Pirie’s Sporting Hub First Year a Success
More than 20,000 people have attended major sporting events at Port Pirie during a highly successful first year’s operations of the $25 million redevelopment of grounds and facilities in and around Memorial Oval.
The precinct was officially launched on March 2, 2019. Designed to include baseball, Australian Rules, cricket soccer, swimming, gymnastics, and squash it has also incorporated lawn bowls and croquet into the overall zone.
This historic Port Pirie West school green was maintained and also remains in use by local students, just as it has since 1918. The centrepiece of the sporting hub involved the retention and restoration of the historic grandstand built in memory of those who served in World War One, while also creating a multi-million new centre to its immediate south.
Recent analysis from the Port Pirie Regional Council has put economic benefit estimates to the city at around $4 million per annum – based on its first year of operation.
Centre manager Terry McGinnis says the project had exceeded expectations. While the AFL fixture between Port Power and the Adelaide Crows had attracted 5,500 people, he said other events like the SA Junior Soccer Championships had attracted thousands of supporters.
The event had shown the great potential of developing relationships with leading junior sporting organisations. Another field he is keen to enhance is in the use of conference and event facilities.
All of the work had gone to create employment and opportunities for many in the community.
“We’ve employed 40 staff in different positions over the year and we’re looking to increase that in the next 12 months,” he said.
One priority would be in developing training and staff development programs in conjunction with some of the schools and advanced educational facilities in the region.
The precinct operators will begin offering tours and information sessions to those who could potentially make use of the function, training and sporting opportunities over the next 12 months.