State divided over Adelaide Oval hotel proposal

A 128-room hotel proposed as part of another redevelopment at Adelaide Oval has sparked controversy, with cricket fans and South Australian Cricket Association members firing up over the plan.

The oval’s Stadium Management Authority unveiled plans for a $42 million development on the oval’s eastern side, which would include the boutique hotel and make it the first Australian stadium with an integrated hotel.

But the proposal comes just four years after the oval’s $535 million overhaul, which is understood to have been a major success financially, prompting South Australian Cricket Association members to question whether another development is necessary.

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The hotel, designed by Cox Architecture, will be incorporated as part of the eastern stand but will be built as its own structure to avoid compromising the seating inside the stadium.

Adelaide Oval hotel

The proposed hotel development at the Adelaide Oval.

In announcing the proposal, the SMA says the “built form will be contained within the Adelaide Oval area and will not impact the parklands or the existing plaza”.

The State Government says the hotel will allow the stadium’s assets to be better utilised when there aren’t sporting or major events on, diversifying and increasing the stadium’s revenue.

The government will provide the funding for the development if it goes ahead, in the form of a $42 million loan.

An artist’s impression from the inside of the proposed hotel at Adelaide Oval.

But callers to ABC Radio Adelaide said there was no need for more accommodation around the stadium, with the precinct already well serviced.

“A quick check on the internet and it says 80 hotels in the Adelaide CBD (and) checking the map shows around 50 within walking distance of the oval,” one caller said.

“There are plenty of hotels to supply demand all over the city, spreading the tourism to other areas of the city and suburbs so everyone gets a piece of the pie during sporting events,” another said.

Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Oval in its current form.

Other questions were raised about why the government was providing the loan for the development, while Adelaide councillor Anne Moran questioned why a developer was being given the opportunity to develop a hotel on a government-owned stadium.

“To give a developer free land and then loan them the money seems very unfair on the other developers and unfair on the city,” she told 9News.

If approved, construction could begin on the hotel in May next year, and could be completed as early as August 2020.