The Cumberland Throw

Moving To Our New Stadium – What Do Eels Members Need To Know?

We’re coming home.

The dawn of a new era in match day experience is upon us as the Parramatta Eels prepare for their new home at the Western Sydney Stadium (WSS). When the venue opens in 2019, fans will be treated to a world class facility creating unparalleled rugby league events.

Here at TCT, we reported to you about stadium design planning, which can be found here and here. We can now provide some insight about the planning that’s gone into the transition of ticketed Eels membership, and sales of new memberships to the new stadium.

Firstly, a tip of the hat to the Eels and their membership team. Not only has two years of planning gone into the WSS membership transition process, it’s taken place alongside a two year re-location to Parramatta’s temporary home at ANZ Stadium. This has been no small task, and though not all supporters have embraced playing matches out of Homebush, the small army of Eels ambassadors and the creation of a member lounge are just a couple of examples of the initiatives undertaken to make the expanses of ANZ feel like home.

In strategising the transition process, other models have been studied, including the transition of the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers to their new stadium in Perth. Lessons have been learnt, and processes fine tuned. Needless to say, plenty of thought and planning has already gone into the move, and we’re still more than 12 months out.


What has been taken into account?

There’s plenty on the table and up for grabs in such a huge task, with some considerations including:

* The total number of ticketed memberships that can be sold
* Prioritising and rewarding existing members
* Accommodating groups of members who wish to be seated together
* Choice of seating
* Allowing for changes to allocated seating
* Sales of new ticketed memberships
* Time frames for each stage of the process
* Affordable pricing
* Processes for likely sell-out events

What can members expect?
At the end of the month, the club will be contacting members to provide a detailed communication of how they can secure preferred seating at the stadium. There will be the option of forming seating groups, the allocation of a “seating group leader”, reselecting seat allocations within a timeframe, the option for members to purchase more seats before any remaining seats go on sale to the public.

In regards to timeframes, the Eels are in the unenviable position on having to rely upon not only the completion of construction, but also stadium ownership and ticketing licensing agreements yet to be finalised. With this said, the political currency afforded by the current stadium policy does suggest WSS will definitely be completed on time (we’ll let ANZ and Allianz take the fall for anything that goes astray). Hopefully there aren’t too many hold ups with any process of the construction or transition, but it’s still worth knowing the intricacies occurring behind the scenes.

Eels membership staff will also be made available to discuss any questions, but please, for goodness sake read the transition guide (see right) carefully and be prepared in order to avoid disappointment.

In short, this is a great time for the Parramatta club and its supporters. As an Eels fan, you can be excited about what’s happening on and off the field, but now you have the rare chance to even be excited about the field itself.

Through basically no cost to the average fan, other than travelling to ANZ for a couple of years (which, be honest, is not as bad as you thought it would be), we get a brand new, state of the art boutique stadium with world class ammenities and design.

Sounds like a good deal to us, and we can’t wait to move in.


The Throw.

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28 thoughts on “Moving To Our New Stadium – What Do Eels Members Need To Know?

  1. Mitchy

    Agreed we can only learn from other sporting teams and it seems to be happening. I only hope the transport / parking is better and know the club has more parking now.
    We also hope families / prices and maybe catering is more conducive for all and there are good options on the food as it was v poor imo. I hardly bought a thing. It has to be sensible pricing for families

    1. sixties

      Catering options were discussed in the focus group meetings (see links) and this would be up to Stadium management.
      Membership price affordability has been a priority for the club.

    2. mitch

      It’s safe to say all previous stadium deals are off the table. Hopefully a better deal on the table for 2019, as I suggest there’ll be plenty of patrons.

  2. Tim

    If anyone is interested in a bit interested in the construction details or anything specific, there is so much information (architectural plans etc.) on the planning & environment website.

    One thing that is worth pointing out is the Construction Management Plan:

    What is particularly interesting here is the high level construction programme on page 7 –> it indicates that construction would be approx. 2 months behind (very rough indication, based on the roofing yet to commence), however they do have a contingency of 4 months at the end, meaning that hopefully construction should be wrapping up before the 2019 season.

    1. sixties

      Thanks for adding this Tim – your links would be appreciated by those looking for those details.
      We have heard the same details with regard to the completion of construction.

    2. mitch

      Thanks Tim.

      Without making any promises as obviously plenty can change, I’ve heard the timeframe is well within reach (and as I mentioned above, they’re accelerating that’s the the State Government’s current predicament with stadia strategy).

  3. Kellie

    Safety – particularly safety of women when walking to the car alone at 10pm. Not everyone lives in an area conducive to public transport and the walk back to the old Cumberland hospital was dark and dangerous. I’d love to see that addressed.

