A NSW regional oval gets a multi-million dollar upgrade to secure its place as a premier sporting facility.

In play since its first recorded match in 1934, Oakes Oval is a local landmark in the Northern Rivers city of Lismore in regional New South Wales. In 2018, a $3 million upgrade funded by federal and local government together with contributions from the AFL and Lismore Swans, was completed on the oval and its facilities.

Now a highly desirable sports hub offering first-class facilities that cater to national-level AFL and cricket matches, Oakes Oval is match-fit and ready to do its part to contribute to the reputation of regional sports in Australia.

Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said the upgrade cements Lismore’s reputation as a regional sports hub. “Sport brings millions of dollars into our economy each year and this important upgrade will enable us to host national games that will bring more visitors to the city and put more money in the pockets of local businesses.” (The Northern Star)

An extensive upgrade, the project included an extension to the original grandstand roof, an expanded playing area that would make it suitable for AFL games — with the oval being the same width and only one metre shorter than the Sydney Cricket Ground — new change rooms and visitor amenities, a new electronic scoreboard, and a supplementary grandstand designed and constructed by Steel Post and Rail (SPR).

Offering everything from street furniture, grandstands and walkways to bus shelters, shade structures and fencing, SPR has been delivering quality, long-life products for outdoor projects for over 30 years. Industry specialists in public space offerings, SPR was the logical choice to help bring Oakes Oval up to par.

Briefed by Lismore City Council, the new grandstand was required to be covered, with comfort, functionality and durability key elements of the design. It was required to be accessible for all users and functional for grounds staff. In addition, it needed to be able to withstand a 1-in-500-year flood event — which was incorporated into the structure without sacrificing visual integrity — and feature maintenance-free finishes.

The resulting design from SPR sports a raised deck platform with comfortable bucket-style seating for over 200 sports fans, including a wheelchair parking zone. Wide walkways between seating rows to aide ease of movement, a wheelchair-accessible entry ramp, and a lockable storage area at the rear of the structure for secure and easy access of maintenance equipment. The grandstand’s skillion roof offers more than adequate shade coverage and the sloped angle ensures full visibility for enthralled spectators.

Constructed of hot-dip galvanised, maintenance-free steel framing and Colorbond metal cladding, flashing and roofing, the new Oakes Oval grandstand is the ultimate example of durability in a high-use, outdoor environment.

With the capacity to provide end-to-end services that streamline product delivery, Council was not required to engage additional design or engineering services when they commissioned SPR for the project. The company’s inhouse team was able to install the concrete slab that served as the foundation for the new grandstand, fabricate and install all structural steel framing, as well as the Colorbond metal roofing and cladding, and complete the fitout of the grandstand seating.

The final product is a boon to the community and a joy to sports enthusiasts. “The Oakes Oval redevelopment is not only great news for Lismore’s reputation as a regional sporting centre and a win for local sport fans, but it is also yet another important stepping stone in Lismore rebuilding for the future,” Mayor Smith said.


Client Lismore City Council
Location Lismore, NSW
Principal Contractor Bennett Constructions
Design & Install Steel Post and Rail

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