Victoria’s AFL stadiums set to receive $500m in state-funded upgrades
AFL grounds will get nearly $500 million in state-funded upgrades, with almost half the cash going to a makeover of Etihad Stadium.
In a $225 million deal with the AFL, the grand final will stay at the MCG until at least 2057, while Etihad Stadium and its surrounding precinct will be upgraded for rectangular sports like soccer and rugby, its women’s change facilities will be improved and there will be guaranteed access for other codes and major events.
The deal also means the Melbourne Cricket Club Trust has the security to undertake a major redevelopment of the MCG.
“This is for the fans – giving them the best venues, better access to the sports they love, and keeping the Grand Final where it belongs – at the MCG – for the next 40 years,” Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire unveiled details of the precinct redevelopment on the AFL Footy Show on Thursday night.
“A concourse will be built and a redevelopment of Richmond station … so that you’ll never have to put your foot on the road again at Brunton Avenue or Punt Road,” he said.
“There’ll be cafes, there’ll be food trucks, there’ll be all sorts of areas. You know what we saw on grand final night in Swan Street, that’s what it’ll be like at the MCG and Etihad (Stadium).”
The money will come out of the 2018-19 state budget, alongside $241.6 million for suburban and regional grounds.
Women’s football will get a stack of cash, including $20 million to redevelop Ikon Park into the home of AFLW, $13 million for stage two of the Moorabbin Oval redevelopment, $10 million will be spent to improve Casey Fields and Whitten Oval, and Victoria Park will get $2 million in infrastructure upgrades.
The budget also provides $60 million for community sporting grants and $5 million for Community Sports Infrastructure Loans.
Source: Fox Sports