Waverley Park (VFL Park)

Silent Alarm

(sandy)
Jul 9, 2010
23,757
25,328
AFL Club
Fremantle
Would have been perfect for Hawthorn and St.Kilda home games now, right at the location of their supporter base.

Those sides could have made that place a fortress for themselves, play all home finals there, etc.
Fifteen years of maintaining a ground that large, or large enough to host Hawthorn games let alone finals, would be huge. It would be like the Sydney stadiums where there are three large scale grounds all sucking funding and then fifteen smaller ones doing the same thing – and that's keeping those ****ty, smaller, suburban ones up to scratch, not up to modernity.

That is without the primary issue of mass transport. People would hate it in this day and age.

Came and went, like all things do, good and bad. If you have the urge to want to see it return, that is a sign that you've got one more thing in life that you once enjoyed. Don't hate its death – it did you well.
 

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JPetro83

Premiership Player
Sep 25, 2014
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My thoughts exactly. Footy park is very very similar to what waverly was. I would be tipping footy park may be gone in 20 years
Footy Park will be gone within 10 years. I noticed at crows training yesterday they are starting to remove the blue bucket fold up seats behind both end of the goals. give 2 years an I think the light towers will be removed along with scoreboards and replay screens. right now the stadium is pretty much how it was at the end of 2013 when footy was last played there (1 NAB game was played there in 2015)
Luckily the crows train there and SANFL umpires train, Under 18 championships are still played there so the playing surface is kept in great shape.
 

JD Tomahawk

Cancelled
Feb 17, 2015
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So when the Hawks move out what's to become of Waverley. Would have been nice owning one of them units around the ground watching training every week.
 

Mitchell Madness

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 17, 2006
19,513
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So when the Hawks move out what's to become of Waverley. Would have been nice owning one of them units around the ground watching training every week.
The club will still own the facilities and rent them out (current fit out includes goodlife gym, dentist and a cafe/restaurant)
They will probably use Waverley as an academy base (the club has an indigenous academy (and will probably open a women's sports academy in the near future)

The oval itself is public land
 

Silent Alarm

(sandy)
Jul 9, 2010
23,757
25,328
AFL Club
Fremantle
One thing I've seen referenced heaps and I always forget, so I'll ask now, but what was the screen at Waverley like? People love to mention the orange and black dot matrix as some sort of kitschy thing but all it did was show scores and little animations for goals and the like, hey? It wasn't an actual video screen that showed the play, was it?

Anyway, few more points:

• The first dig of dirt there shows how insane Melbourne's growth has been in about 50 years. That area is close to being middle ring suburbia soon. If you wanted a photo of nothing but dirt and weeds you'd probably have to go out somewhere like between Pakenham and Warragul or just east of Sunbury/Gizzy which is ******* insane. Only five or so years ago I remember meeting a bloke from that part of 'Victoria' and it seemed like ages away... it's not 'Victoria' anymore but basically the next suburb of Melbourne.

• Kiss for $13.50 even with inflation is about, what, $35-40? Lugging all that gear in the age of rock excess in the 1970s would have been way more expensive and difficult than the mass-scale show productions these days. And if someone of their 'ilk' (Kiss are ****) came today (Ed Sheeran – so **** he makes Gene Simmons look cool) they'd be charging $150 and wouldn't be doing this 'one show only' malarky.

• Norwich Union. Classic footy sponsor. Miss it. Norwich Rising Star, Teal Cup... way better, real classic footy names.

• That banner from the last game is more artistic and thought out than any I've seen in the last five or six years.

• Fox Footy had some highlights of a Saints (?) game at Waverley the other night and man, the grass was appalling. The boundaries looked too wide to be Waverley but man, it was ****. Patchy, dry looking, clearly just all sorts of random grass and whatever was cheapest. It's funny how Melburnians blindly react to things... Waverley is quaint, getting rained on was fun, the car park clog was some bonding experience, and it was 'ahead of its time...' Etihad meanwhile is soulless, boring, has no home ground advantage, and cold or something... weird... why do people rag on Etihad's surface and let Waverley's pass?
 

Wallaby

Norm Smith Medallist
May 8, 2007
8,408
9,068
vic
AFL Club
Richmond
One thing I've seen referenced heaps and I always forget, so I'll ask now, but what was the screen at Waverley like? People love to mention the orange and black dot matrix as some sort of kitschy thing but all it did was show scores and little animations for goals and the like, hey? It wasn't an actual video screen that showed the play, was it?

Anyway, few more points:

• The first dig of dirt there shows how insane Melbourne's growth has been in about 50 years. That area is close to being middle ring suburbia soon. If you wanted a photo of nothing but dirt and weeds you'd probably have to go out somewhere like between Pakenham and Warragul or just east of Sunbury/Gizzy which is ******* insane. Only five or so years ago I remember meeting a bloke from that part of 'Victoria' and it seemed like ages away... it's not 'Victoria' anymore but basically the next suburb of Melbourne.

