of officials, players, spectators and media while accommodating a variety of sporting codes, including rugby league, rugby union, cricket, soccer and AFL.
In January, the council's manager of major recreation and cultural facilities, Tony Duffy, said it was a sound investment in the city's future.
He said the updated hub was expected to attract more than 20,000 additional tourists every year, putting about $2.3 million into the local economy.
If achieved, this means the spend would break even in less than six years.
Mr Duffy said the majority of the funding came from state and federal governments, which each contributed roughly $6 million in grants.
"Lismore Council has contributed around $1.25 million," he said.
He said the council was already liaising with top-tier sporting clubs with regards to hosting matches at the refurbished facilities, following the successful match between the Sydney Swans and Gold Coast Suns in 2019.
"We are in negotiations with the Gold Coast Titans to come here in 2021 and we hope to start negotiations with the AFL about another pre-season game for 2021," Mr Duffy said.
"The facility will be under construction on the Crozier side then, but we will be able to accommodate pre-season games on Oakes Oval."
Together with the $7 million Albert Park baseball complex and $1.5 million improvement to the Hepburn Park hockey facilities, Lismore will continue to attract significant sporting and tourism income.
Council and Planit have each been approached for comment regarding the DA.