“Sydney is a global city…we are in a hugely competitive global market for major events. If you don’t have the best facilities, you can’t expect the best,” he said.
“I think if it’s raining at an outdoor event people will still be subject to a bit of rain, but there’s a lot more coverage with that roofline.”
Last week, the prime minister signaled timetable changes for major projects in the government’s infrastructure pipeline, including the postponement of mega-projects like the Beaches Link highway and an extension of the Parramatta light rail line.
However, Ayres said on Tuesday that the change in deadlines would not affect the final stages at the Allianz Stadium.
“We’ve already spent it [$890 million]. The stadium is built. So I think the challenge with our infrastructure pipeline is the projects that we haven’t started. And it is so important to move these projects forward,” he said.
The Allianz Stadium last hosted a game in September 2018, when the Roosters beat the Rabbitohs in an NRL preliminary final.
Infrastructure Minister Rob Stokes said the stadium front was also complete, with work continuing on its surroundings.
“Unlike the former closed SFS, the new stadium design promotes an open atmosphere and a welcoming public open space that is no longer limited to matchday activity alone.”
On the state’s $110 billion infrastructure pipeline, Stokes said he has regular conversations with his federal counterparts, including about funding for the second stage of the Parramatta light rail project.
“We raised this as a project that we believe is worth considering, given that a federal election is obviously in sight,” he said.
“We would welcome federal support and that would certainly make our decision even more attractive.
Last week, Transport Minister David Elliott attacked a ministerial colleague who requested federal funding to connect the light rail line to Wentworth Point and south of Sydney’s Olympic Park.
Mr Elliott admitted on Tuesday that he does not yet have a business case for the project.
“You can’t go and ask someone for money if you don’t know how much it’s going to cost or where it’s going to go,” he said.
Interim Labor leader Pru Car later accused the government of leaving western Sydney in limbo after first promising light rail five years ago.
“Nothing has been done since…and now we’re finding out there’s no business case,” she said.
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