Waverley Park (VFL Park)

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Waverley Park (VFL Park)

Ground Dimensions during time as actual AFL Ground:
200 m x 160 m (fence to fence).

Playing area:
182 m 142 m.
Goals run North to South.
Record Crowd: 92,935 for Hawthorn v Collingwood in 1981.
Ground Capacity: 76,000.
Car Park spaces: 25,000.
Lighting: Four light towers plus lights on the members stand.


First game at VFL Park: April 18th 1970

Original Plans

Ground Capacity would have been:
166,648.
Today



All of the outer stands and half the members stands have been demolished and replaced with housing. The other half of the members stand has been converted into the headquarters for the Hawthorn Football Club, a gym and a few shops.​

Some YouTube videos on Waverley Park

V.F.L Waverley Opens 1970 Fitzroy v Geelong

3D model with accompanying snippets of commentary to help preserve the memory of the stadium.

Waverley Park visit 2004

Peter Donegan over a full VFL Park Waverley 1984 Preliminary Final Day Essendon v Collingwood

Wayne Daniel winning six at VFL Park, World Series Cricket Australia v West Indies 24 January 1978

Remembering VFL Park!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4tygaDM3_c

VFL Round 5 1984 - Carlton v Collingwood
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hsUug4ho2w

In the Moment - When the lights went out at Waverley Park
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vs_2kybFCr4

Lights Go Out At Waverley Park
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qL5Oo8rLCt8


Superboard Marketing Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzF07-UW_v4

Do you remember? Hawthorn v Sydney R22 1999 Last AFL match at Waverley
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHQmoAV5cC4

Do You Remember? Hawthorn v Fremantle R22 1998 Jason Dunstall’s Final Game
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IdFoZm-n6U

Hawthorn Vs Collingwood 92,935 fans crams into VFL Park Round 11 1981
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BfGQ89spHw

VFL Round 11 1981 - Hawthorn v Collingwood
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZRFizcG9Qo

1984 Ad for VFL Park (Waverley) "The Home of Football" (AFL)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTo4Z09rigE

Kiss Live VFL Park 1980 Melbourne Australia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nhHd-_DEXA

KISS 1980 Melbourne, Australia VFL Park News Report On Show
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDksIyg0tgw

VFL Park (Waverley) Comfort's Our Goal (AFL) 1984
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a-fyRQOvCg

Angry Anderson Bound For Glory Live 1991 VFL Park
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7J2madZVFA

The day 'Arctic Park' froze over | 2 Minute Tales | AFL
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSoI6uiWM50
 
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The information on Waverley is a little scarce on the internet. Why was the 150,000+ capacity halted? And if it were to go through, would the AFL have made Waverley the current equivalent of the MCG?
 
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#3
The information on Waverley is a little scarce on the internet. Why was the 150,000+ capacity halted? And if it were to go through, would the AFL have made Waverley the current equivalent of the MCG?
All the information was in Allen Aylett's autobiography. Summed up, Victorian Premier John Cain was an MCC Member, that's the only reason it didnt go ahead, of course it went deeper into that.

The redevelopment was supposed to occur in 1982, so that by 1985 the Grand Final would be held there.
 
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Waverley Park had problems from various angles. First there was train line between Ferntree Gully on the Belgrave line to Huntingdale on the Dandenong line. This line would have had stops at Monash University, Waverley Park and Rowville. It was never built.

The was suppose to be a bus terminal built there. No train line, no bus terminal.

After the 1981 VFL Season directors planned to increase capacity to 104,000, with the VFL Grand Final planned to be played there from 1985. Governments discussions stopped this happening.

The planned 166,648 seat stadium can still be seen today. It just the eight bays of the members stand that are left were extended all around the ground.

 
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Bunk Moreland

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#5
The 160k was never going to happen, too much of a threat to the G. It was just someone’s wet dream.

To be honest I’m glad it didn’t… it wasn’t a great place to watch footy, the seats were a long way from the action (the slope was ridiculously slight), the top of that members stand was like being on another planet. Also it wasn’t needed, would be good for the GF, any other game it would have been half-empty and lack atmosphere.


I do wish there was still an AFL ground there, but with a sensible capacity (< 80k) and redeveloped a bit to modernise it. And with transport of course.

It was never going to last, as soon as the time came for it to be upgraded the AFL was always going to look for a better location. The lack of a train line was a huge factor.
 

nick1408

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#6
All the information was in Allen Aylett's autobiography. Summed up, Victorian Premier John Cain was an MCC Member, that's the only reason it didnt go ahead, of course it went deeper into that.

