Business case for $662 million Adelaide Riverbank Arena released

A centrepiece of the State Government’s re-election pitch, the business case for the $662m Adelaide Riverbank Arena was released last week with a positive benefit cost ratio (BCR) and accompanied by endorsement from key sections of the Adelaide business community.

Aurecon was engaged by the Adelaide Venue Management Corporation as lead advisor to develop the business case. You can access the business case itself here.

The South Australian Division of the Property Council has long been a major supporter of this project, with our Executive Director, Daniel Gannon calling in July last year for more social infrastructure in Adelaide as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“If we do it properly, there’ll be hard hats and steel caps across the state, and we’ll re-emerge with physical infrastructure that attracts investment, people and world-leading activities.

Social infrastructure is a massive opportunity for job creation and for putting South Australia on the global infrastructure map,” he said.

With the release of the business case the SA Property Council Division sees this as an exciting next step in bringing this vision closer to reality.

“Coming out of COVID South Australia needs to think big. The Arena is a bold idea and will transform not only what we see in Adelaide, but how the world sees Adelaide.

The decision to build an arena is a vote of confidence – we can put a stake in the ground and confidently declare in a time of great uncertainty that this city is open for business,” he said.

The 15,000-seat, multipurpose arena would be operational from 2028. Early works are pitched to commence in March 2023 and major works in 2025. It is touted to attract 825,000 visitors annually and would mean Adelaide can compete with major cities both internationally and domestically by attracting and reaping the long-term benefits of major conferences, cultural and sporting events.

Construction of the Arena would contribute $7B to Gross State Product (GSP) generating 4,500 jobs. Once in operation it is forecast to generate 24,000 jobs over a 30-year operational phase. This is equivalent to an increase of approximately 3.4% of current employment in South Australia.

The business case outlines a BCR of 1.23 and notes that relative to other government funded projects this is a strong outcome.

The Adelaide’s riverbank locale has already seen major investment recently with developments, including the Oval Hotel and SkyCity’s $330 million expansion of Adelaide Casino and the redevelopment of Festival Plaza.