    1. mitch

      YES! I think that’s such an important consideration, and assuming there is sufficient spaces provided, you’d think that would be straight forward. Hopefully a smooth transition to the new Leagues Club carpark, and a well thought out, well lit path to the car will be part and parcel of the new precinct.

      1. Penny

        Car parking at the club will be based upon patronage to the club via points earned from club expenditure Ie if u aren’t using the club and spending a lot there you may not get to use it often. I would like to know if there are other parking options nearby.

        1. mitch

          Good points Penny. Hopefully some viable, alternative options for parking come about. Maybe something on the remainder of the old pool site.

        2. Longfin Eel

          Actually I’d like to see dedicated shuttle buses to surrounding areas, particularly the Hills District. Windsor Rd can be a nightmare after a big crown at Parramatta Stadium. The Light Rain will help somewhat, but if you are coming from a further distance you will need to park in the CBD.

          1. Mitchy

            Spot on Fin; my issue is i drive from central coast and parking at parra was and is terrible. I wont risk the train in light of the poor track work etc and issues.
            Parking has to be a viable option imo as people travel from all areas for parra; the hills; Hawkesbury; Penrith; etc. season ticket holders should have something as a carrot for parking…….

  4. Big Z

    I can’t wait, i have been travelling down from Canberra to watch 2-3 games a year since 1994 at the old Parramatta stadium. I did not attend a game last season due to it being at ANZ, i hate the place!! Bring on 2019….

    1. mitch

      Oh Big Z you’re missing out on a great atmosphere at ANZ (and some cracking games!), but I do agree, it will be even better back at home.

      Looking forward to Season 2018, but 2019 will be something else.

  5. John Eel

    Not sure when the light rail will be completed but it will be good for us Coasties trying to get to Strathfield.

    I went and had a look before Christmas when they had the first section of the Southern end stand up and it looks quite steep from some angles. From side on not so. Having said that there will not be a bad seat in the house and I can hardly wait.

    I was there for the opening of Parra Stadium in 86 and I am sure as hell going to be there for the opening of this one.

    1. mitch

      Steepest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere or something? Sounds like a ride at a theme park, but it will evidently prove what you’ve said true; “not a bad seat in the house”.

      The Light Rail is still a little while away (2020 I think?), but it will add another level to an already terrific stadium. On that, despite the protests, I dont think the rail stopping at Prince Alfred Square (as opposed to the Stadium’s front door step) won’t make a great deal of difference. It will be a huge plus to an already outstanding venue when it’s ready.

      1. sixties

        The Stadium itself has moved east to be right on Oconnell St. This means that Rail Stop at Prince Alfred Square is only going to be a one block walk up Victoria Rd. I would suggest that it would be a shorter walk than the walk to the station at ANZ.

      2. John Eel

        Sixties you are correct it would be a shorter walk than form ANZ to the Olympic Park station given that our seats are on the Western side of ANZ

        Mitch you are on the money the light rail will add a lot not just to the WSS but to Parramatta City. I normally walk from the station so this will be an improvement.

        Since moving from Pyrmont to the Central Coast the train trip has begun to be a bit tiresome so I may start using my car for the late games. Cant even get Colin Hussey to come along to the late games even with a free ticket.

          1. John Eel

            We had one good night at the footy last year. Well it was good apart from his cold hamburger patty

  6. Michael Formosa

    I can’t wait to see the new stadium and I love the “We are coming home” theme. I know this is old news but any reason all the promotional videos on WSS was focused on the Wanderers and nothing on Parra? Outside one shot of blue and gold flags the rest of it was based on the Wanderers. They never once showed a Parramatta Eels emblem.

    1. sixties

      Michael, I think I know the videos that you mean and I suspect that the source of those was the Wanderers. What I mean is, there was the official promotional videos made for the Stadium and those featured the stadium lit up in both colours and images of events with both teams. i believe the Wanderers edited these for their fan base. Their fan base is very effective at sharing on social media, so my guess is that’s the source. If you know where you’ve seen them, go back and see if they’re badged as WSW or if it links to Wanderers social media.
      There are undeniable facts:
      1. The stadium would not have been built without two major tenants.
      2. Parra has played a leading role in discussions with the government.

  7. Shelley

    Of all the wonderful reports I have read this summer on tct this is the one that gives me the most joy. We have waited and at times pleaded for so long for a professional and skillfull management. We finally have it and are moving in the right direction. Our coaches can focus on coaching and players on playing because our management is doing what they should do, that is manage the current and plan for the future. This can only be good all round.

    On a side note I hope locking in BA is part of the ‘We’re coming Home’ plan.

    1. mitch

      Even though the stadium itself is a huge plus in itself, as you’ve said, the way it is handled and the facilities at the LC complementing it, also tends to say a lot about the professionalism of the management.

      BA is very much an integral cog in our future. We’re huge fans of locking him down for another long term deal ASAP, not least for the benefits it will likely bring in regards to our off contract stars.

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