- Sep 26, 2011
- AFL Club
September 2021 from the press today:Anyone know when it is going to start?
"Geelong sports fans can get a sneak peek at the future of their beloved Kardinia Park stadium.
Plans now on show give the best insight yet into how the city end of the Cats’ home ground is about to be revamped with $142 million from Victorian taxpayers.
The fifth and final stage of the stadium’s redevelopment is the most costly yet, but will cement it’s standing as the best sports venue in regional Australia, and a host for national football, soccer, cricket and rugby league fixtures.
Members of the public have until 5pm Wednesday, January 20 to comment on the plan put forward by the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust as part of the process for gaining approval from state Planning Minister Richard Wynne.
If all goes to plan, work will start in September, once the Cats have ended their home and away season.
That would allow the project to be unveiled at the club’s first home game of 2023, exactly 20 years after Cats bosses Brian Cook and Frank Costa started it.
Their crusade to rebuild the stadium was launched shortly after Cook arrived at the club in 1999 and realised how dilapidated the facilities were, and the dire state of the club’s finances.
Rather than shift all home games to the AFL’s shiny new Docklands facility — then known as Telstra Dome, now as Marvel Stadium — they released a concept plan for the stadium rebuild in 2001.
In May 2003 the Victorian premier — and Cats supporter — Steve Bracks, made the first big promise to the project — $13.5 million to help build the Reg Hickey Stand on the Moorabool St wing. Others contributed to the various stages over the next two decades, but most of the money came from state governments.
When the works are eventually done, GMHBA Stadium — as it is known these days — will be almost unrecognisable from what it was at the turn of the century.
The total invoice for the rebuild will stand at $335 million.
The Ford Stand, Gary Ablett Terrace and Polly Farmer Gate will all be toppled during the coming works, replaced by a 14,000-seat northern grandstand with a jagged roof.
It will increase the stadium’s capacity crowd from 36,000 to 40,000.
The concourse and entry plaza will become the venue’s main entry point, allowing Cats fans and other sports lovers to pour in off Moorabool St.
But design firm Populous says it will have broader public appeal, pledging it will be “a stand for the city as opposed to a sport” and create “an enduring piece of public architecture that welcomes all to not just the stadium, but to Kardinia Park and the city of Geelong.”
A new function room and corporate suites will be spread across four levels of the new facility.
Improved changerooms will also be added for athletes, and there will be better provisions for security staff, ground officials, media and an office for the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, which runs the venue.
The Geelong Cricket Club will have its off-field facilities upgraded, and also score a stand-alone indoor training facility near its present outdoor complex."