Multimillion-dollar grandstand upgrade underway

17 Jun 2023

City of Newcastle is ready to kick off construction on a game-changing major redevelopment at Hamilton South’s Darling Street Oval.

The $3 million project, funded by City of Newcastle, Newcastle Olympic Football Club (NOFC) and the State and Federal Governments, is set to become an inclusive and fully accessible football facility for passionate spectators and home and away players alike.

The redevelopment will feature female-friendly changerooms, a new grandstand seating more than 300 football fans, improved disability access, a new community space as well as the refurbishment of existing amenities and a new formal off-street carpark.

Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the grandstand upgrade, which is expected to be completed by December 2023, will ensure every footballer and spectator feels welcome and supported.

"City of Newcastle is committed to investing in inclusive facilities and elevating women in sport. Female participation is growing at a rapid pace, both at a grassroots and senior level, and this demand will reach new heights following the FIFA Women’s World Cup being hosted on home soil," Cr Nelmes said.

"This project will deliver a facility for the entire community. With accessible parking spaces, new shared footpaths, lift access and amenities for people with a disability, Darling Street Oval will be able to meet the needs of all its members.”

Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon said the investment into Darling Street Oval will have far-reaching benefits for NOFC and encourage further participation among the club’s nine fantastic female teams.

“Darling Street Oval is a vital part of our community. It is home to a fantastic local club which provides so many children and young adults the opportunity to kick-start their sporting futures, and I am delighted that the Albanese Labor Federal Government is investing $625,000 into this key project,” Ms Claydon said.

State Member for Newcastle and Minister for the Hunter Tim Crakanthorp said local sportsgrounds such as Darling Street Oval present wonderful opportunities for the community to get active and come together.

“These improvements to the grandstand and amenities are going to make the ground more accessible and welcoming for everyone," Mr Crakanthorp said.

“NOFC are an asset to our community, and I’m thrilled to have been able to advocate for and secure $937,500 for these upgrades.”

Newcastle Olympic First Grade women’s captain Laura Hall said the upgrade would be incredibly beneficial given the growing participation of girls and women in football.

“In just three short years, Newcastle Olympic Women's Program has grown to over 150 female players and coaches. With the Women's World Cup about to start, that number will only continue to increase," Ms Hall said.

“We are grateful to City of Newcastle, State and Federal Governments and to our club for their contributions and more importantly their support for women’s football. The new female-friendly facilities are most welcome and will have an invaluable impact on our players and those of our visiting teams.”

Pictured (L-R): Newcastle Olympic FC Director of Marketing Kosta Patsan, Newcastle Olympic President George Sofianos, Councillor Carol Duncan, Tim Crakanthorp MP, Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, Sharon Claydon MP with Newcastle Olympic players Jemma House and Laura Hall with junior Newcastle Olympic FC supporters.