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Tas stadium to be largest timber roofed in the world

The long-awaited concept design for Hobart’s proposed multi-purpose stadium at Macquarie Point reveals it will be “the largest timber roofed stadium in the world”. Source: Hobart Mercury

The release of the design comes more than two years after former Liberal Premier Peter Gutwein announced in March 2022 plans for the stadium to “create a spectacular and iconic entry to the city.”

The concept designs have been done just eight weeks after Australian firm, Cox Architecture, was awarded the $37.9m contract as the lead architect in early May.

It has been involved in Australia’s last four major oval stadiums, including Perth Stadium and the redeveloped Adelaide Oval.

Sport and Events Minister Nic Street said he was excited to share the eagerly awaited concept designs for the stadium which is still to be assessed as a Project of State Significance by the Tasmanian Planning Commission.

“We’ve worked to design a welcoming, functional and uniquely Tasmanian multipurpose stadium, for this space,” he said.

“When completed, the stadium will be the largest timber roofed stadium in the world.

“While developing this stadium is an important step in realising our dream of seeing our own AFL and AFLW teams running out on our own field, this facility will offer so much more.”

The concept design features a low profile built-form and a woven-style façade that the architects say has been informed by the form and shape of the roundhouse structure that used to be part of the Hobart Rail Yard at Macquarie Point.

Mr Street said the fixed, dome-shaped roof also was an important part of the design.

“The maritime heritage of the broader area has also been taken into account, and culturally informed under the guidance of Aboriginal community members,” he said.

“The transparent roof, which is supported by an internal steel and timber frame, provides an opportunity to showcase Tasmanian timber.

“The frame will support a fully transparent ETFE material, which is a plastic based material designed to have a high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range.

“This will allow light in, support natural turf growth, and avoid the need for large light towers.”

The stadium includes a 1500-person function room with views to kunanyi/ Mount Wellington, a design suitable to host top quality cricket games and a stage pocket in a stand to support concerts and events, which will minimise impact on the field and reduce costs for event operators.

The architects say the easy to follow and accessible design features include a single continuous concourse that services the whole stadium, “which means you can enter any gate and easily find your seat”.

A seating bowl design is aimed at bringing crowds “close to the action”.

There will be separated back of house and catering facilities with a below ground service road to separate vehicles and stadium visitors and users.

Mr Street said as well as the concept designs work was continuing on preparing an application to assess the multipurpose stadium through the Project of State Significance process.

He said a submission was expected to be made this month.

The state government has capped its expenditure on the stadium at $375m.

State Parliament approved an order for the stadium to be declared project of state significance in November last year. (State Significance) Order 2023. This

Premier Jeremy Rockliff directed the Planning Commission to undertake an integrated assessment of the project and address the environmental, social, economic and community impacts.

The commission met the Macquarie Point Development Corporation last month to discuss matters including the timing of submission of reports, clarification of the level of information required to satisfy the guidelines and the process for managing amendments and for consultation with relevant agencies.

The AFL agreed to Tasmania getting the 19th licence for an AFL and AFLW team provided it partnered with the federal government for construction of a 23,000-seat roofed stadium at Macquarie Point.

The concept designs are available at