The redevelopment was supposed to occur in 1982, so that by 1985 the Grand Final would be held there.
Some government dignatries get a membership to the MCC. It is against the position, not the name of the person though. I think at the moment it is the Queen, PM, GG and premier. Not sure about any others though
 

Oliver09

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#8
The major problem for Waverley was the size of the ground. The fence from goal to goal was close to 200m apart & wing to wing was around 160m. The seats were just to far away from the play. The size of the ground produced some great footy & made good tv but at the ground it was a real battle to see the game properly. If the ground dimensions were the same as the MCG or even Etihad it would've been a lot easier to see the game at the ground.

The death knell for Waverley to many fans was when it became the home ground for St Kilda & Hawthorn. Before then the ground was a neutral venue & you'd get Ess v Carl v Coll there & used to get some great crowds. Every club used to get a couple of home games there each year but once it became a ground exclusive to 2 clubs it seemed to suffer a big drop in crowds. The Southern Stand was built as well around this time so big drawing games got scheduled at the MCG.
 
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Thread starter #9
Does anyone have any photos of Waverley from past or present?
Here is a collection of pictures of Waverley Park over the years. More will be added as they found.

1959 - The VFL Executive Committee is instructed by the clubs to proceed to obtain a ground for the League.
1962 September - The Executive report that they have secured over 212 acres of grazing and market garden land in Mulgrave.
1964 - Plans are announced for a 157,000 seat stadium.
1966 January - first sod turned by Sir Kenneth Luke, VFL President
1967 - Works begin on the ground. The surface of the oval is 9 metres below the surrounding area.
1970 April - The first game was played at VFL Park, Fitzroy v Geelong​
1971 - Extension works start at the stadium, building a dining room and more bays of the stand
1972 - First final played to the ground, Elimination Final St.Kilda v Essendon.
1976 - The 16 bay members stand is completed.
1977 - Light towers installed.
1978 - World Series Cricket played at the ground.
1979 - Ground wins Association of Consulting Engineers merit award for its excellent structural engineering.
1980 - The ground is suggested as a venue for the 1988 Olympic Games.
1981 - A round crowd of 79,326 see Essendon v Collingwood on May 23. On June 8 that record was broken when 92,935 saw Collingwood v Hawthorn. It is agreed that the ground capacity be extended to 104,000.
1982 - Video matrix screen is in operation for the first time.
1986 - Mural installed on the front of the members stand.
1990 - The Waverley Reds Baseball Club use the ground as their home ground
1991 September - Due to the building of the Great Southern Stand at the MCG the AFL Grand Final is played at the ground, Hawthorn defeated West Coast.
1994 - The first extra time final is played when North Melbourne and Hawthorn scores are equal at the final siren.
1996 June - A power failure causes the ground to be blacked out during the third quarter in a match between Essendon and St.Kilda. The remaining 40 minutes of the match are played on the following Tuesday as two twenty minute halves.
1999 August - last AFL game played, Hawthorn v Sydney
2003 - Outer stands and half of the Members Stand are pulled down
 
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Mitchell Madness

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#10
that last game was something special, unfortunately, Victoria park closing the same day made it lose it's shine

official crowd was only 70k, but anyone who was there, knows it was more

people were sitting/standing in the aisles, some ontop of the roof behind the goals (the low stand) would have pushed 100k
 

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If the oval wasn't so big and there wasn't such a huge distance between the fence and the boundary line and the banks of seats went upwards instead of outwards and it was accessible via public transport and it wasn't in a rain belt... it mightn't have been too bad a venue. :footy:
 
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#13
The final nail for Waverley was docklands stadiums backers insisting it be closed before they signed off on the deal with the state govt and the AFL.

Apparently Ian Dicker had backers prepared to invest to redevelop the stadium and its surrounds, but no dice.
 

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#14
Use to love going to Waverly, and was sandend when it closed down, I thought at the time it was a massive mistake getting rid of a ground in the middle of Melbourne's growth area, but they did it.

It may have had its problems, but I still enjoyed the footy there, it would have been a good 3rd ground now if the AFL had the foresight to see that 2 grounds and 9 clubs simply doesn't work.
 

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#15


To be honest I’m glad it didn’t… it wasn’t a great place to watch footy, the seats were a long way from the action (the slope was ridiculously slight), the top of that members stand was like being on another planet.


I'd be surprised if the top of the members stand was further away from the playing surface than is the new MCG stand.
 
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Having been at the top of the Sir Kenneth Luke (Members) Stand at Waverley Park when football was played there and the top on the Great Southern Stand, I would say that the distance would be about equal.

The problem with the Great Southern Stand and probably the new Northern Grandstand is the amount of people that can be seated up on the top level of the stands. You enter the top level near the bottom of the rows of seats and then you have to climb your way up to where ever you seats are.

