Steve 'Blocker' Roach and Darcy Byrne release Leichhardt Oval plans

Friday. 6 May 2022

In anticipation of a NSW Government funding commitment to upgrade Leichhardt Oval, Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne, Councillor Philippa Scott and Balmain Tigers legend Steve Roach have today put forward a positive plan for what the upgrade to the Eighth Wonder of the World should include.

The plans include a call for the spiritual home of the Wests Tigers to host at least 6 home games a year, a major new grandstand and the foundation of a museum to honour the Tigers and Rugby League in the Inner West.

Mayor, Byrne has tabled a mayoral minute for next week’s council meeting to commence a new Master Plan for the ground. The master plan would preserve the heritage of the ground, including the Wayne Pearce Hill while providing the modern grandstand, seating and facilities the ground desperately needs.

Steve “Blocker” Roach said, “We need a home ground, we’ve been nomads for too long and at least 6 games a year at our spiritual home, is a must. We’ve built a centre of excellence at Concord for the players, now it’s time to build a home ground of excellence for the fans.

“The idea that we’re going to preserve the heritage of the ground, build a bigger grandstand and give the team and the fans some decent facilities make this old Tiger a very happy man. People say I’m biased. Well guess what? I am!”

“The fact that the Council are looking at building a museum to honour the history of the Tigers and Rugby League in the Inner West is absolutely brilliant and I can’t wait to get involved with it.”

The Inner West Council has been fighting for years, alongside Wests Tigers fans, for NSW Government investment in Leichhardt Oval and the expected announcement will bring a well-earned victory at the end of this decade long fight.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said, “The eighth wonder of the world holds a special place in the hearts of Australian sporting fans and the Inner West community. It is one of Australia’s best loved sporting grounds but for years now it’s future has looked bleak.

“We’ve fought very hard to win fair funding for the Tigers spiritual home. I don't resile from my advocacy and criticism of the Government's decade long refusal to provide fair funding, but I will buy Dom Perrottet a beer on the Wayne Pearce Hill when he finally does the right thing.”

Unlike grounds like Penrith Stadium, Leichhardt Oval is not exclusively used by one club from one code. In the last few years, it has played host to Wests Tigers, Sydney FC, The Waratahs, the Mathilda’s, the Roosters NRLW team, APIA Leichhardt, Sydney FC’s Women’s A League team, Shute Shield games, a NSW Police Rugby League tournament, Balmain Junior Rugby League, Pacific tests, the NRLW semi-finals and community sport.

The proposed Master Plan will include:

  • A major new grandstand providing modern seating for professional sport, making games more profitable for clubs and sporting bodies
  • A Museum of Rugby League in the Inner West
  • Modern amenities including new change rooms, toilets, food outlets and screens
  • New function facilities
  • Improved parking
  • Opening the ground up to the public as a community centre during the week
  • An upgrade of the adjoining Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre providing improved gym, rehabilitation and aquatic facilities for users of Leichhardt Oval and the community

For further media enquiries please contact Jonny Browne 0411 549 580 or Jonny.Browne@innerwest.nsw.gov.au

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Page last updated: 06 May 2022