27 October 2016
A $5 million upgrade of the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) Sports Stadium on campus at Sippy Downs is set to attract crowds of spectators to a wider variety of matches at local, national and international levels from early next year.
The stadium project is the latest construction underway at USC’s international standard sport precinct, as the University focuses on expanding its high-performance sports programs and facilities for the benefit of teaching and research, as well as community engagement.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill said the Sports Stadium would become one of the best sporting facilities in the region, with the installation of retractable seating taking the crowd capacity from 360 people to 2,200.
“We’re putting retractable seating at both ends of the building, reinforcing the floor, adding new lighting and installing a court that can be overlaid on the current court for sports such as netball,” he said.
“On game days, the seating can be rolled out and the new court ‘dropped in’ to give athletes and spectators a fantastic experience, with minimal disruption to any other users of the facility outside start and finish times.”
The work, which started a month ago, is expected to be completed by February 2017 in time for the first home game of the new Sunshine Coast Lightning national netball team, a joint partnership with Melbourne Storm that will be based at USC.
Professor Hill said telecasts of the netball games next year would help showcase USC and the Sunshine Coast to the rest of Australia.
“The USC Sports Stadium has been popular with USC students and staff as well as the surrounding region since it was built in 2006, and this expansion will benefit diverse sports and sporting clubs,” Professor Hill said.
A plan to build a $4.2 million Sunshine Coast Aquatic Exercise Facility next to the existing Olympic-standard pool in the precinct is also underway.
— Julie Schomberg