I am writing to provide an update regarding Western Sydney Stadium (WSS). Over the past six months the Board and Management of the Club have been involved in detailed negotiations regarding a commercial agreement for our Parramatta Eels Club at the WSS.
As it stands today, the Club has been offered commercial terms by the stadium operator that are not acceptable to the Board of the Parramatta Eels Club or the Parramatta Leagues Club. Therefore, when the NRL draw is released in the near future, the venue for the Club’s home games in 2019 will be marked as “TBC” (to be confirmed).
Our view that the current proposal is unacceptable has been confirmed after an extensive six-month due diligence process conducted by myself and other members of the management team. The due diligence process has included the engagement of a reputable consulting firm. Together we have benchmarked the commercial terms of the current offer against offerings currently being received by NRL and other sports at a range of stadiums across multiple states of Australia.
The current proposal if accepted would adversely affect the ability of our Club to invest in our Football Department including our NRL team and our junior elite football programs. The current agreement at ANZ has adversely impacted the Club financially and we are not prepared to accept a new agreement that will continue to impact the Club negatively for the next 25 years.
The Club will also not compromise on key areas that are important to our Members and supporters such as: -
- Affordable food and beverage pricing and options
- A clear public transport plan for WSS to enable Members to attend games smoothly.
- Reasonable event costs to ensure affordable pricing for Members and casual ticket holders.
- Expanded opportunities for our Corporate partners to help drive revenue for the Club.
- Better technology to enhance Game Day experience.
In the interests of arriving at a fair and reasonable deal, we are continuing our discussions with the stadium operator in an attempt to resolve this matter quickly so that our Members and supporters have a clear understanding of the WSS schedule for 2019.
I look forward to providing a further update in the coming weeks.
Thank you for your continued support of the Parramatta Eels!
Western Sydney Stadium FAQs
Q. Why will the NRL draw say TBC for Eels Home Games?
A. The Club has been offered commercial terms by the Western Sydney Stadium (WSS) operator that are not acceptable to the Parramatta Eels Board or the PLC. Therefore, when then NRL draw is released next week the venue for the Club’s home game in 2019 will be marked as a TBC.
Once a stadium agreement has been finalised then the Club along with the NRL will provide a full list of venues for Eels Home Games in 2019.
Q. When will we play our first game at Western Sydney Stadium?
A. The Club had anticipated that the opening game of the stadium will be in late April 2019. As the Eels have played home games on the same site since 1947, we believe that the Club should be allocated the opening game of the WSS once we have a fair and reasonable commercial arrangement.
Q. Where will we play our 1st 2019 Home game and how will 2018 Member seats be allocated?
A. If the WSS is not available in time for our first 2019 home game then we anticipate that a game will be played elsewhere. If this is the case, then the Club will provide information on Member seat allocation once the venue has been confirmed.
Q. If we play away games at ANZ Stadium in 2019, will Members get access to reciprocal rights as per previous seasons?
A. Reciprocal rights were primarily for the major tenants of ANZ stadium – at this point it is not anticipated that reciprocal rights will be available once our WSS schedule has been confirmed.
Q. When will Members be notified about the first & subsequent games at Western Sydney Stadium?
A. Once a stadium agreement has been finalised then the Club along with the NRL will provide a full list of venues for Eels Home Games in 2019.