New plans to build an integrated hotel at Adelaide Oval have been met with mixed reactions.
Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority (AOSMA) has unveiled a plan to build a 128-room hotel into the eastern façade of the stadium by August 2020.
The Adelaide Oval Hotel will feature two wings that will integrate into the existing design and will be linked by an elevated foyer and lounge pod with views into the east atrium and out to the parklands and city skyline.
The hotel will be built and managed by the AOSMA, and will not be operated by an external provider.
AOSMA Chair Kevin Scarce said the project will be funded by a loan of up to $42 million to be provided by the South Australian Government Financing Authority.
“A boutique hotel is an innovation that will not only help offset the ongoing costs associated with operating and maintaining the stadium but will also ensure we stay at the forefront of innovation in what is an extremely competitive international event market,” he said.
“There are numerous precedents at stadia around the world; indeed, the AFL announced similar intentions for Marvel Stadium earlier this year.”
Premier Steven Marshall congratulated AOSMA for “continuing to innovate at Adelaide Oval”.
“The Adelaide Oval Hotel will be an important addition to South Australia’s $6.7 billion visitor economy, which is a critical driver of jobs and investment,” he said.
Meanwhile, the proposed hotel has been met with criticism by the opposition, with Shadow Treasurer Stephen Mullighan questioning why the government had to provide a loan for development.
“Surely any organisation charging $9.50 for a beer can raise enough money of their own without relying on taxpayers’ funds,” he told ABC News.
Others raised concerns over the development’s proximity to the neighbouring parklands.
“We want to preserve the parklands for all people in South Australia — it’s not just for North Adelaide, it’s not just for the city, this is for all South Australians, and the more built form that goes on the parklands the less opportunity there will be going forward,” Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor told ABC News.
However, AOSMA has assured the hotel project will be contained within the Adelaide Oval area and will not impact the parklands.
The design is being overseen by COX Architecture, which was also responsible for the redevelopment of Adelaide Oval in 2014.
COX Architecture director Adam Hannon said the hotel will feature a “low-impact design”.
“We have deliberately designed the hotel to fit as unobtrusively and seamlessly into the design, retaining the magnificent views while not impacting the experience for gameday patrons,” he said.
In line with this approach, Adelaide Oval Hotel will be built as a ‘pod’, separated from the back of the Eastern Stand to ensure the seating bowl is not impacted during construction.
“It’s a low-impact design, not only in the way in which it fits within the current structure but also in the way we can build it without adversely impacting the game day experience for patrons during its construction,” said Hannon.
Following relevant approvals, construction of the hotel is expected to commence in May 2019 and is slated to open in August 2020 in time for the ICC World T20.