NO more talk, no more promises. The NSWRL centre of excellence at Sydney Olympic Park is now a reality.
The first sod of turf was turned on Wednesday as the $20m development officially began construction. It means the NSW Blues will have a new home from 2017, right next door to their home ground, ANZ Stadium.
Facilities at the new centre will be world-class. While construction is taking place, the NSWRL will be housed in nearby offices at Sydney Olympic Park.
Blues coach Laurie Daley, NSWRL chief executive David Trodden and star player Aaron Woods were at the launch.
“This centre of excellence provides one of the highest performance facilities of any sport in the country and everyone in the NSW rugby league family will benefit from being able to use this and other specialist sports grounds in the precinct,” NSWRL chairman George Peponis said.
Daley added: “The new centre of excellence will improve preparation for our junior representatives and elite players to referees — not to mention adding to the home ground advantage of ANZ Stadium.”
The centre of excellence will include a playing field, administration block, state-of-the-art gymnasium, hydrotherapy facility, cafe and small museum.
Stage one will provide a full-size training field next to the athletic centre and new offices for the NSWRL.