In a video posted to their Facebook last night, the Sydney Swans announced a new partnership with Playbill Venue Management to take over the leases of the Hordern Pavilion and the Royal Hall Of Industries. As part of this takeover, both spaces are set for massive renovations.
The refurbishment will cost an estimated $65 million with $20 million of that coming from the state government. The Hordern Pavilion with see renovations made to protect it’s heritage and enable the venue to host a wider range of events and performances.
The Royal Hall Of Industries will become the official home of the Sydney Swans and their offsets including the Sydney Swans Academy, the NSW Swifts Netball Club and the future Sydney Swans AFL Women’s Team. The Clontarf Foundation and GO Foundation, for Indigenous education, and an Australian Red Cross Blood Service donation centre will also be housed in the building.
A cafe, event and recreation space, and museum will still be open to the public. The courtyard between the two spaces will now also house the new LightRail station, creating a new entrance to the Entertainment Quarter.
On the announcement yesterday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said “This exciting new project will create a vibrant community place that respects the great cultural, architectural and heritage significance of these iconic venues.”
Last year, speculation was made that the venues would be sold to private investors, putting the future use of the spaces in question. Sydney Mayor Clover Moore was quick to raise concern over this possibility. Citing her fears of where the official Sydney Mardi Gras afterparty would be held as well as the availability of similar sized venues for international and local musicians to perform at, Moore campaigned to keep the Pavilion and the Royal Hall Of Industries in the public sector.
Managing Director of Playbill Michael Nebenzahl called the renovations and preservation of the Hordern “a victory for Australia’s live entertainment scene”. It’s also been confirmed the entertainment quarter will remain available for events such as the Mardi Gras after party and concerts.
The refurbishments are set to begin by the middle of 2019, with no confirmation of when they’ll be finished. Check out a video of RÜFÜS DU SOL performing “You Were Right” at the Hordern back in 2016 below.
Watch: RÜFÜS DU SOL – “You Were Right” Live at the Hordern Pavilion