There’s been a major development in the location of a new stadium in Penrith, with the new independent, apolitical Penrith Stadium Alliance officially formed and backing the Penrith Paceway as the preferred site.
The Weekender can reveal the Penrith Stadium Alliance will strongly advocate on four key issues:
- Construction of a new world class multipurpose Sports and Entertainment Venue in Penrith.
- That the venue be built on the current Penrith Paceway site and continuity of the existing Penrith Stadium be maintained during construction.
- The current Penrith Stadium site be converted into a new public open green space.
- The Penrith Paceway be relocated with the support of the NSW Government to a new site within the Penrith LGA.
Importantly the group is apolitical and “pro-Penrith” and is being driven by key local business identities.
“A new Penrith Stadium represents an amazing once in a generation investment into the Penrith CBD and we must get it right. It’s critical that local Penrith business has a strong voice on such an important issue”, said Alliance spokesperson Daniel McKinnon.
“With our city and particular our CBD so critical to our local economy it’s crucial that Penrith gets the venue it needs and deserves. That can only happen on the Penrith Paceway site. The Paceway site has size for a modern stadium that just isn’t available on the current stadium site.”
The stadium debate has cooled in recent weeks but remains a major issue with no clear direction locked in for the new venue, which was announced a year ago by Premier Dominic Perrottet.
The plan was originally to knock down and re-build the current stadium, but the State Government and Infrastructure NSW are now negotiating with Penrith Paceway and want to build the stadium on their site.
They will compulsorily acquire the site if need be.
The fact the new Alliance is pushing for the Paceway option and is driven by local business identities is likely to reignite discussions around the acquisition being locked in.
With the situation in limbo, the Penrith Panthers will play at the existing stadium next season.
The stadium issue has been clouded by the fact a State Election is due to be held in March. Stadium funding remains a hot issue the winning party will need to ultimately address. The Alliance being apolitical means it can have a significant seat at the table with both major parties when it comes to the Penrith commitment.
Mr McKinnon said ensuring continuity of the current stadium is an important issue for local businesses.
“We accept that with any form of new infrastructure there is disruption and inconvenience,” he said.
“In this case we strongly believe it is in the interest of more Penrith businesses that the current stadium operations be maintained during construction of the new venue.”
Penrith Stadium Alliance has launched a website – www.penrithstadiumalliance.com.au – as well as a petition, calling for its four key points to be addressed.
It wants an assurance from government that if a new stadium is built at the Paceway, the old stadium would be converted to public land.
“With a new stadium constructed on the current Paceway site we are strongly of the view that the NSW Government and Penrith Council should collaborate to create to create a new open green space on the site of the old stadium,” Mr McKinnon said.
“We all know Penrith is growing and passive recreation spaces will be harder and harder to come by. Turning Penrith Park into a Penrith Park is a no brainer.”
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.