Brookvale Oval will remain Manly’s NRL home for years to come after the federal and state governments approved a $20 million upgrade of the ground.
The Baird government on Friday ticked off on $10 million in funding for the stage one upgrade, which will deliver a 3000-4000 seat grandstand as part of the $1.6 billion stadiums package.
The future of the suburban ground on Sydney’s northern beaches, considered among the most outdated in the NRL, was up in the air amid the recent push towards big stadiums.
The NSW government this week announced it would go ahead with the redevelopment of Parramatta Stadium as well as upgrades for ANZ and Allianz stadiums.
However, the Sea Eagles were able to secure funding as part of the stadiums package, which included $40 million for centres of excellence.
The government promised to match dollar for dollar any funding for a club wanting to build a centre of excellence, and the plan was given the go-ahead due to local member and former prime minister Tony Abbott securing $10 million in federal funding.
“The reality now is that Brookvale Oval will be receiving an upgrade, and it will remain our fortress,” Manly chairman Joe Kelly said.
“There are no requirements for the Sea Eagles to take any of our existing home games into the new stadia network.
“This has been the consistent message that our owners and management have stated right throughout this stadia debate.”
It’s hoped stage one will be completed in time for the start of the 2018 season.
The club said it intended to push on with further stages of the upgrade and completely redevelop the ground, but that was dependent on federal funding.
Abbott, who is the club’s No.1 ticket holder and attended Thursday’s 22-10 loss to Parramatta, said he would try to have the federal funding adjusted for inflation to $15 million.
“This decision means that Brookvale Oval will remain the home of the Manly Sea Eagles,” Abbott said.