Waverley Park (VFL Park)

Teagueeee15

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On a small sidenote I find it is slightly quicker to catch the 900 from Huntingdale Station to avoid the occasional slow crawl (depending on what time of day) along Dandenong Rd.
That's true, but I find that if you aren't familiar with that area you are better off catching the route 900 at the Caulfield terminus because when I caught the 900 Bus at Huntingdale it had the incorrect sign on it (ie: It was travelling back to caulfield but the front of the Bus was still saying it's going to Stud Park).
 

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Soft Downhill Skier

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Your memories from childhood always get larger and more extravagant the older you get.

My main memory of Waverly was the 1994 Qual final between North and Hawthorn. My recollection is of a full stadium with a pulsating atmosphere.

Just looked it up; ground was half full. Still amazing to think they originally wanted to build it for 150,000.
 

Pakenhamsaint

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That's true, but I find that if you aren't familiar with that area you are better off catching the route 900 at the Caulfield terminus because when I caught the 900 Bus at Huntingdale it had the incorrect sign on it (ie: It was travelling back to caulfield but the front of the Bus was still saying it's going to Stud Park).
I think it's signed a bit better these days. There's two LED boards(one for each direction on each side of the road) displaying the next two 900 buses.
 

thethinkingcat

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My first ever game was at Waverley Park. Was lucky enough to see a really awesome preliminary final in 1989. That was between my dad's bombers and geelong. Had to get up really early as we live 3 hours away from the ground.
Loved going to that oval when there was footy being played on there. Yes we had to rug up as it did live up to it's nickname of artic park due to the icy winds and conditions.
Went and saw north melbourne vs carlton one year which was a night match. Awesome atmosphere.
 

Impunity!

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Your memories from childhood always get larger and more extravagant the older you get.

My main memory of Waverly was the 1994 Qual final between North and Hawthorn. My recollection is of a full stadium with a pulsating atmosphere.

Just looked it up; ground was half full. Still amazing to think they originally wanted to build it for 150,000.
Same, I attended Saints v Eagles at Waverley in 1995 - always thought it was fairly full on the day - it was (accordingly to Wikipedia) a nice 13,490.

It was cold
 

James44

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VFL had two options when they were building a second stadium.

Waverley.

A property in East Melbourne, where a tennis club, parklands now sit.

Sir Kenneth Luke, then VFL president, had just bought property around Waverley and wanted to subdivide it. Every president though voted for the East Melbourne option.
 

bombersfan4000

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VFL had two options when they were building a second stadium.

Waverley.

A property in East Melbourne, where a tennis club, parklands now sit.

Sir Kenneth Luke, then VFL president, had just bought property around Waverley and wanted to subdivide it. Every president though voted for the East Melbourne option.
is that as in the tennis center?
there was many promises & fractors they took in to buying with VFL park, that Glen Waverley train line was to go out to rowville,
the land was cheap and huge, every one owned a car then
clubs where happy playing out of their suburban grounds

what i never understood was the design of VFL park it self the field was far to big and the seats where back to far
 

Macca_1870

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Yeah the viewpoint from both the front row of concourse seating, and the view from the top of the stands and undercover seating would have been a nightmare- but there was always the sepia video screen if you missed some of the action :D

Alot of people talk about the atmosphere at waverley being the drawcard- I guess if the place was packed to the rafters but plenty of noise, viewing the game would still be difficult but the experience would have been awesome.
 

Teagueeee15

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Yeah the viewpoint from both the front row of concourse seating, and the view from the top of the stands and undercover seating would have been a nightmare- but there was always the sepia video screen if you missed some of the action :D

Alot of people talk about the atmosphere at waverley being the drawcard- I guess if the place was packed to the rafters but plenty of noise, viewing the game would still be difficult but the experience would have been awesome.
I never got to see a game played there unfortunately, but having visited the ground last year I thought the views were much better than I had expected going by what I'd read on threads on Bigfooty. Obviously the slant was to shallow, but still gave a better view than I'd expected. I think if you were sitting towards the back of the bowl or in the middle of the grand stands you had a pretty good view of the action. The view would have got worse the closer you got towards the front, which is no different than most other grounds, although worse at Waverley due to the distance from boundary line to the fence. These are some pictures of what the views would have looked like from different parts of the ground.

This is from the back row of the middle tier of seating in the grand stand and the view is really good.



This is from the lower part of the grand stand



his is from the interchange bench



This is from the seating at the top of the bowl that went around the ground.





 

Macca_1870

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Some great photos there teagueee.

I did get the impression when I visited Waverley that the oval size has been shortened from its original playing size- and it was hard to envisage viewing points from the stands in comparision with the grounds playing days- especially when looking through photos from the last game there- the distance looks huge from the middle of the concourse to the boundary line!

Do any posters who attended games there have any photos?
 

Teagueeee15

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Some great photos there teagueee.

I did get the impression when I visited Waverley that the oval size has been shortened from its original playing size- and it was hard to envisage viewing points from the stands in comparision with the grounds playing days- especially when looking through photos from the last game there- the distance looks huge from the middle of the concourse to the boundary line!

