The Newcastle Knights NRL Club are celebrating the official opening of their Centre of Excellence at Broadmeadow.
The ribbon was officially cut on the $20 million facility, at a ceremony attended by club legends past and present.
The centre provides an all-in-one world-class training, administration and community facility, housing a state-of-the-art gym, function areas, theatrette and players lounge, rehabilitation space and office areas, and three full-sized training fields.
The project has been jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Wests Group.
Sport Minister Stuart Ayres was in town to cut the ribbon and says it’s a game changer for rugby league in the Hunter.
“The Newcastle Knights Centre of Excellence is the leading rugby league facility in regional NSW.
“It will improve male and female pathways and player development in the Hunter, ensuring the Knights challenge for NRL and NRLW premierships in the years to come.
“This is a town that really thrives off it’s sport and we want to make sure that it has access to the best facilities that are available,” Mr Ayres said.
While the new centre still has it’s new smell, Knights CEO Phil Gardner has already laid bare plans to further expand the clubs footprint in District Park.
“We’ve got a great result for the money that we had and we have maximised that, but there’s lots more still to do.
“We still need, here in Newcastle, a home for our pathways side, a home for the Harvey Norman Womens’ side and a home for the cup.
“We intend to build a grandstand on the third field so that people will be able to come through the pathways and be able to come to the same spot.
“Currently, our pathways teams play at Kurri Kurri, Cessnock, Charlestown and sometimes we have to have them play in Sydney, meaning we have to give up a home game.
“The field will be the home of the pathways so they can play their representative games here,” Mr Gardener said.
The new facility also includes dedicated female programs and facilities in line with the NSW Government’s women in sport strategy.