Waverley Park (VFL Park)

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wizardwaffle

Club Legend
Aug 11, 2011
2,343
1,197
Waverley Park
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Box Hill (VFL)
Here are some more YouTube videos with Waverley Park in them.

Waverley Park – before and after


Waverley Park 2004


Lights go out at Waverley




2000 Ansett Cup North Melbourne v Richmond

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

The day 'Arctic Park' froze over

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSoI6uiWM50

1978 World Series Cricket - Under Lights at VFL Park
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7INUozY8Il8

KISS 1980 Melbourne, Australia VFL Park News Clip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP2Xf4qOkmk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nhHd-_DEXA

VFL Park opens 1970

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gM4g2hV8Tc

VFL Park ad 1983

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R93JbGbF1yI

Hawthorn v Collingwood 1981

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13dOrVoyiQ0

Hawthorn v West Coast 1991 Grand Final

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zm_yC0qV9AA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jb823EvB8cs

Hawthorn v Collingwood 1973, Hudson returns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jue1F6rsDyE
 

Mr north man

Club Legend
Mar 12, 2016
1,117
673
AFL Club
North Melbourne
If any government whether Liberal or Labour had brains buy Sandown Racecourse with a Business Corporation build a multi purpose 70,000 indoor stadium with mono rail outside the ground going from Monash University up Princess Highway to Dandenong Train Station and extended Sandown Train Station plus with Eastlink 5 minutes down the road worth considering?
With left over land build Car Park , Shops and Parkland and a Hotel and Apartments.
As for the playing service look at Tottenham Hotspurs playing surface with their new Stadium it's 2019 make it the best stadium in Australia and sell it to the world.
 

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mianfei

Club Legend
May 10, 2009
1,397
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Carlton North
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St Kilda
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 entering 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.
Extremely good points, am surprised I never looked at them. However, if you look at the awful 1979-1980 Lonie Report you will see how the government was much more concerned to keep the Country Roads Board (now VicRoads) happy, and the MCC was almost an afterthought.

Contrariwise, VFL Park was designed when over 40 percent (1964) of travel in metropolitan Melbourne was by public transport. This percentage declined most rapidly during the period when VFL Park was being built and opened. Simply put, growth was in remote suburbs whose populations had zero wish to pay for public transport they had no intention of using because they valued the privacy of remote communities and had zero desire for high-quality services paid for by taxpayers, nor to pay the full environmental costs of their insistence on car-based transport (I have calculated petrol would cost about 900 cents per litre if they did pay such full costs). Like Australia’s energy-guzzling population ever since, they treasured the advantage of low taxes and abundant land too much to accept the urgent need for a moratorium on new trunk roads and great investment in public transit.

For the price spent on freeways since VFL Park, it would have been extremely easy to build the proposed rail line and much more if a rigid moratorium on new trunk roads – overdue in 1980 – had been legislated. Once this urgent necessity became politically impossible in the 1970s, VFL Park – a stadium wholly unsuitable for competing for television audiences with basketball – clearly had no future.
 

wizardwaffle

Club Legend
Aug 11, 2011
2,343
1,197
Waverley Park
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Box Hill (VFL)

The demise of Waverley Park was due to the Cain Governments refusal to approve plans for the completion of the stadium in 1982/83. The plan was to hold the Grand Final at Waverley Park from 1985. The refusal came the year after the record crowd for Waverley Park was broken twice, with the second time being the Queen's Birthday clash between Hawthorn and Collingwood which drew 92,935.
 

emuboy

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Dec 17, 2006
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Thinking back, which were some of the weirdest Waverley Park match ups over the years?

IIRC Melbourne and Richmond, despite being co-tenants at the MCG, played a fixture at Waverley Park one time, although I don't remember which year.

Geelong hosted the West Coast Eagles at this ground for some reason in Round 6 1991; it seemed odd having the Cats play an interstate team so far away from their base in Geelong.

Essendon rarely played at the ground and Sunday matches played at Waverley were uncommon, yet strangely Essendon hosted the Fremantle Dockers at the venue on a Sunday early in 1998, the Dockers grabbing a rare Melbourne victory in pouring rain.
 

footyfan1978

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 27, 2014
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Thinking back, which were some of the weirdest Waverley Park match ups over the years?

