18 July 2012 - The Premier of New South Wales and Minister for Western Sydney, Barry O’Farrell, has officially opened ŠKODA Stadium, home ground of new AFL club Greater Western Sydney (GWS) Giants at Sydney Olympic Park on 23 May 2012.
"Western Sydney residents are the big beneficiaries of this upgrade with the establishment of yet another first class sporting facility in the region," said Barry O’Farrell.
With a spectator capacity of 25 000, the AUD70 million, multi-use stadium will be primarily used for AFL games and the Royal Easter Show, and can be adapted for other sports and concerts. It boasts the largest stadium video screen in the Southern Hemisphere.
Aurecon designed the building services elements of the development, working closely with the client team to ensure budget conscious and timely engineering advice was provided to the project team.
“Our expertise in all the technical ‘nuts and bolts’ of the stadium ensured our agility within the project team”, said Matt Magraith, Associate, Buildings, at Aurecon.
Intensive cabling networks to accommodate broadcasters’ requirements for high-speed data transfer and interfaces with the scoreboard and corporate entertainment provided a number of challenges within the new and existing zones of the facility.
“Our hands on approach ensured we had engineers on the ground planning and defining the most appropriate solution given the various site and financial pressures”, said Matt.
To meet the environmental and performance based challenges associated with the design of sports lighting installations, Aurecon’s engineers worked closely with international lighting suppliers to ensure the final design provided the best lighting conditions for the players, spectators and television crews.
Aurecon drove the lighting design concept with the use of 3D REVIT software to explore the visual impact of two new 90 metre lighting masts, equipped with up to 80 fittings on each pole to provide sufficient lighting for HD television broadcast.
“A Saturday night match on 26 May between GWS and Essendon marked the first AFL clash in the stadium and to all involved it was great to witness the players and fans putting the facility through its paces,” said Matt.
This project provides a great example of Aurecon’s ability to design within an existing adapted facility and enhance components of the project rather than starting from a blank canvas.
"We are seeing this as a growth area in the commercial building market where the reuse and adaptation of a building becomes a much more sustainable option than starting from scratch”, he added.
Following the success of this project, the AFL is now in discussions with Aurecon regarding their announcement to develop an elite training and community centre at Sydney Olympic Park.