Inner West Independent

New plans for Leichhardt Oval released ahead of expected NSW funding boost

Leichhardt Oval

Leichhardt Oval in the Inner West plays host to rugby league, rugby union, football and junior sporting events. Photo: Austadiums.

By DANIEL LO SURDO

A major grandstand, a museum of rugby league in the Inner West, and at least six Tigers home games each year is part of a new Leichhardt Oval master plan released by Inner West mayor Darcy Byrne this week, ahead of expected state government funding for the ground.

Cr Byrne will table a mayoral minute at next week’s council meeting to move forward with a new master plan for Leichhardt Oval, which will also include improved parking, opening the ground to the public during the week, and an upgrade to the adjacent Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre, which would provide improved gym, rehabilitation and aquatic facilities for the community.

Darcy Byrne. Photo: Facebook.

It comes after Byrne savaged NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s neglect of suburban sporting grounds across the state, saying that he had an “abysmal record of failing to support our spiritual homes”.

Perrottet’s refusal to fund suburban upgrades plunged the state government into crisis talks with National Rugby League (NRL) Chairman Peter V’landys last week, who threatened to move the grand final from Sydney in an effort to force the premier’s hand.

It has since been reported that the pair have reached an agreement on stadium upgrades that will be formally announced in the coming weeks.

Leichhardt Oval ‘one of Australia’s best-loved sporting grounds’: Byrne 

V’landys told Nine last week that “we want people to walk to the games” and for “that tribalism to occur”.

Cr Byrne said that Leichhardt Oval “holds a special place in the hearts of Australian sporting fans and the Inner West community”, calling it “one of Australia’s best-loved sporting grounds”.

The master plan will also include upgraded function facilities, new change rooms, food outlets and screens, and modern seating in the proposed grandstand.

The ground regularly plays host to rugby league, rugby union, football and junior sporting events.

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