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Kelly Slater Wave Co project keeps growing on the Sunshine Coast

New information emerged on the KSWCo facility slated for the Sunshine Coast at Coolum Beach including stadium seating and a $1.1Billion price tag.

At the center of the project (besides the Kelly Slater Wave itself) would be a 20,000-seat spectator stadium built for surf fans to sit back and take in competitions including WSL qualifying events.

Andrew Stark, WSL Australasia General Manager, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the wave pool and sports infrastructure would help the area’s bid for the 2032 Olympics.

Queensland developers Consolidated Properties are working with the World Surf League, who owns KSWCo, to build the project. Current plans call for a hotel, restaurants, bars and shopping. Another component is a six-star eco-resort and environmental education center and station for the area’s unique wetland habitat.

John John Florence at the Kelly Slater Wave Company
The new facility, if modeled after Lemoore, will most likely be for the professional-level surfer and elite athlete set. Photo WSL

But first, the WSL has to get approval from the local council. This should be easier for the League to do in sport-minded Australia than it has been in other places. Earlier this year they ran into a not-in-my-backyard scenario in Florida.

Still, one wonders how the WSL will pull off a massive sports stadium and mall complex that still blends with an eco-resort and wetlands nature center.

By offering a little something for everyone when introducing a project, the WSL can always knock off a few components to appease local residents, thus reshaping the project to get building permissions.

The local Sunshine Coast Council confirmed that they want more information before going forward.

One recurring question during this venture is who exactly the WSL is courting for their facility. The Lemoore location works well as a competitive arena and elite private party facility, but leaves out the average surfer. Occasionally though, Joe six-pack gets treated to a few KSWCo waves as in this clip by Ian Glover.

“It is understood World Surfing League is undertaking public consultation on its proposed development,” a spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald. “Council officers indicated that they will be interested to understand more details about the proposal and the results of the community engagement process.”

If the plan moves ahead seamlessly (rare in the world of wave pools), the Sydney Morning Herald reports it could open by 2021.

Kelly Slater, noting that this would be the first KSWCo outside of the USA added, “I can’t wait. The Sunshine Coast seems like a perfect place to start. There is a very healthy and deep surf community and I’m sure there will be no shortage of people ready to surf it. I don’t really know what impact it could have but surfing is a big sport in Australia and any advancements in the sporting side could potentially help the 2032 Olympics bid.”


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