United front on Allianz Stadium redevelopment

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The clubs and codes who use Allianz Stadium have continued the lobbying of the state government by drafting a letter urging NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to knock down and rebuild the venue with a minimum capacity of 35,000.

As the state government edges towards making a decision on where to direct the $1.6 billion it has earmarked for Sydney stadiums, the Alliance of Moore Park Sports is ready to re-enter the debate by outlining its vision for the future.

It is understood the state government could make a decision on its stadium plans as early as next week, heightening the sense of urgency and edginess within the codes and clubs over Allianz and ANZ Stadiums.

The letter drafted by AMPS suggests that the codes support two world-class venues in the Moore Park precinct. One would be the SCG once all of its stands have been upgraded.

The other would involve a new venue where Allianz Stadium currently stands. The letter to Berejiklian discusses a minimum capacity of 35,000, although it is understood that some of the codes would like the ground to hold significantly more than that — current capacity is in excess of 45,000.

The letter also discusses putting a roof on Allianz Stadium that at the very least protects the spectators. Crucially, the letter does not address timing.

While the NRL have made it clear their preference would be to see work started on a redevelopment of ANZ Stadium as a priority — March 2019 was discussed in a letter addressed to the Premier earlier this month — it is understood rugby union’s desire is to make Allianz Stadium the priority.

As of last night, the letter was still in draft form and yet to be signed by all the members of AMPS.

The body is made up of the NRL, the Sydney Roosters, Australian Rugby Union, the NSW Waratahs, Cricket NSW, Sydney FC, the NSW/ACT AFL and the Sydney Swans.

The stadium war has entered a crucial period amid speculation NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres is on the verge of taking a recommendation to cabinet.

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