Bulldogs Take Olympic Venue
By Jamie Pandaram
June 8, 2005 – The Torch
THE worst kept secret at Belmore Sportsground is out as the Bulldogs have announced their plans to move to Sydney Olympic Park. After revealing their intentions to leave Belmore last year and rejecting a proposal to shift to The Crest in Georges Hall, the Bulldogs finally agreed to relocate their administration and training to the Olympic venue last Friday. The 15-year deal will see the Bulldogs call Telstra Stadium home until at least 2020.
As revealed in the Torch two weeks ago, the Bulldogs will move at the end of next year but will continue to have links with the Canterbury Bankstown community. "Although the club will be moving its headquarters to Sydney Olympic Park, it will continue to serve the Canterbury Bankstown area through its close ties with the Canterbury League Club in Belmore, its merchandise outlet in Bankstown and the continued player visits to local schools and community centres," Bulldogs chief executive Malcolm Noad said. "In addition, the club will continue to oversee the Canterbury Bankstown District Junior Rugby League (CBDJRL). "We have approached the NSW Rugby League to have the Sydney Olympic Park precinct included in the Bulldogs' junior boundaries and are hopeful this will occur."
The Bulldogs will be establishing their administrative headquarters at the Athletics Centre in a building currently occupied by the NSW Institute of Sport.
Players will have access to the athletics centre, warm-up track, Telstra Stadium and potentially other venues within the precinct. Bulldogs chairman George Peponis said: "It made sense to have everything under one roof - training, playing and administration facilities all based at Sydney Olympic Park."
"The selection process was exhaustive, lasting six months, and involved consultation with our coaching staff and a vast number of our fans, who voted two-to-one for the move to the Sydney Olympic Park over The Crest." Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes and president of the CBDJRL Paul Tycehurst had first led the push for the club to relocate to The Crest two years ago but have now decided SOP is a better option.
"I believe the move to Sydney Olympic Park will benefit our player recruitment and retention programs," Folkes said, while Tycehurst added: "The Junior League is not affected by our home base moving to Sydney Olympic Park. "All our competition games will continue to be played at our local grounds throughout the season."