Do any posters who attended games there have any photos?
You're right in saying that the grassed portion has been shortened. The grassed portion used to cover what is now that gravel running track and the fence would have been at the edge of that running track. The interchange bench is an original from the AFL days, so the bench gives a good reference point for where the fence used to be.
 

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Borussia Teeth

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Can anyone provide a link or any further information about the mural at Waverley? Players featured on it? Who designed it and why? (I assume it was commissioned by the VFL, maybe for VFL's 90th anniversary?)
I believe from earlier in this thread it was installed around 1986.
 

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Can anyone provide a link or any further information about the mural at Waverley? Players featured on it? Who designed it and why? (I assume it was commissioned by the VFL, maybe for VFL's 90th anniversary?)
I believe from earlier in this thread it was installed around 1986.

"Of note is the large mosaic mural on the central axis of the main stand, which was commissioned by the VFL and completed between 1984-86 by artists Harold Freedman and David Jack. Its significance lies in its symbolism at the time when the VFL was attempting to relocate its Grand Final to Waverley. The mural portrays the heroic, legendary and mythical qualities of Australian Rules football in the heyday of the eleven Melbourne clubs plus Geelong, which for many years constituted the Victorian Football League."

and

"The giant mosaic mural on the central external axis of the Members Stand was designed by Harold Freedman and executed in mosaics by partner David Jack. 10.9 metres high and 4.8 metres wide, it cost in the order of $80 000- $90 000, and comprised 126 000 pieces. The mural portrays the heroic, legendary and mythical qualities of Australian Rules football in the heyday of the eleven Melbourne clubs plus Geelong, which for many years constituted the Victorian Football League. It represents the two best players of each club, as well as having some generic figures playing, one of whom was modeled on Dermot Brereton. Football was a beloved subject of Freedman, who also loved painting the human figure. His 6 metre high 72 cartoon is housed in the Members Stand. Freedman was noted as one of Melbourne's leading mural artists and his work is found in many locations. His painted transport mural in the waiting room for Spencer Street Station was painted in situ, and is well known. David Jack, a son of noted artist Kenneth Jack, joined Freedman in the 1970s and undertook the mosaic tile representations of Freedman's paintings. It is considered that the Waverley Park mural was one of Freedman and Jack's more important mosaic works, after the Eastern Hill fire station."

http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl?mode=place_detail;place_id=102084
 

Borussia Teeth

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"Of note is the large mosaic mural on the central axis of the main stand, which was commissioned by the VFL and completed between 1984-86 by artists Harold Freedman and David Jack. Its significance lies in its symbolism at the time when the VFL was attempting to relocate its Grand Final to Waverley. The mural portrays the heroic, legendary and mythical qualities of Australian Rules football in the heyday of the eleven Melbourne clubs plus Geelong, which for many years constituted the Victorian Football League."

and

"The giant mosaic mural on the central external axis of the Members Stand was designed by Harold Freedman and executed in mosaics by partner David Jack. 10.9 metres high and 4.8 metres wide, it cost in the order of $80 000- $90 000, and comprised 126 000 pieces. The mural portrays the heroic, legendary and mythical qualities of Australian Rules football in the heyday of the eleven Melbourne clubs plus Geelong, which for many years constituted the Victorian Football League. It represents the two best players of each club, as well as having some generic figures playing, one of whom was modeled on Dermot Brereton. Football was a beloved subject of Freedman, who also loved painting the human figure. His 6 metre high 72 cartoon is housed in the Members Stand. Freedman was noted as one of Melbourne's leading mural artists and his work is found in many locations. His painted transport mural in the waiting room for Spencer Street Station was painted in situ, and is well known. David Jack, a son of noted artist Kenneth Jack, joined Freedman in the 1970s and undertook the mosaic tile representations of Freedman's paintings. It is considered that the Waverley Park mural was one of Freedman and Jack's more important mosaic works, after the Eastern Hill fire station."

http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl?mode=place_detail;place_id=102084
That's fantastic. Thank you very much.
 

BornBredHawk74

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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:
157,000.


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.
I was there for the final match. My estimate was of a crowd of more than 95,000. The quoted figure didn't even come close.

The stands were packed after qtr time and they threw open the gates. Upon arrival I got a park near the gate on Jacksons Rd. I had only ever parked there during finals matches. I was stoked! Nearing the gates I saw the line of Hawks fans!! Our colours were everywhere and I knew it would be a packed house. Entering the ground I could only get a seat on a step on the outer wing. The seats were all full, on the lower level, before the bounce! Wow! I was joined by more folk on the steps and soon the entire aisle was crammed. The VFL park staff just let all paying customers in before qtr time then opened the gates to the waiting throng for free. I've never seen Waverley so full.

I had been to many finals there and still I had never seen people sitting in the aisles and so many standing along the concourse between levels. I was amazed and happy to be part of history. I thought, "for sure this will break the attendance record." Not to be. The ground staff stopped counting once they allowed the punters in free. The record for a match there was 92,935 for C/wood vs Haw, Rnd 11, 1981. Goad, Wallace, Goss, Eade, Kanga and Matthews were brilliant that day. I went with my dad. I still reckon the last game had over that total. Oh well.....we'll never know for sure.

