HUNTER Stadium should have a museum displaying the memorabilia of the region’s top sporting stars, Venues NSW chairman John Quayle says.
Venues NSW, an arm of the NSW government that runs the stadium, believes such a museum would be a tourist attraction.
‘‘Part of our strategy is to have a sporting hall of fame within the stadium, like at the SCG or MCG,’’ Mr Quayle said.
‘‘You wouldn’t just set it up in a little room, it’d be a community-based museum and a hall of fame within the stadium.’’
Such a museum could include memorabilia from top rugby league and soccer players such as Andrew Johns, Paul Harragon, Clive Churchill, Craig Johnston, Ray Baartz and Cheryl Salisbury.
Other high-profile sports stars include motorcyclist Casey Stoner, surfer Mark Richards and Olympic gold-medal winning sailors Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen.
Mr Quayle said the $81million western grandstand, completed last April, would be a good place for such a museum.
‘‘It’s a magnificent stand that would be suited ideally to a proper museum,’’ he said.
He said the National Sports Museum at the MCG and the Bradman Museum at Bowral were good examples of sporting museums.
‘‘History is playing an increasingly important part in sport,’’ Mr Quayle said.
‘‘The younger generation are really starting to acknowledge the history of sport.’’
The Hunter Region Sporting Hall of Fame already exists, with about 300 inductees and memorabilia at Newcastle Museum in Honeysuckle.
Hall of Fame committee chairman Ken Clifford said having a museum at the stadium was a ‘‘great idea’’. ‘‘The more we can do to promote the efforts of people in the hall of fame the better,’’ Mr Clifford said.
Mr Clifford said the idea of having a sporting museum at the stadium ‘‘had been mentioned a number of times’’.
‘‘We don’t want to reinvent the wheel, so it would simply be a matter of people in charge of the stadium working it out with us,’’ he said.