$1 Billion MCG redevelopment ideas floated as first concept image is revealed
A concept image of the $1Billion MCG redevelopment has been revealed, while funding has been secured to complete the business case.
A rebuild of the southern stand, recently rebadged the Shane Warne Stand, is expected to boost the iconic Melbourne stadium’s capacity to 105,000 and feature best-in-class facilities for both event and non-event days.
The Victorian Government has announced $2 million in funding to complete the business case for the project, with the Melbourne Cricket Club having already funded and the first half.
The new grandstand would increase the height of the stadium, with lighting expected to be integrated into the roof, meaning the MCG’s six iconic light towers would become redundant. They are, however, expected to be retained and integrated into the new stand given their heritage value.
New restaurants and bars would feature in the stand, with the possibility of an integrated hotel, similar to Adelaide Oval’s five-star hotel, to provide additional revenue to fund the massive project.
The new stand would be opened up to its surroundings with Yarra Park-facing decks, while it would be better connected to transport links and potentially the Melbourne and Olympic Parks precinct. New elite player facilities would also be incorporated.
With the MCG set to host the opening ceremony for the 2026 Commonwealth Games and a chance to host the final for the 2027 Rugby World Cup, the major redevelopment isn’t expected to get under way until late 2027.
The Great Southern Stand, as it was originally known, opened in 1992 and has a capacity of around 45,000 – accounting for almost half the MCG’s 100,000 capacity – 95,000 of which is seated.
It’s expected the rebuild would be done in sections, as the northern stand was, meaning the ground would still be the largest oval venue for major events, such as the AFL Grand Final, during the project.
Chief executive Stuart Fox said the club was “very grateful” to the government for funding the business case to help deliver the “long-term project”.
“This funding will allow the MCC and the State Government to develop detailed plans around scope options, funding and timings for the possible future redevelopment of the MCG,” he said.
“We have a shared commitment to ensuring the MCG remains the People’s Ground, a world-class stadium and caters to everyone’s evolving needs into the future.”
Sports Minister Martin Pakula confirmed that the business case was part of government planning to ensure the ‘G remained the country’s premium international stadium.