Stage 1 of the $53 million Coopers Stadium redevelopment began in late June as the venue undergoes a major overhaul to significantly enhance the fan experience ahead of the FIFA Women’s Cup 2023™.
Here are 11 things to know about the upgrades to Coopers Stadium:
1. How many changerooms will be built?
There will be four new changerooms built under the Western stand. The new changerooms will allow the return of double headers at the venue with the Club planning to host both W-League and NPL double headers this coming season.
2. Is there a capacity increase?
There will be no increase to the capacity of the stadium, however temporary infrastructure will be in place for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™. The footprint of land on which Coopers Stadium is built is bordered by roads and surrounded by heritage buildings which limits the potential for construction of new stands. As a suburban, European style venue there is limited scope to increase spectator traffic in the area and the club has been forthright in our view that the unique atmosphere at Coopers Stadium could not be compromised by excessive upgrades.
3. A chance to fill in the corners?
As alluded to, due to street lines at the North-East and North-West corners of the stadium coupled with heritage buildings to the south and west it is not possible to fill in corners on a permanent basis. Big screens will however be installed on the South-West and North-East corners above the walkways. These screens are 35% bigger than the current screen above the Northern stand with a screen size of over 100m2 each.
4. Will there be cover for the North and South stands?
Cover for the North and South stands is not in the current scope of works, however, it remains a priority for the Club. An 18-month construction timeframe along with the overlap of A-League and W-League seasons did not provide enough time for construction of a North and South roof prior to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™. The Club will continue to lobby for further upgrades and would hope that cover for these stands can be catered for after FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™.
5. What restrictions will there be during construction?
Upgrades to Coopers Stadium are being undertaken in three stages with Stage 1 to be complete prior to the start of this coming A-League Season with Stages 2 and 3 to be completed in late 2022. The timing of construction has been planned to avoid, where possible, any major impacts on A-League or W-League season. However, given the scale of works being completed within an expedited timeframe, the East stand will be unavailable for fans until the 2022/23 season.
6. Will the pitch be replaced?
Yes. The pitch and irrigation will be replaced in the spring of 2022. This will be the first major pitch renovation since 1991. Whilst the pitch for the majority of the year is in very good condition, we encounter serious turf issues each summer and with irrigation infrastructure that is 30 years old, now is the perfect opportunity to undertake pitch renovations whilst other upgrades are occurring.
7. Will there be new food and beverage outlets?
Yes. All food and beverage outlets have been completely gutted and are being rebuilt to improve speed of service and customer experience including installation of a new a point of sale system throughout the stadium.
8. Will there be new stadium lights?
Yes. Stadium lights will be converted to LED with upgrades to increase the LUX to FIFA Standard for World Cup matches. Audio will also be upgraded with a brand new speaker system throughout the stadium.
9. What about corporate facilities?
Corporate facilities in the West stand will undergo their first major upgrade since 1998, whilst a new 250 person function space will be built above the East stand.
10. Will there be better access to Coopers Stadium?
New entry gates will be installed throughout the venue as well as a new access point off Holden Street which will expedite access to the venue and improve the matchday experience for fans. Disability access will also be improved with three new lifts to be installed in the East stand and two in the West stand along with four new disabled toilets.
11. Will the surrounding spaces and local Hindmarsh area see a facelift?
Upgrades have been mooted by the City of Charles Sturt to revamp the surrounding streetscape and improve the ambience, access and pedestrian journey to Coopers Stadium. More information about the upgrades which commence in March 2022 can be found here.