Council votes to transfer ownership of UTAS Stadium
Published on 08 February 2024
The City of Launceston has voted to transfer ownership of UTAS Stadium to the State Government management authority Stadiums Tasmania.
The transfer will be concluded once several criteria are met, including the consideration of any objections to the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal and the negotiation of a term sheet with Stadiums Tasmania.
The term sheet will go before Councillors at the City of Launceston for a final decision at a future date.
City of Launceston Mayor Matthew Garwood said the Council's management of the Stadium has brought 'heaps of benefits' to the community and wider region, but that it was not common practice for a Tier 2 Stadium to be managed by a local Council.
Mayor Garwood said UTAS Stadium was a significant asset for Northern Tasmania and generated in excess of $30m in visitor spending annually in the region.
"The City of Launceston developed the York Park (UTAS Stadium) Future Directions Plan in 2021, which explored the best ways to put the stadium on a sustainable and successful path for the future," Mayor Garwood said.
"Transferring ownership of the stadium to a management authority like Stadiums Tasmania will bring UTAS Stadium into line with other Tier 2 stadiums across the country, which are generally owned by State Governments either directly, or through a Trust or Authority.
"While the stadium provides economic returns for the state and the entire Northern region, its operation is funded solely by ratepayers of the Launceston municipality.
"The City of Launceston invests millions of dollars each year in operational and capital costs for the stadium, and this isn't sustainable, especially when considering the significant capital investment that is required to ensure the stadium remains fit for purpose well into the future.
"As part of the transfer negotiations, the State and Federal Governments have already committed $130m in funding to allow significant upgrades at the facility.
"While the final details of the term sheet are still to be negotiated, it's likely to include expectations and commitments around the transfer of employees, transitional arrangements, the land and physical assets, maintenance, funding, precinct development and management, communication and collaboration.
"It's intended that Stadiums Tasmania will bring together a range of experts with specialised skills to grow content at the facilities it manages, including at UTAS Stadium."