As the Gold Coast Suns played the Geelong Cats last Saturday evening, construction industry eyes were all on the newly opened stadium hosting this opening game.
The new Metricon Stadium in Carrara on Queensland’s Gold Coast was officially opened last week replacing the older and unequipped Carrara Stadium and is now the home to the new Gold Coast Suns Football Club.
The construction of the $144 million project began of the new stadium in 2009; designed by international architecture firm Populous, the stadium includes seating for 25,000 people, suites, lounges and open corporate barbeque terraces.
Whilst the design focus was on creating a finished project which could involve community participation, working on the basis of the tradition of ‘footy in the park’, the stadium stands out for the incorporation of solar photovoltaic panelling spanning 450 metres attached to the inner edge of horseshoe shaped stadium, creating a halo image.
Owing to its size, and its capability of generating 20% of energy consumed by the stadium, this integration of solar panelling is believed to be a first for Australia. Another sustainable measure included into the design is the vast water harvesting systems.
The breadth of the stadiums energy recycling systems is not the only new first achieved. An 8.5 by 23 metres tall high definition LED scoreboard was installed as part of the design, making it the largest in Australia.
The redevelopment of this stadium will not solely benefit AFL. The new stadium now has the capabilities to host cricket games, concerts, festivals, FIFA World Cup matches and is part of the Gold Coasts bid for the Commonwealth Games 2018.
Throughout the construction phase approximately 1,100 jobs were created; 200 jobs were established directly for on-site work and an estimated 700 jobs will be created per event and 950 continual jobs have been created through the construction phase. It is believed that a further 450 indirect local jobs have also been created as a result of the new stadium.
The funding for this redevelopment was broken down over multiple organisations. $71.9 million was contributed towards the project from the Queensland Government along with $36 million from the Commonwealth Government.
AFL contributed $13.3 million to the project and the Gold Coast City Council contributed $23 million to the funding.
Over a period of 10 years, an estimated $340 million will be contributed to the Australian and locally based economy from the new stadium.