The Central Coast Stadium venue management team, a unit within Central Coast Council, will be given an opportunity to submit a tender for the management rights of the stadium.
Currently the stadium represents a net financial cost to Council, with annual operating losses between $841,000 and $1.4M.
Ongoing capital expenditure requirements are estimated in excess of $1M per annum on average.
Hosted events at the grounds doubled in 2020 notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic.
It saw the 20,000 seat stadium host an additional 13 NRL games.
Council has operated Central Coast Stadium, the home ground of the Mariners football club, for the past seven years and recently started a tender process to engage a partner for the stadium’s management rights.
Since then, following consultation with the United Services Union and the stadium management team, Council’s management agreed the staff could submit an in-house tender.
At the August 10 Council meeting, Administrator Rik Hart endorsed the decision.
The tender process has been extended by four weeks to allow time for the submission to be prepared.
On March 23, the Council resolved to delegate authority to CEO David Farmer for direct negotiations with one or more tenderers for management and naming rights of the stadium prior to awarding any contract for either service.
This was to ensure that the best outcome was achieved.
The Council noted at the time that proceeding with the award of a contract for the management rights had the potential to impact roles of existing Council staff.
Council said the experienced and dedicated venue management team had built a reputation for working with hirers to deliver outstanding events that generated significant economic benefits for the region.
“There is $22,200 available in the 2021/2022 Stadium budget to complete the tender for the Stadium’s management rights,” Council said.
A year ago, the Council started the process to find naming rights sponsor and expressions of interest in managing the stadium saying it was under-utilised and had the capacity to provide more events, as well as a greater variety of events.
Agenda, Central Coast Council meeting, Aug 10
Media release, Aug 10
Central Coast Council
Central Coast Stadium Implementation Plan, March 2021