The NSW government announced last week that the Sydney Entertainment Centre, Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour will be closed for three years while they are expanded or replaced under a $1 billion upgrade approved by NSW cabinet.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the precinct will be expanded with a view to having facilities that are equal or better than those in other Australian capitals.
New facilities are expected to include:
- An upmarket replacement for the Entertainment Centre with seating for at least 8000 people
- An increase in size of the Exhibition Centre from 25,000 square metres to 40,000 square metres making it Australia's largest exhibition space;
- A convention hall with capacity for more than 10,000 people which can host multiple events simultaneously making it the biggest such facility in the country.
- Dedicated banqueting facilities for 2000 people, almost double the current capacity.
- A hotel with at least 300 rooms
Meanwhile, the government has opened the door for residential apartments, shops and restaurants to be built on Darling Harbour parkland as part of the overhaul. State cabinet has approved a 66 per cent increase in the area of Darling Harbour where developers will relocate and rebuild exhibition facilities and public areas as part of an upgrade expected to cost about $1 billion.