Mariners unveil stadium upgrade proposal

Mike Charlesworth has been trying to improve Central Coast Stadium since he became the Mariners' owner in 2013

Central Coast Mariners have tabled a bid to the local council on Tuesday to take over the management of Central Coast Stadium and upgrade the venue.

The Mariners hope to turn the Gosford-based stadium into "a world class entertainment hub", including a hotel overlooking the adjacent Brisbane Water, and make the facility's earning potential a seven-day-per-week proposition.

Central Coast have been pushing to acquire the stadium's management rights for years.

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In a statement on the club's website, the Mariners explained they had formally presented their plans to Central Coast Council - the stadium's owners and operators - on Tuesday.

"Mariners' owner Mike Charlesworth has instructed the club to formally present a management rights proposal to council, citing concerns that the current business model does not facilitate best practice which contributes to the lack of growth and improvement of Central Coast Stadium," the statement read.

"Central Coast Stadium was officially opened in February 2000 and has remained relatively untouched during its 17-years-of-existence which has resulted in the venue become dated and in need of immediate attention.

"The Mariners' five stage concept has been devised to ensure Central Coast Stadium meets stadium best practice and becomes a weather friendly, football friendly and digitally connected stadium that can facilitate Westfield W-League double headers and more.

"Following the upgrades, Central Coast Stadium would be in contention to host concerts, bigger events and trade seven days a week through cafe and retail precinct."

The first stage of upgrades would include erection of dual big screens, coverage of the northern stand, uniform yellow seats for the stadium, additional change rooms, Wi-Fi compatibility, an improved sound system, better corporate facilities and a retail and cafe precinct.

Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp called on community leaders to attend Central Coast's match against Perth Glory on January 28 to kick-start discussions on how to improve the stadium.

"New revenue opportunities presented by the stadium will empower us to invest long term towards our football resources. Our football will reap the rewards of the club's growth and it is important to understand that this is a long term play for us to compete with the big four clubs who are growing bigger and faster every day," Mielekamp said. 

"Unfortunately, in the last 17 years the only thing that has changed at the stadium is the height of the palm trees.

"Whilst it is the small day-to-day things that hinder events at the stadium such as a poor sound system, long bar and canteen lines, accessibility and weather protection – these frustrations, if unaddressed, are merely the tip of the iceberg.

"The worst thing that can happen is nothing. Our main priority is to drive change and growth. If the Mariners aren’t going to do it, then who is?"

No A-League club runs or owns their own stadium.