It was another huge year for Sydney Olympic Park in 2016 with big games, big announcements and big developments all adding up to make it a year to remember.
During the year the Park hosted over 14 million people, some 5,600 events with over 230 organisations employing more than 18,000 workers, plus our daily population of workers, students and residents passed 21,000, a number that will surge with the imminent completion of several major residential and commercial developments in the coming year.
There was a focus on several major transport initiatives and announcements, including the opening of the bridge linking Rhodes to Wentworth Point, creating more transport links for the Park, and continuing progress on planning for the Light Rail system that will link the Westmead health precinct, the Parramatta CBD, Sydney Olympic Park and through to the transport hub at Strathfield.
This was followed by the announcement of the new Sydney MetroWest which will link the Sydney and Parramatta CBDs via the Bay’s Precinct and Sydney Olympic Park, further diversifying future transport options to and from the Park.
Transport will become even more important with the planned future for the Park, as outlined in the revised Sydney Olympic Park Master Plan 2030, currently in public submission review stage. This envisions that by 2030 the Park will be home to a daily population of over 60,000 people and will be a major regional hub for transport, events, commerce and services.
This will include upgrades and new developments such as the major redevelopment of ANZ Stadium which will include the fitting of a roof over the stadium, improved seating for patrons and an enhanced experience for all who use this iconic venue. Similarly, work has begun on the new headquarters of NSW Rugby League, which will combine training and recovery facilities with an administration centre on Dawn Fraser Avenue, opposite the Stadium.
Sydney Olympic Park further solidified its tag as the ‘home of sport’ with eleven elite sporting teams now calling the Park home, including five NRL teams (Bulldogs, Rabbitohs, Eels, Tigers and the Dragons), AFL’s GWS Giants, the A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers, Netball’s Swifts and Giants, Cricket’s Sydney Thunder men’s and women’s teams and the Sydney Kings Basketball team, a unique concentration of sporting talent in a single precinct.
Of course the Park is more than simply Australia’s preeminent sporting precinct as we hosted events large and small, from the first qualifying final between two Sydney teams (Swans and Giants) to the biggest concerts and conferences, to education events such as the youth Eco Summit and Murama, hundreds of school athletics and sporting carnivals and the myriad of other events that make this such a unique place.
This year, we welcome English Premier League team Arsenal, international superstars Adele, Justin Beiber, Guns’n’Roses and Bruce Springsteen, pop sensations Little Mix and Twenty One Pilots and regular events such as the Bledisloe Cup, Sydney Royal Easter Show and the NRL’s State of Origin back to the Park.
In addition, thousands more residents will move into the precinct in the coming year as the residential developments underway complete, plus new tenants such as the NRMA and newly announced relocation of the Rural Fire Service all contribute to the increasing vibrancy and energy of this most diverse and exciting precinct.
2016 was a big year for the Park and 2017 is shaping up to be an even bigger one for us all. In the immortal words of showmen everywhere…”You ain’t seen nothing yet!”