Ben Pike

THE Domain sporting fields could be converted from grass to synthetic in an effort to ­attract more office workers to the city.

NSW Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes is giving serious consideration to a request from the business community made this week.

Business Sydney executive director Paul Nicolaou, whose organisation represents more than 100 business and government organisations, said the green space on top of the ­Domain carpark is being ­underused because of constant flooding.

“The sporting facilities at the Domain are the only grounds in the CBD proper but can only be utilised for around three months a year,” he said in a letter to Mr Stokes this week.

“As for the rest of the year, they are inoperable due to the wet weather we’ve had for most of 2022, more of which we will no doubt continue to have.”

Sporting groups say they have been forced to cancel 10 weeks’ worth of sporting games for corporate customers this year.

Many corporate workers don’t bother making a trip into the city if they can’t play sport during lunchtime and choose instead to work from home.

“If we can transform these facilities into world-class synthetic playing fields it will have the longer-term effect of bringing more people into the city, enabling more CBD workers to maintain their mental and physical fitness, and most importantly, provide the overall community with a valuable asset,” Mr Nicolaou said.

The Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust has prepared a business case to create a synthetic surface at that loc­ation, however an investment decision is yet to be made.

Mr Stokes said: “While I’m always conscious of the environmental impact of synthetic fields … these upgrades would extend the life of the playing surfaces and allow more people to use them more often.”