Competitor and spectator areas around the running track at SA Athletics Stadium will be upgraded with a $400,000 State Government grant.
The funding has been provided through a 2013/14 round of Special Purpose Grants, which will see around $4 million go to more than 100 sport and recreation projects across the State.
The grass banks of the stadium at Mile End – formerly Santos Stadium – will be redeveloped with concrete terracing, which is expected to hold about 5000 people.
The stadium hosts a number of events with large spectator and competitor numbers and it's expected these works will vastly improve the stadium in preparation for future events.
The upgrade is expected to be completed in time for the National All Schools and Schools Knockout athletics competition, which will be held at the stadium on 6-7 December 2014.
The stadium also hosts other major athletics events during the year including the IGA State Track and Field Relay Championships, which sees 1000 of the state's best athletes – from more than 30 Little Athletics clubs – compete across more than 100 events, and the secondary school Track and Field Statewide Championships, which sees more than 6000 competitors across six days. The two-day primary school athletics carnival in September attracts more than 750 competitors and crowds of more than 1000 on each of the days.
Since 2010, more than $2.2 million in State Government funding has been provided for upgrades of the stadium, including:
- Replacing the existing track surface to an International Association of Athletics Federations approved Synthetic Rubber System surface
- Construction of two additional lanes to the front straight
- Extending the back straight to the existing fence line
- Constructing a new front straight long and triple jump facility
- Replacing the existing non-competition grass areas with synthetic grass
- Public announcement system and lighting upgrades.
Athletics Association of South Australia Executive Director Adam Bishop said Athletics SA welcomed the funding, "which will allow for significant improvements in athlete and spectator comfort".