UTAS Stadium $65m stand concept announced for York Park, with early 2025 completion date

UTAS Stadium m stand concept announced for York Park, with early 2025 completion date

Plans for a $65 million upgrade of York Park Stadium in Launceston have been unveiled – but the second and third phases of the project remain unfunded.

Key points: The new stand is said to offer an extra 1,000 seats and will feature improved facilities for players and coaches and better food and beverage outlets. stagesLabor says extension of Tasmania’s deal with Hawthorn to play games locally “reflects how far we are away from our own AFL team”

The upgrade will include a new Eastern Stand, improved playing facilities and a new entertainment area.

It will provide an extra 1,000 seats and will feature improved facilities for players and coaches and better food and beverage outlets.

Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff said it would “provide more contemporary infrastructure to take us forward”.

“It has been many, many years since a significant upgrade of this magnitude and it is very timely and secures footprints for the north,” he said.

Construction will begin later this year and is expected to be completed in early 2025.

The funding was announced last year as part of a Tasmanian Liberal election promise.

Despite the boost, the second and third phases of the $200 million project remain unfunded.

Concept image of the proposed UTAS Stadium stand from inside arena. (Supplied)

Mr Rockliff said he was continuing to lobby for the additional $65 million needed from the federal government for phase two to proceed.

“The other $65 million we continue to advocate for when it comes to the federal government,” Mr Rockliff said.

“I also had positive discussions with the Prime Minister about it.”

Launceston Mayor Danny Gibson welcomed the upcoming upgrade.

“We know that the temporary structure that will be replaced in phase one needs significant upgrading,” he said.

“And we also know, as clearly documented in the Carter Report, that the opportunity to increase the number of customers we can have at UTAS Stadium will be a significant game changer.”

Night view of the proposed plot, as seen from the plaza outside. (Supplied)

It’s not the only large-scale project lobbying for funding in Tasmania.

The Tasmanian government is seeking $240 million from the federal government for a stadium to be built at Hobart’s Macquarie Point, and talks are underway to increase the capacity of the Derwent Entertainment Centre.

“I’ve had discussions with the Prime Minister, I know that the Prime Minister is enthusiastic about supporting Tasmania,” Mr Rockliff said.

“When it comes to Macquarie Point, it’s more than just AFL, it’s much more than just AFL, it’s more than a stadium, it’s creating an urban renewal project that all Tasmanians can be very proud of.”

(L to R) Hawthorn president Andy Gowers, Premier Jeremy Rockliff and Hawthorn chief executive Justin Reeves.(ABC News: Damian McIntyre)Hawthorn deal extended

As plans were revealed, the government also announced that Hawthorn would play AFL games in Launceston for the next three seasons as part of a $13.5 million contract extension with the Tasmanian government.

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However, the new agreement is dependent on Tasmania obtaining an AFL and AFLW licence.

The Tasmanian government has already secured Hawthorn games for the coming season, but the extension would see the club stay in Tasmania until the end of 2025.

The Falcons will play four regular season games and one pre-season game in Launceston per year.

“We’ve had a great relationship with Hawthorn,” Premier Rockliff said.

“It’s more than just feet, it’s about ensuring that both Tasmania and indeed the Hawthorn Football Club benefit mutually.”

The existing East Stand at UTAS Stadium. (ABC News: Damian McIntyre)

Hawthorn president Andy Gowers welcomed the contract extension.

“The partnership between our club and the state and indeed Northern Tasmania has been such a positive one for everyone involved,” he said.

“We love coming to play in Launceston and we also support Tasmania’s push for its own team.

“We very much welcome Tassie having its own side and Hawthorn still having a presence in Tasmania.”

ALF team pushes ‘a debacle’

Labor spokesman Josh Willie said Tasmania was still a long way from an AFL team.

“The extension of the Hawthorn deal reflects how far we are from our own AFL team thanks to the state government’s debacle over the proposed stadium for Hobart.

“In February 2021, then-premier Peter Gutwein wrote to the AFL and said the Tasmanian government would not negotiate with Hawthorn or North Melbourne for new deals until they received a guarantee on our own team.

“The AFL said we would have a decision on our team by August 2022, but we are still waiting and the whole AFL team is caught up in the stadium issue.”

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