• Kiss for $13.50 even with inflation is about, what, $35-40? Lugging all that gear in the age of rock excess in the 1970s would have been way more expensive and difficult than the mass-scale show productions these days. And if someone of their 'ilk' (Kiss are ****) came today (Ed Sheeran – so **** he makes Gene Simmons look cool) they'd be charging $150 and wouldn't be doing this 'one show only' malarky.

• Norwich Union. Classic footy sponsor. Miss it. Norwich Rising Star, Teal Cup... way better, real classic footy names.

• That banner from the last game is more artistic and thought out than any I've seen in the last five or six years.

• Fox Footy had some highlights of a Saints (?) game at Waverley the other night and man, the grass was appalling. The boundaries looked too wide to be Waverley but man, it was ****. Patchy, dry looking, clearly just all sorts of random grass and whatever was cheapest. It's funny how Melburnians blindly react to things... Waverley is quaint, getting rained on was fun, the car park clog was some bonding experience, and it was 'ahead of its time...' Etihad meanwhile is soulless, boring, has no home ground advantage, and cold or something... weird... why do people rag on Etihad's surface and let Waverley's pass?

The 'Orange and Black' dot matrix was actually more sepia than orange. And it did show replays (well, it said it did, but f***ed if I could ever make out what they were actually showing). It was a good idea, terribly executed.

The surface at Waverley went through a few stages - at one stage it was clearly the worst in the league, but later on, after some work, it became the best (according to the players).
 

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Chicken Parma

Senior List
Oct 31, 2011
242
147
Leongatha
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One thing I've seen referenced heaps and I always forget, so I'll ask now, but what was the screen at Waverley like? People love to mention the orange and black dot matrix as some sort of kitschy thing but all it did was show scores and little animations for goals and the like, hey? It wasn't an actual video screen that showed the play, was it?
When I attended games at the ground in its final years (my old man's a Saints supporter) the screen showed the play.

Also, this comment provides a good segue to post this (sorry if it's already been done here) A bloke called Michael Costello has used some type of software to recreate the sepia screen, and posted a mix of some ads which frequently aired on Seven's Saturday night replay in the late 80s and early 90s as they would have appeared on the screen:

 

Garf

Club Legend
Apr 14, 2010
1,479
2,308
Melbourne
AFL Club
Hawthorn
I very nearly went to that Kiss concert.... sigh.

At least I was there for the last game V Swans, along with the other 325,000 who said they were. They were swinging from the rafters that day !
 

wizardwaffle

Club Legend
Aug 11, 2011
2,175
1,100
Waverley Park
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Box Hill (VFL)
Added some links to YouTube videos.

V.F.L Waverley Opens 1970
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gM4g2hV8Tc

3D model with accompanying snippets of commentary to help preserve the memory of a stadium that I remember fondly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50Pu15WFyfM

Waverley Park visit 2004
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LngZAUzEXo

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imKXr8kmK1c

Wayne Daniel winning six at VFL Park, World Series Cricket 24 Jan 1978
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9KYaFUZr00

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

VFL R5 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
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 in 1981
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BfGQ89spHw

VFL R11 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
 

Jordie_tackles

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 25, 2009
7,056
3,086
G-town
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Melbourne
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So when the Hawks move out what's to become of Waverley. Would have been nice owning one of them units around the ground watching training every week.
Yep came to post the same thing, looks awesome, more beneficial to hawks supporters but looks like a great place to live.
 

thegreig

Club Legend
Aug 12, 2010
1,002
707
Eastern Suburbs, Melbourne
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
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One thing I've seen referenced heaps and I always forget, so I'll ask now, but what was the screen at Waverley like? People love to mention the orange and black dot matrix as some sort of kitschy thing but all it did was show scores and little animations for goals and the like, hey? It wasn't an actual video screen that showed the play, was it?

Anyway, few more points:

• The first dig of dirt there shows how insane Melbourne's growth has been in about 50 years. That area is close to being middle ring suburbia soon. If you wanted a photo of nothing but dirt and weeds you'd probably have to go out somewhere like between Pakenham and Warragul or just east of Sunbury/Gizzy which is ******* insane. Only five or so years ago I remember meeting a bloke from that part of 'Victoria' and it seemed like ages away... it's not 'Victoria' anymore but basically the next suburb of Melbourne.

• Kiss for $13.50 even with inflation is about, what, $35-40? Lugging all that gear in the age of rock excess in the 1970s would have been way more expensive and difficult than the mass-scale show productions these days. And if someone of their 'ilk' (Kiss are ****) came today (Ed Sheeran – so **** he makes Gene Simmons look cool) they'd be charging $150 and wouldn't be doing this 'one show only' malarky.

• Norwich Union. Classic footy sponsor. Miss it. Norwich Rising Star, Teal Cup... way better, real classic footy names.

• That banner from the last game is more artistic and thought out than any I've seen in the last five or six years.

