For almost a decade, Wollongong's politicians and business leaders have been trying to attract attention and funding for an upgrade to the WIN Entertainment Centre.
But as the centre falls into disrepair, as highlighted by Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery, this long-talked of overhaul remains stuck in the early planning processes.
The 6000-seat centre was funded and built under the Carr Labor Government and cost about $20 million.
At its opening in 1998, it was heralded as Wollongong's coming of age, allowing the city to "stand alongside other major cities in Australia in its ability to host major international acts".
Attracting conferences became a talking point five years later, as tourism groups modelled how to inject cash into the city.
Serious moves to upgrade the WEC ramped up early this decade, with the convention centre project put forward for the NSW government's $100 million fund from the lease of Port Kembla. In a 2011 submission to Infrastructure NSW, Venues NSW said conferences would bring $12 million in economic benefits each year and provide 287 ongoing jobs. However, the $28 million upgrade failed to make the shortlist, as it was deemed not to meet the criteria.
A 2013 business case showed a refurbishment it would boost jobs, attract 80 extra events each year and serve as a trigger for major hotel investment.
In 2016, influential stakeholders - including the council, Illawarra Business Chamber, Destination Wollongong, RDA Illawarra and the University of Wollongong - signed an agreement to once again push for funding and support for the project.
That same year, in the Wollongong by-election campaign, Paul Scully pledged a $50 million makeover. The promise, which would have required Labor to win the 2019 election, also included a contribution to the council to build a multi-storey car park to service the centre.
While the Coalition government has made no commitments, a number of high profile incidents have highlighted the urgency for a revamp.
For instance, in 2017, singer Tina Arena said on stage that the venue looked tired, calling on governments to spruce up the building. This year, the facility was labelled embarrassing and unprofessional when the shot clock failed during a nationally televised Hawks game.
In August 2018, the government engaged KPMG on initial planning for a future Illawarra Sports and Entertainment Precinct, and, according to Mr Scully, community consultation on this has already occurred.
A year on nothing has been released in the public domain, and once it is, there are still numerous steps before an upgrade can begin.
"[Venues NSW CEO] Paul Doorn, at an Illawarra Business Chamber after hours, event recently indicated that they were working with [NSW] Treasury to get hold of a couple of million dollars to allow this concept to be brought to life," Mr Scully said. "And then we still need to fight again to get the $50 million dollars for the full upgrade."