Editorial September 3 2018

A big happy birthday from our mob to yours. On September 3, 20 years ago the region welcomed a new venue which promised to bring all sorts of national and international acts.

Two decades on and the WIN Entertainment Centre can proudly look back at a rich history of artists, performers and performances. The Illawarra Mercury has been a proud partner through that entire time helping to promote the venue and in turn the region.

We are proud of our strong association with the WIN Entertainment Centre and those who have helped put on the shows that have captivated the Illawarra. From international artists like Pink and Ed Sheeran to  some great sporting exhibitions like our beloved National Basketball League side, the Illawarra Hawks. Twenty years on and the process for review has began.

The WEC’s operator Venues NSW has started to look at what the longer term future for this prized community facility might look like in another 20 years. The process has started as consultations with some of the key stakeholders in the stadium, gathering their thoughts and priorities onto what is needed to take the next step for the facility.

Venue Manager Marc Swan recognised the facility was largely built originally to host the NBL games, but said the future needed to ensure the WIN Entertainment Centre adequately catered for a range of uses. 

“It’s a stunning location for an entertainment centre so examining the venue and the surrounding entertainment precinct’s best use makes sense, as well as making it more suitable for the types of events we host now,” Mr Swan noted.

“However, before any decisions are made, we must involve local authorities and organisations, consult with the community, develop a concept plan and produce a business case.”

That review and consultation process will undoubtedly take time and some genuine strategic thinking into the venue is certainly due.

In the meantime though, happy birthday to the stadium, to Marc and his team. We look forward to the next 20 years.