Belmont will soon become home to the newest AFL ground as Lake Macquarie City Council (LMCC) sprints ahead with plans to upgrade Barton and Lumsden ovals.
The construction is one of many projects expected to elevate the city’s capacity to host quality sporting events.
Enhancements include lighting additions and changeroom updates.
Via its multi-million-dollar plans, the council has already completed the upgrade of 25 changerooms at 12 sports grounds.
Lights have also been installed at Douglas Street Oval, Dora Creek, Cooranbong Sports Complex, Finnan Oval, Blackalls Park and Lenaghan Oval, Belmont North, totaling $923,000.
Council’s next priority is to see its Belmont Sports Fields Master Plan come to fruition.
Kickstarted in November 2016 with community consultation, LMCC community assets delivery coordinator Brent Wellham says construction is now underway.
The vision covers Barton No.2 Field and Lumsden Oval.
“This precinct is the city’s largest dedicated sports area, and the Stage One works will create a facility capable of hosting regional-level competition,” he said.
“The fields are already used for rugby league, soccer, cricket and baseball, but the upgrades will pave the way for other codes, including AFL, to be based there.
“We’ve spoken at length to sports clubs already using the site to help inform the design and prioritise work.”
Site upgrades will also include an electrical upgrade and two new amenities buildings, servicing Barton No.2 and No.3 fields, Lumsden Oval and Les Miller Oval.
Construction is expected to begin early 2024.
Mr Wellham said timeframes for future stages of the project, including construction of Barton No.1 Field and amenities and upgrades to Les Miller Field and car parking were subject to future government grants.
Meanwhile, the $9.5 million overhaul of Croudace Bay Sports Complex – the largest sports ground project since the construction of Pasterfield Sports Complex – is nearing completion, with new cricket nets, netball courts and amenities now operational.
Lake Macquarie is also home to the $52 million Hunter Sports Centre (HSC) in Glendale, poised for completion less than two years away.
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