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Indoor city stadium worth $700 million promised for Adelaide’s rail yard precinct

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A new $700 million indoor stadium has been promised by South Australia’s Liberal State Government, exactly one year out from the 2022 election.

It is the latest proposal in a long list of ideas put forward over many years for the empty space between Adelaide’s rail yards and the River Torrens in the city’s west.

But not everyone is happy about the Premier’s plan.

Here is what we know so far.

What’s the plan?

The stadium will have a capacity of 15,000 spectators, and house concerts, conventions and other events, as well as basketball and netball games.

It will be built on the western side of the Morphett Street bridge, with a tunnel providing access under the bridge to the Adelaide Convention Centre.

How a new indoor city stadium might look in Adelaide with the Adelaide Convention Centre and North Terrace behind.(

Facebook: Steven Marshall

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Premier Steven Marshall’s current plan does not include a soccer pitch though – and that has angered those involved in local competition.

“We have the Women’s World Cup bid, and it is happening in 2023.

“If Adelaide wants to have any prospect of hosting games, this is the ticket to get the … biggest event in town.

“As far as I can see, there is no legacy that the Marshall Government is offering to FIFA.”

Mr Griffin labelled the $45 million allocated to redevelop Hindmarsh Stadium’s facilities as a “bandaid” solution.

A river runs in front of a number of large buildings, with trees lining the bank
The proposed site for the new arena is alongside the River Torrens and near the Adelaide rail yards.(

ABC News: Eugene Boisvert

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What will it replace?

The State Government plans to sell off the Adelaide Entertainment Centre to developers to help pay for the new stadium.

“I don’t think there’ll be any difficulty in selling that parcel,” Mr Marshall said.

Urban Development Institute chief executive Pat Gerace said he thought “by and large [the second stadium] probably isn’t a bad idea”.

But said he was more interested in what would happen to the Adelaide Entertainment Centre site.

A railway yard with a car park behind
The site of a proposed arena in Adelaide between the railway yards and the River Torrens west of the Morphett Street bridge.(

ABC News: Eugene Boisvert

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The site adjoins the West End Brewery site, which is due to close in the middle of 2021.

“In the broader context of our population growth, there are needs for infrastructure across all of Adelaide,” he said.

“The market for housing is changing as we know because the world is changing.

Last year’s November State Budget saw extreme levels of debt and deficit recorded, which the government attributed to its coronavirus response and a significant drop in GST revenue.

An industrial building
Some say the closure of the West End Brewery opens up a unique housing development opportunity in the city’s west.(

ABC News: Sarah Mullins

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Will it actually happen?

The Marshall Government still has not revealed the full cost of its promised new Women’s and Children’s Hospital – but that is likely to cost close to $2 billion.

Work is planned to start on new arena once the hospital is complete in 2025. 

The Premier said the arena would “likely be delivered” in 2026.

He said it would create jobs and “cement Adelaide as one of the most-liveable cities in the world”.

“Our investment will take recent government and private investment in entertainment and convention infrastructure along Adelaide’s Riverbank precinct to more than $2 billion,” he said.

A river with tall buildings behind
Adelaide’s riverbank precinct with the Adelaide Convention Centre in the foreground.(

ABC News: David Frearson

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Labor has indicated it is open to the idea, if the numbers stack up.

“This has been on-again-off-again by Steven Marshall since the last election,” Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas said.

“It was first mentioned in the Governor’s speech to Parliament last year, but by the middle of last year they’d dropped it altogether and said it wasn’t happening.”

A stadium with some people on the ground and few in the stands
Adelaide Oval reopened in 2014 after a $535 million redevelopment under Labor.(

ABC Grandstand: Aaron Bryans

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SA Best however, is not as open to the idea.

“Meanwhile, public housing waiting lists are at record levels and our public health system is in ruins.”

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