$109 million super sports plan
$109 million super sports plan

A bold proposal for a Stage 1 $39 milion stadium, linked up with the Aquarena, has been recommended in the Draft Sporting Futures Report Version II, released today.

Provisionally named the “Wonthella Community Sports Centre”, it includes six multi-purpose courts, a three-court badminton facility and an arena-style show court.

An officer’s report suggests this could become a Mecca for Geraldton sport, housing the Department of Sport and Recreation and a Mid West Academy of Sport.

Stage 1 of the project, including all of the indoor courts and change rooms, is estimated at $39 million.

The arena show court, projected to cost $12.6 million, is proposed as the second stage of the project.

But the report states this is not to be considered “without support and integration” of the basketball and netball associations.

The Geraldton Amateur Basketball Association has voiced its support. Director Darren Winterbine said the association would look to engage with the council following their AGM on August 29.

“This is a very encouraging concept,” he said. “Anything that increases court space is a plus for our sport.”

The report says the centre will “deliver a multi-use base” offering membership sales “to create a revenue stream” to the Aquarena, which costs the City about $1.4 million per annum to operate.

City spokesperson Sue Chiera said the Wonthella centre would enhance the management of sporting services more cost-effectively.

“Locating multiple services in their own sections of a single building or precinct provides efficiencies and improved access to services for the general community,” she said.

She said the centre would allow sporting clubs in Eighth St to jointly develop programs, conduct social events and form relationships with schools and businesses.

She said the model would also enhance State and Federal funding opportunities.

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