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Manuka Oval integration with nearby shops, pool

Date

David Polkinghorne

Oval integration ... plans for a revamped Manuka Oval include integration with the shops and services of the surrounding area.

Oval integration ... plans for a revamped Manuka Oval include integration with the shops and services of the surrounding area. Photo: Glen McCurtayne

The ACT government wants to re-integrate Manuka Oval with the nearby shopping precinct, historic swimming pool and Canberra Services Club as the oval undergoes a major facelift over the next five years.

Minister for Sport Andrew Barr also said he hoped the ground's lights would be ready for next year's Prime Minister's XI cricket match.

The government will allocate $3.18 million in Tuesday's budget to design a $35 million redevelopment of Manuka Oval that will include new stands and new entrances at the northern and southern ends, as well as incorporating commercial ventures such as cafes, shops and possibly a hotel.

Mr Barr wants the oval to become part of the community rather than a ''colosseum'' that only operates on game day.

A plaza will be built at the southern end, inspired by how the oval looked in the 1920s.

''It will never be a colosseum-style [ground], it won't be a fully wrapped around MCG-style redevelopment,'' Mr Barr told The Canberra Times yesterday.

''We still want to maintain grassed areas … and the objective is also to better integrate with the Manuka precinct on the southern end and Telopea Park on the northern end, and configure our public transport options to that.

''One of the things that we're looking at is having some of the facilities within the oval footprint actually viable commercial operations year round, so it's not a lockout, some of the cafes operate all year round outside of match days.''

Capacity will gradually increase from 15,000 to 19,000 with more undercover seats and a ''distinctly Canberra'' grandstand to be built on the eastern side, allowing television viewers to recognise it as Manuka Oval.

The Hawke and Menzies stands will be replaced and increased to a similar size as the main Bradman stand.

Mr Barr estimated the upgrade would be finished by the 2017-18 financial year.

Building lights will be a much faster project and will be completed before ''the middle of 2013''.

Six lights towers, 47-metres high, will be built, with work to begin next financial year.

The federal government announced $2.5 million in its budget and the ACT government will confirm a further $2.847 million for the lights tomorrow.

It will allow Greater Western Sydney, which will play three AFL games at Manuka Oval each year for the next 10 years, to play night games in Canberra.

The lights will also allow the Prime Minister's XI one-day game to become a day-night match.

And under the glare of prime-time television, Mr Barr wants viewers to instantly recognise Manuka Oval.

''[We want] what you see as the backdrop on the TV broadcast is distinctly Manuka and distinctly Canberra, so when people see the ground on the TV coverage they'll know instantly that it's Canberra.

''We're looking for something that meets the heritage requirements but is also distinctively Manuka Oval,'' he said.

Mr Barr said surveys showed the oval was an integral part of Canberra's sporting landscape, which meant an upgrade was the logical step for the ground. He said the redevelopment was a better option than returning Canberra Stadium to an oval or to develop another ground, such as Phillip Oval.

In March, Mr Barr announced a new rectangular, roofed stadium would be built to replace Canberra Stadium and would be completed by 2020.

11 comments

  • The lights are a fantastic idea, but it is sad that they are being installed with GWS in mind. The Government really should be concentrating on developing a sporting side that is Canberra's own and not some side from Sydney that is well aware no one cares for its existence. My suggestion - get Lowy down here to see what A-League potential there is and get Sutherland in town to see what Canberra could offer the Big Bash.

    Commenter
    mt
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    June 04, 2012, 9:30AM
    • You bag GWS for being just a Sydney team no-one cares about and then suggest SUTHERLAND, a non-entity Sydney suburban SOCCER team should come here. Really. What a joke.

      Commenter
      uburoi101
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      June 04, 2012, 10:07AM
    • If, and it is still only a remote "if", the Giants fail in western Sydney, one of the other options would be to relocate them (full time) to Canberra, as I think they should have done in the first place. With the support for AFL in Canberra and rural towns in southern NSW it would have been a far better option.

      Commenter
      Liberte
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      June 04, 2012, 12:11PM
    • I think he means James Sutherland, CEO of Cricket Australia

      Commenter
      Hawk
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      June 04, 2012, 1:40PM
    • @mt. There is no A-League potential, full stop. Soccer in Australia will always be a young kid's game and number 4 in the pecking order for senior football.... petty cultural and leadership wrangles just add to the woes of "the simple game". In fact, make that number 5, touch footy is prolly #4.....

      Commenter
      Glasshalfempty
      Location
      North of the Yarra
      Date and time
      June 04, 2012, 10:31PM
  • Wouldn't it be easier to address the problem which is created by Canberra Avenue cutting off the oval from the Manuka shops. Hoe about an MCG style pedestrian bridge?

    Commenter
    ctrunfree
    Date and time
    June 04, 2012, 9:43AM
    • No amout spent on lighting or on new spectator and community facilities will increase parking in the vicinity of Manuka oval or surrounding residential and commercial sites.
      15000 spectators will probably mean 10000 cars.... I don't think so. !

      Commenter
      Ernie
      Location
      Hot
      Date and time
      June 04, 2012, 9:50AM
      • The GWS should go to the underutilised Bruce Stadium. The Raiders should go to somewhere more suitable to their current form, like the oval next to Turner Primary School.

        Commenter
        Long Memory
        Date and time
        June 04, 2012, 11:31AM
        • Mr Barr you have a long way to go to be the Mr Demitriou
          of the ACT .
          And splurging $26mil on the GWS will not help either.

          Commenter
          Nitro Gangster
          Location
          ACT
          Date and time
          June 04, 2012, 11:47AM
          • $3.18 MILLION just to do the design, gimme a napkin and i will do it for free. How much money each year does Barr spend on CONsultants, thern he wants to spend $35 Million on the upgrade (will cost more) for 4 AFL games a year and a day/night cricket match which most likely will be washed out. I think another article said Canberra was $300 in debt this year. Does Andrew Barr have Greek Heritage?

            Commenter
            stoney
            Date and time
            June 04, 2012, 3:47PM

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