Council is currently awaiting the outcome of its bid to the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) for $6.72m towards the cost of a proposed $13,440,000 upgrade of C.ex Coffs International Stadium.
Any grants made under the scheme are subject to an equivalent amount being provided by Council. We would match the funds with $4.72m in loans and $2m from efficiencies generated in the last couple of years.
Sports tourism generates $30 million of direct economic activity annually with a high proportion directly attributed to events held at the Stadium. That link is something that I know the local business sector understands well and I’d like to publicly thank them for their strong support for the planned upgrade.
The Stadium already enjoys a reputation as one of the best regional venues in the country. The recent addition of broadcast quality lighting has seen it attract even more major events – such as Coffs’ first A-League/W-League double-header which was broadcast live.
It also hosts many national and state sporting events that see thousands of participants – often juniors with accompanying family members coming to the Coffs Coast. These alone generate over 150,000 visitor nights annually.
Importantly, the Stadium also caters to a wide range of community activities such as school carnivals, sport development tournaments and local sports finals.
But with no significant investment in the grandstand, or its associated facilities for more than 20 years, we have to look at ways for the Stadium to maintain its reputation as a top regional venue into the future.
The proposed project – which was developed after consultation with key sport user groups – will see a 200% increase in formal seating, vital technology improvements for spectators, improved player and media facilities and introduce corporate hospitality rooms.
An improved stadium will continue to provide even greater direct economic benefit to the local economy through the events it will attract, as well as generating additional employment during construction and into the future.