New lease of life for Olympic Park
A new chapter has begun in the life of Melbourne’s Olympic Park with its redevelopment as a football oval and running track now open and available to the public, Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett announced today.
Speaking at Collingwood Football Club’s first training session on the new ground, Mr Hodgett said the $11.3 million redevelopment had given Olympic Park a new lease of life.
“With athletics moving to a purpose built facility at Lakeside Stadium, new possibilities opened up for Olympic Park which was definitely showing its age. With the 1980s grandstand removed, the redeveloped oval opens up new public green space and a wonderful view of the Botanical Gardens across the river,” Mr Hodgett said.
“The redevelopment of Olympic Park and the $366 million Melbourne Park redevelopment project, currently under construction on the other side of Olympic Boulevard, are all part of the evolution of Melbourne’s legendary sporting precinct.
“No other city has so many world-class venues and facilities so close to the centre of town, it really is one of Melbourne’s greatest assets,” Mr Hodgett said.
Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty said Melbourne’s reputation as a sporting capital was built on its impressive collection of sports stadiums and its ability to create quality venues that everyone could enjoy.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is proud of the ongoing improvements made to the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Precinct including establishing the National Tennis Centre and Margaret Court Arena as the precinct’s third indoor arena,” Mr Delahunty said.
“We’re just as proud of Olympic Park Oval, the latest addition to our enviable suite of sporting venues and green spaces in the heart of our sporting capital.
“It is pleasing that the facility will be open to the public to use the ground for a leisurely kick or jog around its new three lane running track, when not being used for training purposes,” Mr Delahunty said.
The Chair of Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust, Russell Caplan said the redevelopment was a great asset to the ever-evolving precinct, providing excellent new training facilities for the Collingwood Football Club as well as a new public space for the Victorian community.
“The redevelopment provides additional green space, which will be accessible to members of the community, sporting groups and schools,” Mr Caplan said.
“It is also important to note the redevelopment has been carefully planned to ensure the Olympic heritage of this oval is maintained and honoured, including the relocation of the famous John Landy-Ron Clarke statue to the site where the iconic act of sportsmanship occurred.”
Collingwood Football Club President Eddie McGuire said the Collingwood Football Club was extremely proud to be part of this magnificent precinct.
“Collingwood is the biggest sporting club in Australia and having direct access to an MCG sized training oval of this quality complements our state-of-the-art facilities at the Westpac Centre and provides our club with a training base that is the equal to any in the world,” Mr McGuire said.
“We have enormous respect for the history and heritage of this famous site and we look forward to working closely with the Coalition Government and Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust to ensure that this oval is available – not just for Collingwood – but also for greater community engagement.”