Marvel Stadium plans imminent
By Sean Car
Long-awaited plans for the $225 million redevelopment of Marvel Stadium and surrounding precinct in Docklands are expected to be released soon, after the state government reaffirmed its financial commitment to the AFL.
Despite the AFL suffering major economic setbacks due to the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the state government said it was still committed to revamping the stadium as planned last month.
‘’The government has made a commitment to provide $225 million towards the redevelopment of Marvel Stadium to benefit sports fans and the wider community,” a state government spokesperson told Docklands News.
“We have not been informed of any change to the AFL’s plans regarding the delivery of the project.”
Under a deal announced in 2018 keeping the AFL Grand Final at the MCG until 2057, the state government is expected to provide land for a new AFL House at the end of Docklands Drive in NewQuay (near Ron Barassi Snr Park) in addition to a pledged $225 million to overhaul the stadium and its surrounds.
The plans to revitalise the AFL-owned stadium, for which the AFL recently struck a deal with banks to keep the league alive, are expected to transform the surrounding precinct into a seven-day-a-week activated area for Docklands and the broader community.
“I’m excited about having a venue that becomes a destination pre- and post-match, I’m excited about having a venue that hopefully works seven days a week, and not just match days, I’m excited about opening up this precinct to the water in Melbourne and which develops the area,” AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said.
A report released by the AFL in early March said stadium upgrade plans would be revealed “within weeks”, however the AFL has since confirmed that the announcement has been delayed due to the impacts of COVID-19.
The AFL’s head of corporate affairs Jay Allen said a project date was “yet to be confirmed.”
“The work of the project is continuing, our timeline presently is dictated by circumstances outside our control,” he said.
“When we in a position to share any milestones and dates we will. The redevelopment of the stadium and surrounding precinct will proceed when it is deemed appropriate and safe to do so.”
“Stadium and surrounding precinct designs are progressing as planned. When designs are finalised, we can’t wait to showcase them.”
Mr Allen said the Docklands community would continue to be engaged on the project, having already received more than 4000 responses to its community placemaking survey since the initial stages of the project •