Synthetic sporting grounds to increase sport participation

Monday 03 June 2019

Council has endorsed a new program of installing synthetic surfaces at sporting grounds in the Inner West to meet the growing demand from local families for more spaces to play.

Tempe Reserve has been identified as the highest priority site. Council will immediately begin community engagement, detailed design and construction.

Council has identified Leichhardt Oval (No. 2), Centenary Park in Croydon and Mackey and Steel Parks in Marrickville as other priority grounds where Council will seek to progress the installation of synthetic grounds. Five other sites including Blackmore Oval, Algie Park, Camdenville Park, Henson Park and Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt will be assessed through the development of the Recreation Strategy.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that with more girls, boys and adults than ever participating in local sport, local sporting grounds were at capacity.

“We can’t have local children and young people missing out on the health and social benefits of sport, so we have to act,” he said.

“At Tempe Reserve we have an opportunity to create a regional sporting precinct that will benefit the whole of the inner west. Each synthetic surface we establish there means we can increase use by up to 360%.”

Council sought guidance by commissioning the Inner West Synthetic Turf Feasibility Study on site selection, feasibility, management and financial implications.

Council has currently allocated $2 million in the capital budget for 2019-2020 for the synthetic sports surface construction.

Ten sites were shortlisted as suitable for having synthetic turf however Tempe Reserve was found more suitable as a proposed multi-use concept to host AFL, cricket and soccer/ rugby code field(s). Potential opportunities for storm water harvesting for irrigation are available. The design will be coordinated with the Tempe Reserve Masterplan and Plan of Management.


  • The artificial surfaces can be used by multiple codes
  • Will provide up to a 360% increase in playing time / capacity.
  • Accessible for people with disabilities whose walkers/racers can only work properly on synthetic surfaces.
  • Will provide more playing time in the inner west, allowing far more women and girls to play

In addition, Council is entering a Memorandum of Understanding with School Infrastructure NSW to assess joint use of school grounds. Other opportunities may also arise through large scale private development assessment.
Lambert Park in Leichhardt and Arlington Oval in Dulwich Hill have already been converted to synthetic turf.

For media enquiries, please contact Kate Walsh on 9392 5685 or

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Page last updated: 05 Jun 2019