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The Panthers’ home ground will be shut for entire 2025 season

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panthers, bluebet stadium, penrith stadium

When you win as many consecutive premierships as the Penrith Panthers have, I guess you deserve to undertake upgrades at your home fortress.

The NSW Government have unveiled plans for a new BlueBet Stadium out in Penrith, that will start construction during the 2025 season, meaning the Panthers will have to find a new home for that year — announced to be CommBank Stadium in Parramatta.

The stadium upgrade will only see the capacity of the NRL venue grow by a measly 2,500, bringing the total capacity up to 25,000. However the improvements go beyond the actual stadium itself; a facelift will also be given to the surrounding training fields.

Panthers to upgrade BlueBet Stadium

If you’ve been out to Penrith Stadium, you’d know the place is definitely in need of a tune-up, with the growing and intense fandom exposing multiple issues with the ground.

Developments at the actual stadium are centred around building a new western grandstand, where the changerooms are, and improving the food and beverage outlets as well.

In a press release from the Penrith Panthers, the club claimed that the upgrades are designed to improve the game-day experience for both the fans and players. For the players, four new change-rooms are going to be built in the western grandstand, which is the main stand at the venue.

When it’s finished, the venue will look similar; the two existing grandstands will still be there, along with the hills at either end; over 3,000 fans and community members gave feedback that that’s what they wanted.

penrith panthers, nathan cleary
Penrith’s enjoying an unrivalled period of dominance off the back of half Nathan Cleary (right).

But the western grandstand will be torn down and rebuilt, into a steeper, taller reconfigured structure that brings fans closer to the action, while the eastern grandstand will be refurbished — both help to increase the ground capacity to 25,000.

In what Penrith are calling ‘a win for the fans’, there will be additional food and beverage stalls at the new BlueBet Stadium, which will reduce wait times and improve customer experience.

There will also be upgrades made to the scoreboards – always welcomed by fans at sporting venues – new sound systems, and better lighting.

With all these improvements being made to BlueBet Stadium, the goal from the local and state government is to transform the stadium in a modern venue for both sporting and entertaining purposes.

Additionally, the training field outside the ground will be remodelled to create a space for outdoor community, sporting and entertainment events.

Panthers to play 2025 season out of CommBank Stadium

In order for the new BlueBet Stadium to be built, the Panthers are going to have to move out for a year, with the ground closed from the end of the 2024 NRL season.

It’s expected that the Panthers will play their first game back at the new look venue at the start of the 2026 season, which if history has shown us anything in past three years, could easily be the start of Penrith’s six-peat campaign.

However, construction timeframes always change on these things – just use Allianz Stadium as an example – which means these thing are based on the quickness and procurement processes.

penrith stadium, bluebet stadium, panthers
Image from Penrith Panthers

So for the 2025 season when Penrith is homeless, Parramatta’s CommBank Stadium will make-do as a makeshift home ground.

How will this go down with the Parramatta locals? Probably like a cup of cement. But unfortunately for Eels fans, it makes the most sense that Penrith play there as it is the closest NRL venue — and remember how the Panthers see Accor Stadium in Olympic Park as an away venue (*insert eye-roll*).

2025 will also be quite an interesting year for the Panthers as it will be their first without one of their favourite sons Jarome Luai who has signed with the Wests Tigers from that season.

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