What is a Regional Athletics Centre (RAC)?

    A Regional Athletics Centre is a permanent all-year-round international standard 400m multi-lane (minimum 8) all weather synthetic-surfaced track and field facility.

    Little Athletics NSW have provided this project guidance with respect to facilities required to host regional and state events (outlined in the Site Selection Report page 8).  The following essential components are recommended:

    • Main Track and Field Area  
      • 400mm 8 lane track -  
      • main straight with 10 lanes 
      • Back straight with 8 lanes - with 110mm starts 
      • 2 x long jump pits Adjacent to main straight
      • 3 x shot put circles 
      •  1 x pole vault 
      • 2 x javelin 
      • 2 x high jump 
      • 2 x combined discuss/hammer 
    • Warm up areas  
      • Warm up track - min 4 lanes with 100 straight and 1/4 bend
      • 1 x long jump
      • 1 x javelin 
      • 1 x discuss/hammer 
    • Other facilities
      • Site fencing 
      • Amenities building: 
        • Kiosk 
        • Multi-purpose space 
        • Toilets 
        • Change areas 
        • Officials (including anti-doping room) 
        • Storage
    • Spectator area
      • Tiered seating or grandstand along main straight 
      • Shaded areas 
    • Car park
      • Size based on other parking available in or around the site. 

    Why has Council decided to assess sites for a RAC?

    In July 2019, Council resolved to support in principle the establishment of a Regional Athletics Centre and to undertake a site selection investigation.

    This project is identified in Council’s Sports Facility Plan 2016 to investigate sites for a proposed Regional Athletics Centre.

    On 10 September 2020 Council considered a proposed Regional Athletics Centre site selection report provided to Council following a comprehensive investigation.

    What key factors were considered as part of the site section?

    The Technical Evaluation Report (page 20) outlines the site selection factors:

    • Primary Selection Factors 
      • Site dimensions
      • Accessibility 
      • Site conditions 
      • Location to target catchment
      • Construction method and cost
    • Secondary Selection Factors 
      • Land ownership/tenure 
      • Planning/zoning 
      • Site services 
      • Environmental impacts 
      • Traffic impacts 
      • Impact on current users 
      • Local area impacts 
      • Site profile 
      • Place making
      • Community

    What are the estimated project costs involved?

    Cost estimates for the entire Project have been developed for both sites. This estimate includes costs to undertake earthworks, develop buildings, the carpark, athletics facilities (track), external works and project fees.

    Indicative costs for both sites have been estimated as:

    York Street Oval: $6,912,500

    Bruce Barnier Oval: $8,593,750

    These costs are primarily for the purpose of assessing the comparative costs difference between the two options and are based off high level costs for similar projects and are indicative only. Further design and cost detail will need to be developed for the preferred option.       

    Page 22 of the Technical Report indicate the cost estimates in the evaluation of both sites.

    What sites were assessed for the proposed RAC?

    Xypher Consulting were engaged by Council to investigate four sites for the proposed RAC These are outlined in the Site Selection Report (page 4):

    • Site 1 - York Street Oval 
    • Site 2 - Bruce Barnier Oval 
    • Site 3 - CCSLP West Precinct 
    • Site 4 - Geoff King Motors Oval (GKMO)

    However, a preliminary site review revealed key limitations related to two of the sites which resulted in each being eliminated from further investigation.  

    Only two sites (York St Oval and Bruce Barnier Oval) were found and agreed by stakeholders to be viable and were investigated in greater detail as part of the RAC site selection.

    What are the impacts on other user groups?

    • A Regional Athletics Centre at Bruce Barnier Oval would provide a stronger connection with other regional facilities in the precinct (existing and planned). However athletic user groups would experience more influence, interruption and use by other users, particularly during major events.
    • If the Centre is located on Bruce Barnier Oval, the remainder of the fields would be lost except for one that could be accommodated in the centre of the track. 
    • This will result in a loss of 5 Oztag, 3 Touch Football fields, Cricket will be need to be relocated and Hockey will lose 1 field.
    • Additional fields are planned for the CCSLP West precinct which would compensate for some of the losses at Bruce Barnier Oval, however, the net effect is the overall reduction in the number of fields available. 
    • Development of a Regional Athletics Centre at York Street Oval would require an agreement between Football and Athletics Clubs to be established.
    • A staged plan for York St Oval will result in 3 senior sized fields for Football. This means that there will be two existing senior fields with sports lighting and access to a third football field inside the proposed athletics track.

    Page 21 of the Technical Assessment provides more information on the sports field impacts .

    Which site is available (pending funding)?

    • An alternative facility layout for York Street Oval provides an option to address the timing concerns expressed by athletics for this site and would allow football to continue whilst the RAC is developed (a staged layout  is shown in the overview slides).  
    • The replacement fields needed at CCSLP to facilitate the development of a RAC at Bruce Barnier Oval are unfunded. To negate the field loss caused by the RAC, these new fields would have to be developed first. The time taken to secure this funding and undertake the field construction would add to the development timeline.  
    • Integrating the RAC with the RISC at Bruce Barnier Oval is likely to lead to longer and more complicated planning and funding arrangements and potential competition for prioritisation and grant applications.  

    More information is available on page 24 Sports field impact of the Technical Assessment report.

    What are the differences in site size and provisions for athletes?

    • The Bruce Barnier Oval is 44,000 square metres.  This will mean the design layout is restricted by the available area. Synthetic warm up facilities cannot be accommodated (only grass).
    • The York Street Oval is 66,000 square metres and can accommodate all athletics requirements (track and field, amenities and warm up facilities).

    More information is provided in the Site Assessment Table on page 25 of the Technical Report.

    What are other future site potential considerations?

    • As the Bruce Barnier Oval site is already limited in size it offers no potential expansion. 
    • Coffs Coast Sports and Leisure Park will reduce in overall field size by approximately 44,000 sqm from the Council adopted Masterplan if a Regional Athletics Centre is developed on this site, resulting in the City’s risk of losing major events due to reduction of space available.
    • The York Street site can be fully maximised and tailored to suit athletics requirements both now and into the future (particularly when Northern Storm Football club relocate).
    • The York Street Oval site could be planned and developed with a greater focus on athletics and community running. The size and location of the site opens up opportunities for circuit and/or cross country running facilities that could be used by athletes and the community in general.  See Technical Report Assessment table page 25.

    How were stakeholders engaged on this site selection process?

    Significant consultation has taken place with a variety of sporting stakeholders, including local athletics grounds and representatives, NSW Office of Sport, Little Athletics NSW and Athletics NSW. 

    Other sporting stakeholders consulted included Football, Hockey, Cricket, Touch Football and Oztag.

    Key Stakeholder Consultation is provided in more detail on page 5 of the Site Section Report.

    Has a decision been made about the final site selection?

    A decision has not been made about where the Regional Athletics Centre will be located. 

    The consultant's recommendation was presented to Council at its 10 September 2020 Meeting and Council resolved to place the site selection report on public exhibition.