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Local company wins tender to build Adelaide Oval hotel

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A major local company has been chosen to build the controversial Adelaide Oval hotel, promising to keep fans happy each AFL game day next year.

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Built Environs has won the tender for the $42 million project, the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority (SMA) announced this morning, beating three other construction companies to the contract.

The company had built the oval’s western grandstand.

SMA chair Kevin Scarce told reporters the company was selected because of its plans to maintain fan access to the oval during every game day next year.

“What is really important is that we don’t disrupt footy – footy and cricket,” said Scarce.

“We spent a lot of time with Built Environs understanding how they want to build and the impact it will have on game day.

“I’m delighted to say that it’s going to have a minimal impact.”

He said off-site work on the project had already started and that construction would begin at the end of this year’s home-and-away AFL season.

The hotel, to be attached to the eastern grandstand, is due to be complete and ready to accommodate paying guests by September next year – ready for the T20 World Cup.

Built Environs managing director Daryl Young told the press conference there would be no impediment to fans’ access to the oval during construction next year.

“Our cranes are mobile cranes that will get moved away on game day,” he said.

“There will be no impediment to the public getting access to the stadium.

“We are really looking forward to working with the SMA to deliver this project on behalf of the people of South Australia.”

Scarce said the SMA hoped to have hotel operations up and running to take bookings for the hotel starting January next year.

“We’ll start now with employing key people in the hotel,” he said.

Labor spokesperson Stephen Mullighan told InDaily the hotel was now a “high-risk project” because the completion date had been pushed out from August to September 2020.

He said the SMA faced a “hard deadline” to have the hotel finished ahead of the T20 ICC cricket World Cup, beginning in November next year.

“The construction delay raises further questions about the project and whether it can indeed be completed to meet the (requirements) of the T20 World Cup,” he said, warning that any further construction delay would force higher costs.

But an SMA spokesperson told InDaily the three-month deadline ahead of the World Cup refers to works undertaken inside the stadium.

“The deadline for construction works outside the seating bowl set by the ICC is three weeks prior to the first game at the Oval, which is 1 November,” the spokesperson said.

“The build program as announced today sits well within those parameters.”

The SMA came under intense scrutiny after it announced that the hotel would be funded using a $42 million taxpayer loan.

The Adelaide and Port Adelaide football clubs, along with the Adelaide City Council, complained that they weren’t consulted before the announcement.

And the State Government was criticised for failing to put the request for the $42 million loan through its rigorous unsolicited bids process, which was set up after the Gillman land deal debacle.

Executive director of the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies at the University of Adelaide, associate professor Michael O’Neil, told InDaily at the time that the Marshall Government’s approach to the hotel loan “resembles the unsolicited, secret and discredited bid for land at Gillman which caused the previous Labor Government no end of trouble”.

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