NSW Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres has revealed that the proposed new Sydney sports stadium will be built to house The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame.
Ayres made the announcement during a press conference at Moore Park in an attempt to placate various stakeholders who are angered at the proposal to knock down the Sydney Football Stadium (Allianz Stadium) and build a new, much larger, stadium on the same site.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. The first medal was awarded to Sydney Roosters and New Zealand representative Shaun Kenny-Dowall in 2015.
“The Frownlow Medal is growing in popularity and stature week by week and a new, much larger facility is required to hold the Hall of Fame”, declared Mr. Ayres, before outlining some of the features.
“Plaques, trophies and medals of all inductees will be on display, but the exhibition will be far from static. The entrance will feature a tasteful fountain in memory of inductee and former NRL player Todd Carney and there will be a dog petting area in honour of RSPCA ambassador and ex Canberra Raider Joel Monaghan. Bringing the award to life will not only pay tribute to the inductees but will also be a wonderful resource for school children who can learn exactly why players like these are role models.”
The minister also responded to complaints from Victorians over Sydney’s right to the Hall of Fame, in light of the induction of AFL legends Ben Cousins and Wayne Carey in 2015.
“More NRL players have so far been nominated for the award and Sydney is the spiritual home of Rugby League. In fact, this very complex is home to NRL headquarters. Well, for now anyway.”
Mr. Ayres then cited another motivation for the development.
“The new stadium is also needed to contain the giant screen which currently resides at Allianz, and is only the second man-made object which can be seen from space.”
First published April 2016.