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AFL kicks on with stadium upgrade

05 Dec 2018

By David Schout

The AFL is moving forward with its $225 million plan to upgrade Marvel Stadium, having sought expressions of interest for stage one works in recent months.

The government-funded Docklands redevelopment – still in its planning infancy – proposes upgrades to both the stadium and the surrounding concourse, all while minimising downtime.

In September and November, the AFL sought EOIs from project managers and consultants to assist with the works, which are unlikely to begin before 2020.

The large-scale upgrades propose:

A greater, “more vibrant” connectivity with the stadium and both the CBD and Southern Cross Station;

A “major expansion” of the eastern (or city side) wing of the stadium;

New public space on the southern end of the concourse v; and

Overall in-stadium improvements.

The AFL’s current headquarters on Harbour Esplanade are set to be redeveloped as part of the works.

While the exact relocation location is unknown, the AFL website reported earlier this year that the headquarters could remain in Docklands, on currently empty land at the western end of Docklands Drive, adjacent to Ron Barassi Snr Park.

There have also been confirmed reports that the Channel 7 building next door will be part of the Harbour Esplanade redevelopment.

AFL national venues manager Simon Gorr told Docklands News in May that any expansion on the western side of the precinct would not go over Harbour Esplanade.

“The City of Melbourne and Development Victoria have made it clear that they are not interested in that,” he said.

In April the Andrews government announced it would allocate $225 million to the project in a landmark deal with the AFL.

The considerable government input means the stadium will remain a multi-sport and entertainment venue.

“We have made a commitment to the government that it is a venue that is open for all sports, and we’ve committed to that for 30 years,” AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said after finalising the deal.

“We have always had that attitude and this is now contractually guaranteed.”

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