• Fox Footy had some highlights of a Saints (?) game at Waverley the other night and man, the grass was appalling. The boundaries looked too wide to be Waverley but man, it was ****. Patchy, dry looking, clearly just all sorts of random grass and whatever was cheapest. It's funny how Melburnians blindly react to things... Waverley is quaint, getting rained on was fun, the car park clog was some bonding experience, and it was 'ahead of its time...' Etihad meanwhile is soulless, boring, has no home ground advantage, and cold or something... weird... why do people rag on Etihad's surface and let Waverley's pass?
I’m sure the score board started showing full games on it towards the end of the 90s but it was very hard to tell what the hell was going on. Always loved the big V with the footy on top of it though
 

Minka Beaver

All Australian
Feb 5, 2004
966
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One thing I've seen referenced heaps and I always forget, so I'll ask now, but what was the screen at Waverley like? People love to mention the orange and black dot matrix as some sort of kitschy thing but all it did was show scores and little animations for goals and the like, hey? It wasn't an actual video screen that showed the play, was it?
It was an actual video screen, yep.
 

raymond35

All Australian
Jan 5, 2004
797
1,078
gold coast
AFL Club
Collingwood
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I was a vfl park member from 1975 until 1990. Some of the stories in this thread bring back great memories.
Hard to say how many games i went to , maybe 150. Also played there twice.
Interesting comment about the crowd at the final match. I went to the Collingwood hawthorn 92,000 game and I've never seen anything like it. The gates were thrown open that day too, so there was certainly over 100,000.
Have many great memories of the place.
 

Punt Road Feral

Club Legend
Aug 23, 2007
2,648
1,241
Punt Road's Manure Pit
AFL Club
Richmond
My memory of the scoreboard at Waverley was that the count up clock went up in 10 second intervals.
I didn’t quiet understand as a young kid why it did that but the MCG went up by the second.

Also remember the ‘around the grounds’ scores where they just dedicated a random letter to a team instead of just doing the first few letter of the teams name.
A 93
B 84

You would have to check the record to see which team was allocated A and B
 

jmac91

Team Captain
Dec 27, 2017
327
286
Subiaco Oval
AFL Club
West Coast
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Perth Scorchers, Swan Districts
just imagine if they went ahead with the massive upgrade to 166,000 capacity or if they decided to upgrade it instead of building Marvel/Docklands
 

Cold Sober

Premiership Player
Sep 28, 2016
3,099
3,170
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Essendon
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Memories, 1 hr travel from the bush, couple hours at The Albion at Dandy, head to Waverly watch the game at the stadium in the middle of nowhere, back to the Albion, home pissed and happy. Youngens you've missed out.
 

Dogs till i die

Club Legend
Dec 30, 2003
1,112
858
Melbourne western region
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If only:
  • They designed it to be fan friendly and closer to create atmosphere;
  • The State bloody Government built the promised railway line there (still talking about Monash rail);
  • Limited capacity similar to Docklands;
  • Found a way to stop the rain, wind and chill.
Then we might still be playing there.
 

Wallaby

Norm Smith Medallist
May 8, 2007
8,408
9,068
vic
AFL Club
Richmond
If only:
  • They designed it to be fan friendly and closer to create atmosphere;
  • The State bloody Government built the promised railway line there (still talking about Monash rail);
  • Limited capacity similar to Docklands;
  • Found a way to stop the rain, wind and chill.
Then we might still be playing there.

To summarise while all these problems arose.

The stadium was designed for 150-160,000 capacity. Double level all around. Build that, and you cut out much of the wind, the top deck gets a roof etc - much more comfortable. Remember, when it was designed, no one thought about big TVs, live game coverage, HD streaming etc.
It was very fan friendly, in that it was built below ground level, so you actually entered the ground fairly high up. Have a look around - pick a seat. Easy. If the top level had been built, you would have been enetering right at mid-level. I imagine the atmosphere with a 150,000 crowd would have been fine.

The funny thing is Docklands only works BECAUSE it has limited capacity. If there are more than 35,000 customers, you basically have to pay for a premium seat. If you don't want to pay - watch it on TV. The AFL makes more money from 45,000 at Docklands than from 65,000 at Waverley. Waverley had excellent viewing all around.

Waverley design was also predicacted on getting the GF. Now, don't laugh - many, many major stadiums around the world are a similar distance from the CBD. Wembley, ANZ in Sydney, Giants stadium is 10 miles from Central NY. The new Cowboys Stadium was built 20 miles from Dallas. All have decent public transport. But when the Guvmint reneged on the GF deal (got to keep the MCC happy) - it all fell apart. (Actually, I think having the MCG as the premier 100,000 capacity stadium so close to central Melbourne (the Friday night walk along the river is a magical experience) is absolutely brilliant, so can't really complain).

So Waverley - no GF - no Rail link - result, a half-built stadium, well out of town, with no decent public transport.
 

Cold Sober

Premiership Player
Sep 28, 2016
3,099
3,170
AFL Club
Essendon
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Man U .White Sox;Storm,Victory
Shame shame shame, was a great stadium. Was great at the time for supporters east of ****sville.
 
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