- Leagues club done by May-June 2024 (hopefully, if everything goes right...)
- Shark park capacity to be 17,500 to 18,000
Sharks Leagues Club at Woolooware opening target of mid-2024 achievable after hurdles cleared
By Murray Trembath
Updated July 23 2023 - 11:56am, first published 11:00am
Sharks chief executive Dino Mezzatesta at PointsBet Stadium with the development in the background. Picture by Chris Lane
An impasse, which threatened to delay indefinitely the start of work on rebuilding the Sharks Leagues Club at Woolooware, appears to have been navigated.
The Sharks sold a large proportion of their property to allow for the $752 million Woolooware Bay Town Centre development, but retain ownership of the land on which the leagues club stands as well as PointsBet Stadium.
It is understood the push by the developer to have the Bay Central shopping centre opened by the end of this year impacted on the Sharks' ability to pursue their own building agenda.
Chief executive Dino Mezzatesta said, "We had to clear some obstacles, which were mainly about getting some kind of timeline around when we could get access to our site, so that we can commence the work to get the club completed".
"I'm pleased meetings over the last week have given us some confidence that, with everyone - including the developer and head contractor - working together, we will be able to get in there and get our work done.
"We are hoping to have the club completed around the May - June 2024 target date we set ourselves, which is great news for club members.
"That is still contingent on some things going in our favour, and there is still a bit of work to do with the developer and the head contractor.
Mr Mezzatesta said the result would be "a brand new facility, with great features including a fantastic bistro with a large outdoor deck overlooking Woolooware Bay.
"The club is well designed and will be state-of-the-art, with great functionality across the two floors," he said.
Mr Mezzatesta said the club's plans to improve stadium facilities were dependent on state government funding.
The previous government, in its dying days, backed away from a funding commitment and new Premier Chris Minns has said his government's priority will be health and education, not suburban stadiums.
"We still want to work with the current government," Mr Mezzatesta said.
"We are very supportive of their priorities, but we will still explore what we can do to unlock some funding, at least to improve the facilities.
"We have a team running out for the first time in the NRLW competition and we have had to bring in demountable change rooms, showers and toilets to cater for them.
"We need to be able to provide permanent facilities in the future."
Mr Mezzatesta said the capacity of the football stadium was expected to return to 17,500 to 18,000 from the 13,000 cap imposed during building work.
A new entrance from the north-eastern corner of the club into the football stadium will be considered, but is not in the present budget.