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Hallelujah: Wests Tigers finally admit their future is here in Campbelltown

Scenes like this could become a regular sight with Wests Tigers in talks to play more games at Campbelltown.

It seems that finally Wests Tigers, the nomads of the NRL, have accepted that their future lies in Macarthur and outer South Western Sydney – sooner rather than later.

Club chairman Lee Hagipantelis, let the cat out of the bag in a speech he recently gave at a Western Suburbs juniors presentation at St Greg’s.

A person who was present has told the South West Voice in Macarthur that Mr Hagipantelis revealed that discussions were under way with Campbelltown Council for a new deal for the use of Campbelltown Stadium.

The Wests Tigers chairman told the audience, according to our source, that now the state government had abandoned plans for new stadium near the new airport at Badgerys Creek, the club accepted the future of the joint venture was in Macarthur and playing out of Campbelltown Stadium. Our source told us Mr Hagipantelis said the club was looking at a new stadium deal where the Wests Tigers would play two thirds of their home games at Campbelltown from next season in 2023.

He also said that the club was part of discussions council was having with various stakeholders regarding the use of a new sports centre of excellence located at Campbelltown Stadium.

The South West Voice put all this in an email to Mr Hagipantelis yesterday morning. His reply landed in our inbox just after 6pm last night.

“Yes, I indeed had the honour of addressing the parents/carers of the young men who have been selected to represent Western Suburbs at St Gregory’s,’’ he said in his response.

“I may however [have] been a little misquoted to you.

“I affirmed the commitment of Wests Tigers to the south-west region of Sydney, and in particular Campbelltown.

“I made it very clear that in my view the future of the Wests Tigers lies in the south-west,’’ Mr Hagipantelis said.

“I confirmed that Campbelltown Council had put forward a proposal for the refurbishment of Campbelltown Stadium which was irresistible.

“I advised those present that Wests Tigers needed to secure a permanent presence in order to establish a home ground advantage enjoyed by many other clubs.

“I also expressed concern in the lack of commitment as yet by the state government to a stadium in the south-west, either Liverpool or Campbelltown.

Home ground advantage: Lee Hagipantelis.

“I also advised that Wests Tigers were engaged in discussions, well under way, for the establishment of a sports academy/centre of excellence in the south-west to complement what we have undertaken at Concord.

“There was no discussion or commitment to a certain number of games or anything of that kind,’’ he said.

Mr Hagipantelis, who is also the principal of the NRL side’s major sponsor, Liverpool based Brydens Lawyers, said it now falls to the state and/or federal governments “to recognise the importance and need for a world-class stadium in the south-west which would provide an incredible sporting and cultural resource.’’

The South West Voice asked George Greiss, the new Liberal mayor of Campbelltown for a response from council’s point of view.

“I can confirm there are negotiations taking place between council and Wests Tigers,’’ he said.

“I have only been in the job a couple of weeks and have not had an opportunity to participate in such discussions yet.

“But knowing that Wests Tigers are making positive noises about playing most of their games here is very pleasing.

“If it goes ahead, it will strengthen our position in trying to get state and federal funding to upgrade Campbelltown Stadium to a world class facility,’’ Cr Greiss said.

Local MP Greg Warren also welcomed the change of tune from Wests Tigers.

Mr Warren, who coincidentally held separate meetings with Mayor Greiss and the Wests Tigers hierarchy of Lee Hagipantelis and CEO Justin Pascoe yesterday, said these developments bode well for making the case for stadium upgrade funding.

“This is great news that the Wests Tigers are considering playing most of their home games here in the near future,’’ he said.

“I really hope it happens, it’s what this area deserves, all the rugby league supporters out here.

“I am certainly very supportive of the Wests Tigers becoming part of Macarthur, and also any moves to upgrade the stadium to a world class, all weather sporting facility.

“I have made it clear that I am prepared to help out achieve this goal.’’

15 Responses to Hallelujah: Wests Tigers finally admit their future is here in Campbelltown

  1. G.Kelleher February 1, 2022 at 1:17 pm #

    This would be a good thing and we could start by not playing any games at the Stadium.

    • Eric Kontos February 1, 2022 at 3:16 pm #

      Parramatta Stadium?

      • Anonymous February 6, 2022 at 7:21 am #

        It’s good news about campbelltown. Home of the MAGPIES now lets get rid of Balmain and get the MAGPIES back.

    • Anonymous February 1, 2022 at 9:06 pm #

      Obviously there’s some nice coin thrown at the club to do this. It’ll help the image – makes a lot of sense.

  2. Donna February 1, 2022 at 4:18 pm #

    Rather Leichhardt oval than Campbelltown any time

  3. Mark Lonergan February 1, 2022 at 5:04 pm #

    I approached certain people in the club during the past 10 years that West Tigers need to move and be based all their training headquarters out of Campbelltown they need a put their roots and future here in the biggest growth area in south western Sydney.

    Now make the move and don’t waist another twenty years wake up

    • West Tiger # 1 February 2, 2022 at 12:05 pm #

      The problem with Leichhardt is no room for capacity improvements,100% on your thoughts of Leichhardt it’s the
      EPE-Theatre of hype of Rugby League its amazing atmosphere from the time you get there until you all walk down some times miles to your car to go home,loved it 50 yrs ago and always fascinating to hear the noises around the ground on radio or TV at
      game time.
      I would hope we never lose Leichhardt as one of our homes, same applies to Lidcombe Oval not sure if they could improve that wonderful home ground for the Maggies. These 3 grounds should be the only ones used as home games – it’s nice to have country games but not at the expense of missing out on

  4. Anonymous February 1, 2022 at 5:23 pm #

    It’d take a few seasons to restore the faith of traditional Wests supporters who have been forgotten for the last 20 odd years, but it’d be a really smart move in the long term. I think it’s just more empty talk from a lawyer/ salesman though. Let’s be honest, the only smart decision they’ve made since they sacked Tim Sheens, was to hire Tim Sheens again. They are the dumbest club in the NRL by a country mile, so hoping for some more smart moves might be hoping for too much because they might’ve just used all the “smart” up on Sheensy 😂

    The Magpies should’ve stood alone, they’d be 20 years ahead of where they’re at now.

    • Anonymous February 5, 2022 at 10:25 am #

      One thing you are forgetting. If Balmain didn’t merge with Wests the Magpies were dead. The Tigers could have stood alone the Magpies could not. Check your history.

  5. Anonymous February 1, 2022 at 6:06 pm #

    Rename the club and totally commit to the area.
    Western Suburbs MacArthur Magpies.

    They have wasted nearly 20yrs.

  6. Neville Kelleher February 1, 2022 at 8:44 pm #

    Way to go Wests tigers it’s taken some time for someone to admit that Campbelltown is the place for them and the quicker this happens the better for all involved.
    With all the junior teams in the area and the home ground advantage speaks volumes.

  7. Mark February 2, 2022 at 8:01 am #

    If only I could believe it! 22 years we have been waiting so how much of a political stunt is this latest press release.

  8. Kev February 6, 2022 at 3:24 am #

    Let’s go Dolphins ……, Western Suburbs has been forgotten in this merger except when money is needed. Too little to late!

  9. Shane sheridan February 6, 2022 at 7:44 am #

    Money rules they won’t leave Bankwest or stadium Australia

  10. Anonymous February 6, 2022 at 10:53 pm #

    This is very pleasing to hear Wests Tigers should never have left Campbelltown in the first place. With the stadium upgrade they can share it with MacArthur Bulls and I’ve got no doubt both clubs will become successful. Let’s hope it happens as there is an abundance of junior talent out there. Great news as myself and many others have been agitating for this for a while now.

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