IIRC Melbourne and Richmond, despite being co-tenants at the MCG, played a fixture at Waverley Park one time, although I don't remember which year.

Geelong hosted the West Coast Eagles at this ground for some reason in Round 6 1991; it seemed odd having the Cats play an interstate team so far away from their base in Geelong.
Nothing odd about Melbourne playing Richmond out there.
All clubs played around 2 home games there when I started following footy.
It was the league's ground, not any specific club, so for example my club played 9 of our home games at our real homeground and 2 at Waverley Park.
It was not until Swans re-located to Sydney and North started playing home games at MCG around mid 80's did things start to change a little.
It was sometime in 1990's when for reasons I cannot remember Saints were allowed to play their full home games there and Hawks too around similar time did it no longer play role as a neutral ground. Mid 80's was also when Carlton and Collingwood would play each other at the MCG rather than their traditional homegrounds of Princes Park and Victoria Park. Once Essendon left Windy Hill to follow North to the MCG the whole landscape of where clubs played home games was more up in the air than it had been previously.
 

Doss

Premium Platinum
Aug 1, 2011
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AFL Club
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Thinking back, which were some of the weirdest Waverley Park match ups over the years?

IIRC Melbourne and Richmond, despite being co-tenants at the MCG, played a fixture at Waverley Park one time, although I don't remember which year.

Geelong hosted the West Coast Eagles at this ground for some reason in Round 6 1991; it seemed odd having the Cats play an interstate team so far away from their base in Geelong.

Essendon rarely played at the ground and Sunday matches played at Waverley were uncommon, yet strangely Essendon hosted the Fremantle Dockers at the venue on a Sunday early in 1998, the Dockers grabbing a rare Melbourne victory in pouring rain.
That Geelong v West Coast 1991 game was the only time Geelong ever played a home game at Waverley (excluding the 1991 PF which was also against the Eagles) against an interstate team, I believe.

I reckon that takes the cake for weirdest. It just seems so incongruous that it was at Waverley.
 

The Cryptkeeper

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 9, 2006
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Super Tottenham....from the Lane.
I might be some sort of perverse deviant but I loved the place. I was going to games there regularly in my university days 1992-95. It was an absolute b*tch to get to and miserable once inside.

But there was something about it. I used to go there with my transistor radio, listen to Rex and Sam on 3AW Football and always ordered a mini-pizza from the Pizza Hut kids who'd do the rounds with the hot boxes.

Great days.
 
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Chicken Parma

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Oct 31, 2011
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But there was something about it. I used to go there with my transistor radio, listen to Rex and Sam on 3AW Football and always ordered a mini-pizza from the Pizza Hut kids who'd do the rounds with the hot boxes.

Great days.
Glad to see I'm not the only one who remembers that Waverley had a Pizza Hut inside the ground (and for the record, I never got anything from there... I was way too young)
It doesn't get mentioned much whenever the venue is discussed (apart from this: )
 

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Elite Master

Brownlow Medallist
May 20, 2011
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How time flys.

So even by 1999 which was a full 9 years of the competition officially being recognized as the 'AFL' and Waverly still had those VFL logos printed on the ground from the 70's and 80's. Also the main sponsor of the AFL in the 90's was Coca-Cola and yet the ground still had those Foster logos from a decade prior.

Surely The groundskeepers could have at least updated these details..
 

Dc9798

Club Legend
Dec 25, 2008
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Adelaide
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Thinking back, which were some of the weirdest Waverley Park match ups over the years?

IIRC Melbourne and Richmond, despite being co-tenants at the MCG, played a fixture at Waverley Park one time, although I don't remember which year.

Geelong hosted the West Coast Eagles at this ground for some reason in Round 6 1991; it seemed odd having the Cats play an interstate team so far away from their base in Geelong.

Essendon rarely played at the ground and Sunday matches played at Waverley were uncommon, yet strangely Essendon hosted the Fremantle Dockers at the venue on a Sunday early in 1998, the Dockers grabbing a rare Melbourne victory in pouring rain.
I remember Footscray hosting Adelaide at Waverley Park in 1992 when the Bulldogs home ground was the Whitten Oval.


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