With New South Wales (NSW) Government’s plan to boost convention space in inner Sydney, the city will now be the go-to-place for large, multi-purpose international venues. Plans are to tear down the existing Sydney Entertainment Centre at Darling Harbor and replace it with a $1bn upgrade designed by Cox Richardson. The new facilities will include the biggest meeting room space in Australia at 6,000 sq m and the biggest Australian convention hall capacity. There will be a red-carpet premium entertainment facility with a capacity of at least 8,000 people, suitable for international entertainment events and 'mega' conferences.
When completed, it will be the largest exhibition space in Australia at 40,000 sq m. Up to 3,500 jobs are expected to be created during the construction. The project is aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the major events industry in the state, particularly in terms of the Asia Pacific. “The facilities will bring NSW an economic benefit of more than $1 bn over five years”, said NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell. The project will take three years to build and is expected to open in 2016.