Blatchys Blues fans will have even more reason to look forward to their homecoming to Stadium Australia in 2022 following the news the iconic ground will boast the longest high definition straight run video display in the world known as the ‘Great Southern Screen.’
The Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues recaptured the Ampol State of Origin Shield this season following a historic 2-1 series win but had to do it the hard way after all three matches were played in Queensland because of COVID-19.
“The NSWRL is extremely proud of what the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues achieved this season after overcoming the odds to bring the Ampol State of Origin Shield back home,” NSWRL Chief Commercial Officer Jodie Cross said.
“We were extremely grateful to all the Blatchys Blues fans who were able to still support us in Queensland and while we understood the circumstances behind why we couldn’t play at Stadium Australia, we were also sympathetic to our supporters who missed out on a home game.
“We can’t wait to get back to Sydney next year for our homecoming with Blatchys Blues fans and the addition of the ‘Great Southern Screen’ is sure to make their experience even more enjoyable as we fight to retain the Shield.”
NSW will also play Game Two in Perth next season and the last time NSW played at Optus Stadium was Game Two in 2019, where they scored a decisive 38-6 win to level the series before claiming a thrilling decider at Stadium Australia.
Construction of the giant screen will begin at the end of the year as part of more than $10 million of fan-focused digital upgrades throughout the venue to be ready by 2022. The existing videoboards at Stadium Australia have been in place for 13 years and are well past their serviceable life.
In Australia right now, the biggest high-definition sports video screen currently in operation is at Eagle Farm Racecourse (43.89m x 10.97m), so the Stadium Australia screen will be roughly three times bigger.
At 120m long and 10m high, the Great Southern Screen will stretch across the entire Athletic Centre end of Stadium Australia. It will be the equivalent of the length of the football field.
NSW Minister for Sport, the Hon. Natalie Ward MLC, said the project would be sports-changing.
“I can’t wait to switch on the Great Southern Screen at Stadium Australia next year for the 2022 NRL season,” Minister Ward said.
“This project will create much-needed construction jobs in Western Sydney and, when it goes live, an unmatched experience for NSW sporting fans.”
Populous, a global architectural design firm, has planned the integration of the new video display at Stadium Australia. Populous Senior Principal, Al Baxter, said the event experience at the venue was about to skyrocket.
“Adding the Great Southern Screen seamlessly into the stands takes the view from a 200sq/m screen to a monumental 1200sq/m, creating opportunities for greater event branding, spectator engagement and potential revenue for the stadium hirers,” Baxter said.