The new state-of-the-art $7.25million No. 2 Sportsground received its first visitors yesterday as it was officially opened in front of more than 700 people.
Newcastle lord mayor John Tate and Newcastle MP Sharon Grierson unveiled the revamped sportsground before a procession of junior footballers took to the field to try out the new surface. The council, which provided $5.2million for the project, hopes the new ground can contribute to the revitalisation of Newcastle's west end as well as act as a catalyst for recreational and sporting tourism in the city.
''Revitalisation of the Newcastle CBD has been identified as a priority and it's hoped that this new facility will increase visitation in the west end,'' project manager Steve Edmonds said. ''It's a multipurpose ground and has the capacity to host one major community event a month.
''There is 5000-seat stadium and the facility is capable of accommodating anything from an outdoor cinema to a major charity event.''
The rest of the money came from a grant under the federal government's economic stimulus plan.
The sportsground opened two months behind schedule with Mr Edmonds blaming wet weather for the delay.
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