The New South Wales Government is concerned that the state has missed out on major international artists due to a cap on the number of major events the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and the Sydney Football Stadium can host per year.
As such, the state government has urged Venues NSW to seek regulatory approval to lift the SCG Precinct concert cap from an average of four major events per year to 20.
Beyond being a boon for music lovers in NSW, the state says attracting more major international artists to the SCG Precinct - which includes the new $828 million Sydney Football Stadium - will have major economic benefits too.
In a joint media statement, NSW Minister for Jobs and Tourism John Graham and Minister for Sport Steve Kamper said each international artist that would perform in the Precinct is estimated to bring $5-7.5 million per show of economic benefit to the state.
As such, the two claim the Precinct’s cap is causing NSW to miss out on $40-60 million per year.
The cap is also reducing the number of major cultural events that can be held in the two stadiums according to the ministers, with key events such as the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras After Party forced to shift to a smaller venue.
Minister Kamper has directed Venues NSW to undertake the necessary planning and environmental applications to ‘modify the historic restrictions’.
“The Sydney Football Stadium is an $828 million state-of-the-art venue, for it to be lying dormant and unused is an absolute shame,” Kamper said.
“We need to remove the red tape that has caused this iconic venue to sit empty when it should be hosting the world’s best performers.”
NSW Premier Chris Minns weighed in on the issue too, noting that Sydney should be able to host acts from around the world as a global city.
“The cap means NSW is missing out on millions of dollars a year in economic activity, and the tourism and jobs it brings with it,” Premier Minns said.
“In lifting this concert cap to 20 per year, we could bring in an additional $1.3 billion for NSW businesses over the lifetime of the stadium.
“We need to utilise our entertainment venues to their fullest potential and show to the rest of Australia and the world, that NSW is now open for business.”
As part of its appeal to Venues NSW, the state government says it will ensure consultation is comprehensive and will invite stakeholders to participate, including local community groups, major operators, surrounding landowners and local businesses close to the Precinct.
“This government is focused on creating jobs and reinvigorating our night-time economy, by simply raising the concert cap, we can do both,” Minister Graham said.
“If we want to be the home of live music in this nation, we need to support all venues of all size.”
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