The Saints Sports Bar has been a boon for Saint Marys Rugby League Club, bringing in the under-35 demographic. Images: Supplied.

FDC Construction has won best “Hospitality Buildings Refurbishment $10-$30 million” at the 2023 Master Builders Association Excellence in Construction Awards for the St Marys Rugby League Club $25 million Western Foyer & Saints Event Centre development.

St Marys Rugby League Club CEO Rod Desborough said it was great recognition for the Club.

“We were very excited to receive this industry award, chosen among an excellent field of entrants,” he said.

“The development was the realisation of a long-term strategic plan and turned a dream into reality – the end result exceeded all our expectations.”

The renovation, which was first unveiled twelve months ago, included reorienting the main entrance to the club and creating a distinctive façade. The new foyer was created featuring LED walls with 3D cascading waterfalls and marine life, complemented by sophisticated decor and lighting.

Saints Sports Bar is the real highlight of the redevelopment. The American-styled sports bar was designed for the ultimate audio-visual presentation of all sports, with a massive 4.8m x 2.7m screen, a 3m x 1.69m screen and forty-five 4K LED screens. A state-of-the-art speaker system creates a stadium-like experience where patrons feel like they are at the game.

The long-awaited Saints Event Centre offers six rooms, over 500 sqm of flexible, stylish and contemporary event space, with state-of-the-art audio-visual technology. Custom-built for multi-day conferencing and gala events, including weddings, the Saints Event Centre provides full-service event solutions with premium facilities.

Desborough congratulated FDC on the win, saying they “nailed the brief” and delivered the development on time and on budget. The brief to FDC and Bergstrom Architects was to create a building and facilities that were unique, created a real wow factor and would be deemed some of the best in the industry.

“The way in which members and the community have embraced the development has been overwhelming, and very rewarding and satisfying for the Board.

The award was received by representatives of FDC Construction, Bergstrom Architects, Club CEO Rod Desborough, Vice President David Cartwright and Director Joe Borg.

A new and increased membership

Since the completion of the redevelopment, the club’s membership has increased, with a club spokesperson telling Club Management that not only had membership numbers increased, but so had its membership catchment area thanks to both Saints Sports Bar and Saints Events Centre attracting new markets.

“We are drawing members north from the lower Hawkesbury, east of the mountains, west of the M7 and south into Penrith across the M4, so our expectations of natural growth have been realised.”

Saints Sports Bar has been a particular boon for St Marys Rugby League Club, drawing in the under-35 crowd. The intimate booths with their own screens and adjustable sound systems have been particularly popular among this new crowd.

“Our coverage of combat sports, including boxing and UFC has exploded our numbers in this area. This coupled with a fully equipped bar, 18 beers on tap, tap cocktails and sports bar menu is a real hit with members.”

The wow factor of the main entrance has also impressed visitors, with members loving the wall-to-wall LED screens, which the club has programmed with alternate themes: jungle, underwater and a Santa’s Workshop theme for the holidays.

The Holiday Inn Sydney St Marys has also seen increased occupancy and interest in short-stay accommodation, particularly with corporate and industry events, and a notable increase in large social events like weddings and anniversaries.

“The redevelopment also puts us in a prime position to capitalise on future market growth with the introduction of the new Western Sydney International Airport,” concluded the spokesperson.

Members love the custom LED walls at the back of the new grand foyer.

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