The amount of seating on the top levels of the MCG would be close to equal to what is on the ground level. At Waverley it would be lucky if a third of what the seating capacity is below is at the top of the stands. Wouldn't like to sit up there all the time.
 

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#17
I'd be surprised if the top of the members stand was further away from the playing surface than is the new MCG stand.
It was. I sat in the top of that old members stand a few times and the players were like ants. The new stand at the G is a long way up but the way it's built compared to VFL Park, VFL Park went away from the surface while the G goes up.
 

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#18
it would have been a good 3rd ground now if the AFL had the foresight to see that 2 grounds and 9 clubs simply doesn't work.
If some smaller clubs are struggling to draw adequate crowds to well located stadiums near the CBD what makes you think they'd be be better off playing out in suburbia?
 
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Your looking at the transport situation and population growth how it is today. Back in the 1960's when Waverley was built the centre of Melbourne's population was going further and further east. I heard it got to Warrigal Road in the early 1990's. Transport was dependent on the car, but their was also the plan to build a train station at Waverley Park.

No AFL stadium was built east of Melbourne's population then, and still isn't today. Building a stadium were the population is going is sensible thing to do. Looking at the map of Melbourne Metropolitian Area today, it goes as far as Pakenham in the east. If the suburban area went as far in the west as it does in the east, the Bacchus Marsh would be an outer suburb of Melbourne.
 

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#20
If some smaller clubs are struggling to draw adequate crowds to well located stadiums near the CBD what makes you think they'd be be better off playing out in suburbia?
If you reduce the size of Waverly to a 30k stadium, and the costs of running it would be cheaper then Etihad, then I would see it working for the smaller clubs. I think it helped strengthen Hawthorn in the mid to late 90's memberships wise, they and St.Kilda were the only two teams playing out in a growth area.
 

Bunk Moreland

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#21
Another major thing about Waverley is it really was the first major step on the road to complete ground rationalisation in Melbourne.

Have often wondered if the VFL (with the backing of the clubs) had not decided to pursue and invest in a new stadium, but instead funded ongoing ground improvements for the clubs’ home grounds, whether we’d have a different setup and culture today, more of a genuine home and away fixture. No doubt some grounds would still have gone by the wayside, but perhaps we’d have more Melbourne clubs playing out of home stadiums, at least for non-blockbuster games.

It’s all said and done now and Geelong’s situation is the envy of most clubs. I know it’s not possible in all cases, but my club is considered one of the biggest and even we only really draw mid-30k against some interstate sides. North and the Dogs regularly play in front of around 25k. I think if many clubs had their time again they’d be a little more protective of their grounds and just a little less enthusiastic about complete rationalisation.
 

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#22
Wow, you think you were far from the action at Waverly? Have you ever tried watching a rugby game at subi?
 

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#24
Wow what a place this was. My 1st ever game there was actually the last or 2nd last afl game played there 2000 ansett cup collingwood vs fremantle i remember thinking this place is amazing! It was bloody big but you felt so far away.

The last ever game played there was the 2000 vfl granny. Infront of a few thousand people.

After that i remember seeing pics of it in the herald sun in 2001-02 of the ground all overgrown and it was actually very depressing to see.

The sad thing is most peoples memory's of this ground are negative one's
Rain belt , no train station , so far from melb, bad facilities, the carpark was a bog, traffic jams to and from the game.

Most ppl after the game were heading in the same direction north so the traffic would clog up

Still get sad driving past it
 

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#25
I used to love Waverley, had many happy afternoons and evenings there growing up. I was very disappointed when it closed down. In an ideal world, I think it would have been useful to keep as a third boutique stadium for Melbourne, with low drawing matches being played there. Princes Park has been proposed for this, but IMO, it should be a neutral venue that doesn't siphon money in Carlton's pocket. The population centre of Melbourne would be an ideal place for this sort of ground.

Having watched the majority of my football there, it was certainly an eye opener going to Etihad (or Colonial Stadium as it was known there) were you were so closely sitting on top of the play, you sat on plastic rather than wood, and there was so many new and clean toilets and food places.

I also remember these old guys with long blue jackets on who used to clip the side of your membership card with a hole puncher. I guess barcode scanners were too advanced for old Waverley.

Whenever I went to the MCG, I was impressed by their colour scoreboard, mostly being used to that gold and black thing that kept on blacking out at Waverley.

Wouldn't mind buying a house there now, fairly good location close to Wheelers Hill/Glen Waverley and close to the freeway. It's a ghastly development though, and I'd fell kind of sad about it as well. :(
 
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