It seems that NSW just can’t get enough of sports venues. With the NSW government’s latest decision to spend $2 billion knocking down and rebuilding two Sydney stadiums, one of which is less than 20 years old, now comes news that the Hordern Pavilion may be turned into a sporting facility.
According to a story in The Guardian, Sydney lord mayor, Clover Moore, and the Save Moore Park community group claim the redevelopment will proceed thanks to “the ambitions of its stadium neighbour.”
These neighbours include the powerful Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust, which successfully lobbied the state government for rebuilding the Allianz Stadium and Carsingha, the company that bought the lease for the Entertainment Quarter, which houses the historic Hordern Pavilion in 2014.
According to the Guardian story, Carsingha paid just over $80m for rejuvenating the retail and restaurant precinct in the Entertainment Quarter.
But, says the report, Carsingha, which is owned by Mark Carnegie, John Singleton and Gerry Harvey, has much bigger plans for the site, as revealed in a draft masterplan, which was apparently shown to some stakeholders.
Built in 1924, over the decades, the Hordern Pavilion evolved into Sydney’s favourite music venue that has hosted some of the most famous international acts to visit Sydney.
The site was also known to visitors to the Easter show as the 'Showbag Hall' until 1998.
One of the more controversial plans is a proposal to turn the Hall of Industries into elite sports training facilities for the Sydney Swans AFL team.
The Guardian report claims that Playbill, Fox Studios, which operates the film studio on the site and Carsingha have lodged bids to build the elite sports facilities for the Swans.
The only shareholder in Carsingha is a nominee company controlled by Carnegie, but investors, via trusts, include Sydney Swans chairman, Andrew Pridham, along with Katie Page, who is both a trust board member and the wife of Gerry Harvey.
While all parties have remained tight-lipped about the potential proposal, the rash of speculation is not surprising considering the speed at which the NSW government announced the rebuild of the two sports stadiums late last week.