Upgrade work at Newcastle’s No. 1 Sportsground nearly finished

Upgrade work at Newcastle’s No. 1 Sportsground is nearly finished.

The work has included rebuilding the playing surface with an increased playing field size so it is the minimum standard required for first grade AFL and elite cricket matches, a lighting upgrade to enable evening fixtures, a new sub-soil irrigation and drainage system, new player dug out benches, construction of seven new cricket wickets, new sight screens, new oval perimeter fencing and additional bleacher seating to almost double the seated capacity from 400 to 790.

Work on the new lighting is nearing completion and turf has been laid with the iconic Newcastle venue set to reopen in 2022 after the new turf has had a chance to establish. Preliminary design work is also underway for a future upgrade of the player amenities.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the redevelopment will solidify Newcastle’s position as a worldclass events city, as well as benefit local sportspeople who play at National Park’s No. 1 Sportsground regularly.

“No. 1 Sportsground was designed and constructed in 1921, officially opening in 1922, and in that time the venue has hosted a variety of sporting and non-sporting events,” Cr Nelmes said.

“It has been over ten years since the last international match was held at No. 1 Sportsground, when our Australian women’s team defeated South Africa in the 2009 ICC Women’s World Cup.”

“The redevelopment, which coincides with the venue’s centenary, will deliver regular users of the ground improved facilities, and provide our city with an economic boost through the attraction of major sporting events.”

“Novocastrians love their sport and I’m really looking forward to No. 1 Sportsground hosting the Australian Deaf Games cricket fixtures in April 2022, as well as the possibility of hosting preseason AFL fixtures and regional Big Bash League matches right here in Newcastle.”

No. 1 Sportsground is located on the corner of Parry and Union Streets in the iconic National Park, one of Newcastle’s largest and oldest sportsgrounds and open space reserves.

Other work currently underway within National Park includes the construction of an additional four basketball courts on the former tennis court site near the corner of National Park and Parry Streets, along with playing field upgrades at No. 5 and No. 6 Sportsgrounds which will improve the playing surface of both grounds and allow for effective management of the flood storage capacity of National Park.