Plans for Penrith’s new palace revealed

Wednesday morning’s announcement was well attended by politicians and sports stars. Photo: Melinda Jane.
Wednesday morning’s announcement was well attended by politicians and sports stars. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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The draft plans for the new Penrith Stadium have officially been revealed, providing the community with insight into what’s set to be a modern venue for both sporting and entertainment.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Western Sydney Prue Car emphasised how important it is for Penrith that the state government has fulfilled this election promise.

“People in the community have been talking about this upgrade for a long, long time, and I’m very proud that our government has actually moved straight away in our first year to be unveiling to the community the designs of this brand-new stadium, which will cost the government in excess of $300 million,” she said.

The upgraded stadium will include a new western grandstand and a significantly redeveloped eastern grandstand, increasing the ground capacity to 25,000 – up from 22,500. It will also have more food and beverage outlets, as well as four new changerooms.

However, reflecting feedback from over 3000 locals, Minister for Sport Steve Kamper assured that both hills will be staying.

“We understand what the community wants to see, and we’re delivering that,” he said.

An artist's impression of the new-look Penrith Stadium.
An artist’s impression of the new-look Penrith Stadium.

Member for Penrith Karen McKeown, a self-proclaimed ‘Panther tragic’, said she was ecstatic with the plans.

“This is such a fabulous outcome for our community. Our Panther fans are just going to enjoy the experience that it will be when we have redeveloped these stands,” she said.

“[There will be] complete new changeroom facilities which incorporate women’s sport as well, and it’s really important that we make these facilities available for all our community. It will also be fully accessible, which is very important for people of all abilities to be able to come here to the events and have the same experience as everyone.”

Penrith Mayor Todd Carney agreed with the sentiment, thanking the state government for investing in the local community.

“This is a very important new piece of infrastructure for our community as we grow through, and it’s a great opportunity as the airport comes online in 2026 to have this fantastic stadium available so we can have those concerts, and we can have women’s NRL playing out of here,” he said.

In addition to adding features that they so desperately need, Chairman of Panthers Group Peter Graham said it was vital that the stadium continued to keep up with these developments in the area.

“This ground was officially opened in April of 1967. I was there with my then-girlfriend – now my wife – and we witnessed the official opening of the ground, and we witnessed the start of Panther Pride,” he said.

“Penrith Park has developed along with this town. A very friendly town, that’s now taking its place amongst the great cities in Australia.”

Continuing to be the primary tenant after the upgrades occur, Panthers coach Ivan Cleary noted how positive of a change this will be for dedicated fans.

“There’s a lot of people who spend their hard-earned money to come and watch us play, and we love that. It will be great for them to have a different level of comfort and an exciting new stadium to come and watch us at,” he said.

Nathan Cleary chats with journalist Cassidy Pearce. Photo: Melinda Jane.
Nathan Cleary chats with journalist Cassidy Pearce. Photo: Melinda Jane.

Nathan Cleary added that though he’s excited for the upgrades, it’s important to him and the team that the current feel will be maintained.

“The important thing is that it didn’t change too much,” he said.

“I think an upgrade is always nice, but I think all the boys really enjoy the suburban feel, and it’s a bit different to most other stadiums through the league, so the fact that we can still keep that is really cool, but it’s just that bit more comfort. I think we’re very lucky, and the boys are going to love it.”

Given that this will be the Panthers’ last season at the stadium as it is, before re-opening in 2026, Nathan said he was looking forward to making the most of 2024.

“The Penrith community always gets behind us, and we’re always grateful for their support,” he said.

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