Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan will officially open the newly upgraded Oakes Oval in Lismore tomorrow during the annual AFL Dean Webb Cup finals.
“This new $2.8 million facility is a great community asset,” he said.
“The larger oval is the same width as the Sydney Cricket Ground and only about one metre shorter.
“Oakes Oval is now undisputedly northern NSW’s premier sports facility, capable of hosting premiership AFL, rugby league, soccer and rugby union matches.
“And like the SCG, the new larger Oakes Oval will be the perfect place to watch cricket in the summer and Aussie Rules in the winter.
“Upgrading the oval’s spectator and player facilities will have a hugely positive affect on our community. It’s a sportsground fit for a regional city.
“This means more money going through local cafes, clubs, motels and other small businesses, supporting existing jobs and the potential to create new ones.”
The Federal Government contributed $1.4 million to the upgrade, with AFL Queensland, Lismore Swans AFL, Lismore City Council and NSW Cricket making up the remainder.
Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said the upgrade continued to cement Lismore’s reputation as a regional sports hub.
“Sport brings millions of dollars into our economy each year and this important upgrade will enable us to host national games that will bring more visitors to the city and more money in the pockets of local businesses,” he said.
“Local sports fans can now enjoy the best of the best playing right here in our home town – I am a huge sports fan and I’m personally really excited.
“I’m a great believer in the power of sport to create healthy communities and foster great relationships and the new Oakes Oval will be a focal point for live sports as well as training, workshops and school events. Sport is something Lismore was built on and the upgrade of Oakes Oval will help ensure it remains a tradition here for many years to come.
President of the Lismore Swans Philip Tsourlinis said the club was grateful for the opportunity to play and use the newly upgraded Oakes Oval.
“Thanks to the contribution from Federal Member Kevin Hogan and Lismore City Council, with the contributions by AFLQ and NSW Cricket, we now have a facility where not only our players benefit, but our members and fans can enjoy our great game from so many fantastic viewing areas,” he said.
“Not only has the upgrade made playing Australian Rules football on it a fantastic experience, but watching Australian Rules football is suited perfectly at Oakes Oval.
“We welcome everyone to come and enjoy local Aussie Rules footy from a premium facility in the heart of Lismore.”