The 30-year wait to fix dilapidated Brookvale Oval may nearly be over.
Manly chairman Scott Penn hopes to announce the construction of a state-of-the-art Centre of Excellence at the northern end of Lottoland within the next four to six weeks.
It would be the first, vital step towards a major upgrade for a famous old footy ground seemingly left neglected and run down.
The Brookvale Centre of Excellence would house the club’s football operations, coaching staff, administration and have 3000 undercover seats out front.
With three training fields available, the team would continue to train the majority of each week out of the Academy of Sport at Narrabeen.
“We are making progress. To be honest, we are little bit sick of talking about it,” Penn said. “We are really wanting to focus on action and we have a master plan already in place.
“It’s now about getting stage one away and we’re hopeful we can do that in the next month or so, in terms of locking it down so we can then come out, announce it, and get things under way.
“The club is working very closely with local and State Government to make sure we have the right Centre of Excellence at Lottoland that would befit an NRL club. We are still a way away but there are certainly positive and proactive conversations going on.
“We are still somewhat at the behest of Government in terms of announcement timing so we can’t promise anything but hopefully by the end of the year we’ll be clear.”
Penn, whose family has injected $12 million into Manly and faces another $1.5 million outlay for this year, claimed after the Centre of Excellence was approved, he and CEO Lyall Gorman could move forward to implement a “broader master plan.”
“We are already in strong dialogue with a number of potential options, in terms of colleges and other facilities, in terms of commercial development, in some form a public-private partnership, to really activate the whole site,” he said.
“Brookvale, the area, deserves an activated precinct. We need to get an outcome at Brookvale, that’s what we need to do. We want to optimise the entire Brookvale precinct.”
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