A war is brewing on Friday, over the spiraling redevelopment costs of Sydney’s ANZ stadium in Australia.

Budgeted at around 700 million Australian dollars (528.78 million U.S. dollars), the state of the art 70,000-seat stadium with a retractable roof has been reported to have blown out to 1.6 billion Australian dollars (1.21 billion U.S. dollars).

The reconfiguration of the former Olympic venue in 2000, was part of the New South Wales (NSW) State Government’s policy to revitalise four Sydney stadiums.

When former State Premier Mike Baird announced the “Stadia Strategy” in 2016, the project’s total budget was 1.6 billion Australian dollars (1.21 billion U.S. dollars).

Redevelopment at Western Sydney Stadium was proposed to cost 360 million Australian dollars (271.93 U.S. million dollars) and the Sydney Cricket Ground along with Allianz Stadium, would share a total of 500 million Australian dollars (377.60 million U.S. dollars).

With the 700 million Australian dollars (528.78 million U.S. dollars) allocated for ANZ, now believed to cost more than double, it’s unclear where the extra 900 million Australian dollars (679.68 million U.S. dollars) will come from.

Part of the construction costs were to be funded by the privatization of the NSW Land Titles office; however, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet told local media he will not offer any more money than was originally promised.

With redevelopment now appearing to be in jeopardy, the issue has highlighted the rivalry between the city’s east and west.

Throughout the process, interest groups from ANZ’s Olympic Park complex in the west, have battled against the east’s Moore Park complex, which houses the SCG and Allianz Stadium.

Nicknamed the “stadium wars,” both sides of the harbor city are fighting for a bigger percentage of the government’s resources and appear to be echoing the onfield rivalry that is played out in the domestic football league between the Western Sydney Wanderers and their arch nemesis from the east, Sydney F.C.

NSW opposition leader Luke Foley said he suspects the state government is trying to redirect funding away from Western Sydney and toward Moore park.

“I won’t cop this! The stadium in the geographic heart of Sydney needs what was promised, a world class refurbishment,” Foley said.

David Borger of the Western Sydney Business Chamber reiterated these sentiments.

“The average person in Western Sydney is going to say that we need world class stadiums.”

Whether the development will be affected by the skyrocketing costs is still unknown, but the office of NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres who is overseeing the project told Xinhua the local media reports were just speculation, adding that the state government will not know the final costings of the project until they are presented a business case in August 2017. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh