UOW Jubilee oval is open for business

Changes: St George Illawarra Dragons fans celebrate at UOW Jubilee Oval. Picture: John Veage
Changes: St George Illawarra Dragons fans celebrate at UOW Jubilee Oval. Picture: John Veage

The management of UOW Jubilee Oval will be handed back to Georges River Council after its lease with the St George Illawarra Dragons ends in February.

The current lease with the NRL club was drafted in 1989 and gives them sole use and management of the oval.

However it could be opened up to other sporting codes when the lease ends on February 1.

Administrator John Rayner said council is now undertaking a review of the management options for the oval with the opportunity to expand it into a sporting precinct that could incorporate chiropractic, massage and physiotherapy services for people using the oval. 

“By reviewing the current leasing arrangements for the stadium, council has a great opportunity to not only establish a vibrant and accessible sporting precinct in the local area but also provide wider community access to the facility,’’ he said.

My Rayner said despite the changes the oval will still be available to the Dragons.

“Council welcomes the St George Illawarra Dragons continued use of the grounds in 2017 and beyond, however, additional options are being explored to have the stadium opened up to other sporting codes,’’ he said.

‘’Council will continue to provide a commitment to the Dragons to have access to UOW Jubilee Oval for the 2017 NRL season and beyond for games and training.’’

Dragons chief executive Peter Doust said they were interested in re-negotiating the lease after 27 years.

‘’We were prepared to consider various options,’’ he said.

‘’However, since we had facilitated over $30 million in re-development funding since 2005, funded the ongoing maintenance costs of the venue of over $900,000 per year and funded game day costs of over $100, 000 per game we believed it was time to see this vital and substantial community asset repositioned.’’

Despite the changes he said the Dragons were still looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd at Kogarah.

‘’Absolutely, we would like to see arrangements continue into the future,’’ he said.

‘’The club has been keen to ensure UOW Jubilee Oval was included in the NRL Schedule for 2017 – which is presently being developed.’’