Sea Eagles secure 'Fortress Brookie'

Caption: An artist's impression of the grandstand on the eastern side of Brookvale Oval.

‘Fortress Brookie’ will remain the home ground of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles following news today of NSW Government funding for the Stage 1 Brookvale Oval upgrade plan.

The funding gives the Club certainty that it will remain at the spiritual home of the Sea Eagles since 1947. It means the Club doesn’t have to play any home games at Allianz Stadium or ANZ Stadium as part of the new Sydney Stadia network.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles CEO Joe Kelly described today as a ‘great day’ for the Club in its 70th Anniversary Year.

Mr Kelly spoke to the Premier of NSW, and Member for Manly, Mike Baird, last night after the game against Parramatta, and again this morning, as did Club Chairman Scott Penn, with respect to the announcement that was made yesterday regarding Sydney Stadia funding.

“We are delighted to announce that Mike Baird has confirmed that our Stage 1 Brookvale Oval Upgrade plan will satisfy the requirements of the Centre of Excellence funding component that formed part of that announcement,’’ Mr Kelly said.

“This means that the NSW State Government will match dollar for dollar the $10m already pledged by former PM and our No. 1 ticket holder, Tony Abbott.

“Our $20m Brookie Stage 1 upgrade plan includes a 3,000-4,000 seat grandstand with multi use community facilities on the eastern side of the oval.

“The reality now is that Brookvale Oval will be receiving an upgrade, and it will remain our fortress. There are no requirements for the Sea Eagles to take any of our existing home games in to the new Stadia network. This has been the consistent message that our Owners and Management have stated right throughout this stadia debate.

“These detailed plans which were presented to Mike earlier in the year, have today been forwarded to the NRL and NSW State Government for sign-off.

“If the planning process can be expedited, we remain optimistic of having the facility ready for the commencement of the 2018 season.

“I must stress, this is our stage 1 development, we have plans to continue to develop Brookie in it’s entirely as and when further funding becomes available. Tony Abbott has already signalled that he is fighting to have the original $10m federal government commitment adjusted for inflation to $15m."

Manly Warringah Chairman Scott Penn said this was the start of a ‘new era’ for the Sea Eagles.

“We are further encouraged by the State Government’s commitment to match suburban ground infrastructure funding and will endeavour to work with the Council to try and gain a financial commitment to improve the scope of development,’’ Mr Penn said.

“The Club very much appreciate the efforts of Tony Abbott and Mike Baird in ensuring the Northern Beaches have an improved facility worthy of an NRL franchise.

“Today is a very significant day for our Club and is the culmination of a great deal of hard work by many people and our loyal understanding Members and supporters. We must thank both the Premier and Tony Abbott for their funding commitments to Brookie.”

Mr Abbott, who attended the Eels match, said he was really pleased that the State Government has made a $10 million commitment to upgrade Brookvale Oval.

“This decision means that Brookvale Oval will remain the home of the Manly Sea Eagles,” Mr Abbott said.

“I am going to fight hard to ensure that the original $10 million federal government commitment is adjusted to inflation”

“I look forward to working with Premier Mike Baird to deliver the upgrade for the people of the Northern Beaches.”