Wade Park is in the box seat to be the Central West's "home of cricket" but the venue may be left without a major winter sporting code after the construction of Orange's $25 million dollar rectangular sporting field and precinct.
There's currently no timeline on the completion of the new stadium, which was a promised fulfilled in the March state election, as sporting groups and council discuss how the facility should best be designed and council makes the most of the opportunity.
Orange City Council Sports and Recreation Committee chairman Jason Hamling believed both Orange Hawks and Orange CYMS will take advantage of the new stadium, on the Northern Distributor, as a home venue.
"I would think so, if we've got a brand new rectangular stadium I don't see why they wouldn't both move out there," he said.
We're definitely happy at Waratahs but you've got to grow the game and promote the game and you'd have to check out all possibilities, both commercial and financially for the benefit of the code in Orange.Orange Tigers president Andrew Nelson
While both rugby union codes are firmly ensconced at their home grounds - Emus at Endeavour Oval and Orange City at Pride Park - Hamling said Australian rules football could return to Wade Park as a permanent fixture for the first time in decades.
"We had a meeting two months ago and the [Australian rules club] Orange Tigers were there and we'd think if that facility was available every Saturday they might consider moving down there," he said.
The Tigers played some of their formative years on the ground in the 1980s but Australian rules hasn't been played at the venue since an AFL Central West representative fixture in 2014, with weekly football being played at Bloomfield Oval until 2017 when the club moved to a new field at Waratahs.
However, Orange Tigers Australian Rules Football Club president Andrew Nelson said the club was still focusing long-term on improving facilities at Waratahs after installing a canteen and storage shed last year.
But he admitted having AFL played on Wade Park could help grow the game in the city.
"We're definitely happy at Waratahs but you've got to grow the game and promote the game and you'd have to check out all possibilities, both commercial and financially for the benefit of the code in Orange," he said.
I would think so, if we've got a brand new rectangular stadium I don't see why they wouldn't both move out there.Orange City Councillor Jason Hamling
"Obviously it's a great spot at Wade Park but the facilities need a lot of work and ideally you'd want to upgrade the facilities before moving and hoping to get AFL pre-season games or AFLW games here as well."
With the Tigers focused heavily on growing in North Orange around their current base at Waratahs, which they've been improving since moving there at the start of 2017, Nelson said it was unlikely the club would shift so soon after moving to their new home.
However, Mr Nelson said it could be an ideal spot for a second junior club springing up and emulating the Bathurst Giants' entry to the Central West AFL several years ago.
Wade Park is aiming to still be cricket's best venue west of the Blue Mountains after the $2.1 million cricketing centre of excellence is constructed - expected to be completed at the end of summer.
Cr Hamling said despite the sod being turned in February, a "few hiccups" meant tenders were expected to be completed and construction of the centre would begin in the coming months at Wade Park.
However, new turf nets are expected to be ready in the coming weeks.
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