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Newcastle Knights fans will experience a new look EnergyAustralia Stadium in 2004.
Construction work on the Stadium's new Eastern Grandstand has been ongoing since the Knights last home game in 2003.
The first stage of the development, due for completion for the Knights first home game in round six of the 2004 NRL season, will see 5,500 permanent seats on the Eastern Concourse, replacing the old concourse and hill.
Work on the grandstand superstructure and the remaining concourse area will continue throughout the year in readiness for the 2005 season.
Once completed, the new Eastern Grandstand will provide permanent seating for around 12,000 spectators, with more than half undercover. The new facility will also include a corporate level, new food, beverage and rest room facilities, as well as disability access to all levels of the grandstand.
The corporate level of the Eastern Grandstand will also double as function rooms, catering for weddings, business seminars and other private and corporate events.
The work on the eastern side of the Stadium will bring the facility up to national sports and entertainment standards and provide a home ground that the Knights, their fans and the wider Hunter community can be proud to call their own.
Other work undertaken at EnergyAustralia Stadium during the off season includes the relocation of bucket seats to the northern and southern concourses, and the construction of temporary corporate boxes on the northern and southern hills. Remedial work will also be undertaken to improve the amenity of the Western Grandstand.
While work continues on the Eastern Grandstand, the Hunter International Sports Centre Trust, the body responsible for the care and control of the Stadium and surrounding sports precinct, is continuing to work to secure Federal Government funding for the redevelopment of the existing Western Grandstand.