Stadium for all seasons gets seating upgrade
Victorian sports fans are set to get a world-class 27,750 seat rectangular-pitch stadium, providing the best stadium for rugby league, rugby union and soccer the state has ever had, Premier Steve Bracks said today.
Announcing that Grocon was the Government’s preferred tender for the project, Mr Bracks said the ground would be further expanded to 31,500 seats but only if the Football Federation of Australia and the Melbourne Victory sign up to play at the stadium. ‘The new stadium will be bigger and better than first planned, providing seating capacity for rugby league, rugby union and soccer fans’, Mr Bracks said.
Thanks to the flexibility in the original design, we were able to adjust the project to accommodate the increased support in soccer we have witnessed in recent months. Today’s announcement increases the size of the stadium from 20,000 up to 31,500 seats.The 27,750 seat stadium would cost around $256 million and is due to be completed in 2009. Further funding would be required if the stadium was increased to 31,500 seats. Minister for Major Projects, Theo Theophanous, said the original design could easily be reconfigured to expand to 31,500 seats but only if the Football Federation of Australia and the Melbourne Victory come on board.
‘Whether we build a stadium with 31,500 seats or 27,750 seats is now in Melbourne Victory’s hands’, Mr Theophanous said. ‘Building a better stadium with increased capacity means additional funding is required but this new stadium will be extremely popular among Victoria’s avid sports fans. We will continue discussions with the Football Federation of Australia and the Melbourne Victory but now that we have our plans on the table we can’t afford to wait long’.
Minister for Sport and Recreation, James Merlino said the Government would build the stadium for the Melboure Storm and the Melbourne Football Club, but he hoped the Melbourne Victory would also decide to use the stadium as their home ground. ‘If they want the best possible venue for soccer they will jump at the opportunity to play here’, Mr Merlino said. ‘All football codes have solid supporter bases in sports-mad Victoria and this purpose-built stadium will add a unique and important component to Victoria’s sporting and major events infrastructure’.
The stadium will maintain the iconic bioframe roof design and house sports training and administration facilities which will rival the worlds best. The stadium would also provide world class administrative and training facilities for the Melbourne Football Club. The stadium will be built with strengthened foundations to allow future expansion. To lessen the impact on the states water supplies, the stadium would capture storm water for use in stadium facilities such as toilets.