The stadium arm of the NSW government is pushing back against the Parramatta Leagues Club’s plans to build a hotel and function centre – because of fears it will compete with the new taxpayer-funded Bankwest Stadium.

The club is proposing to build the hotel to help diversity its income away from poker machines, and provide reliable revenue to help support the Parramatta Eels NRL team.

But Venues NSW, which runs government-owned stadiums including ANZ at Olympic Park and the 30,000 seat Bankwest Stadium at Parramatta, is wary of the extra traffic that would be generated by the hotel, and the competition from new function centres.

The $140-odd million hotel project is being assessed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment as a “state significant infrastructure.” It said all road access into the area should be preserved for the stadium and recommended that Parramatta Leagues not duplicate function centre space in its 200-odd room hotel development.

The chief executive of Parramatta Leagues Club, Bevan Paul, said the development would also help the club financially support the Eels. “We must diversify. Gambling is a good stream of revenue however at the moment without gambling an Eels team wouldn’t be running out.”

Source: Jacob Saulwick – City Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald.

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