The AFL and State G/ment will need a stadium out in the east soon enough. Further out and serviced by rail with better facilities for the 'modern' footy fan. A 85,000 seat stadium would be great as Hawthorn's home ground. Mostly 'members reserved seating' for home games and a real feel of a gladiatorial arena for visiting teams. The Hawks could name their terms and the league would be silly to refuse or argue.

Waverley was firstly 'the people's ground' then Hawthorn's wide open nightmare for teams to visit. Few sides could adapt to the length and breadth of that place. Perfect for watching footy too. And that is the biggest shame. Always get a car park, a seat, a record and a kick on the ground after the match. Even so, the car park was big enough to have your own 18 a side match. Outstanding venue killed by negative media and Rex Hunt's oft used 'Arctic Park'. He surely knows his part in the demise of the ground. Not that many at AFL house cared. The new 'inner city focus' on Essendon and their success' cast a shadow over the entire direction the game took.

Now we have a compromised fixture with scheduling benefitting teams which believe they run the comp and can do as they please. Doping anyone?? Our game has been usurped by corporates during the finals. Ticket pricing reflecting a growing trend toward 'packaged entertainment' and 'networking'. Aussie Rules is not, and never will be, a racing carnival. Fans must press for a greater share of finals ticket allocation. From week one to the Grand Final. Members make the league viable. Ask Hawthorn and Collingwood how they would fair with the member numbers of say....the Western Bulldogs. Not well. That is for sure.

Soon the worm will turn. I know the league will listen and wake up to reality. Members and supporters own this, our national sporting code. Our unique football style is built on tradition of clubs, teams and their on field successes.

Basic game really. Just like the great 'Yabby' Jeans said. He was a prophet.
 

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Nice write up BornBredHawk74. I never really held anything for Waverley. It was before I was old enough to remember it as a venue and something I don't associate a whole lot of romance with; it wasn't a hundred years old, it didn't have a beautiful big facade, it just seemed a botched experiment only ever really adored by the people who live in the east and hate Etihad. As someone who lives in the inner north and loves Etihad, that's probably my sway and ego...

Alas, there is no need for a south-eastern stadium. People don't like Optus Oval because, a 15 minute tram from the CBD, it's too much hassle. Melburnians even use the excuse of "oh, Southern Cross is four more stops from Richmond." City football is the best football. People will always head to the city for dinner, for a band, for a night out, to see their friends, to meet girls, to do the things that makes life worth living. The only people who'll do something 40 minutes from the city are the ones who already live there. How many football fans would go to the Western Oval if their (non-Bullies) side played? Or Moorabbin if they weren't Sainters fans? And there's almost zero use in spending millions on a stadium and millions on train lines for what? Eleven Hawks games, maybe three or four Richmond ones, and a few of St Kilda's? I mean that's under the notion of this ground holding 70,000 plus which it simply won't ever.

If there's a fourth Victorian venue any time soon, it'll be up in the pretty suburbs of north Carlton or in E-Gate or something similar. And it'll hold 25-to-30,000 and have to hope the soccer or rugby or cricket get reamed by AAMI Park or something. I'd love a suburban ground but the time has unfortunately passed I think. Sometimes on an overcast, hungover Saturday arvo I wish a North - Suns game was up at Optus Oval, but it isn't. So I sit with enough leg room to not cramp me at Etihad instead.
 

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Nice write up BornBredHawk74. I never really held anything for Waverley. It was before I was old enough to remember it as a venue and something I don't associate a whole lot of romance with; it wasn't a hundred years old, it didn't have a beautiful big facade, it just seemed a botched experiment only ever really adored by the people who live in the east and hate Etihad. As someone who lives in the inner north and loves Etihad, that's probably my sway and ego...

Alas, there is no need for a south-eastern stadium. People don't like Optus Oval because, a 15 minute tram from the CBD, it's too much hassle. Melburnians even use the excuse of "oh, Southern Cross is four more stops from Richmond." City football is the best football. People will always head to the city for dinner, for a band, for a night out, to see their friends, to meet girls, to do the things that makes life worth living. The only people who'll do something 40 minutes from the city are the ones who already live there. How many football fans would go to the Western Oval if their (non-Bullies) side played? Or Moorabbin if they weren't Sainters fans? And there's almost zero use in spending millions on a stadium and millions on train lines for what? Eleven Hawks games, maybe three or four Richmond ones, and a few of St Kilda's? I mean that's under the notion of this ground holding 70,000 plus which it simply won't ever.

If there's a fourth Victorian venue any time soon, it'll be up in the pretty suburbs of north Carlton or in E-Gate or something similar. And it'll hold 25-to-30,000 and have to hope the soccer or rugby or cricket get reamed by AAMI Park or something. I'd love a suburban ground but the time has unfortunately passed I think. Sometimes on an overcast, hungover Saturday arvo I wish a North - Suns game was up at Optus Oval, but it isn't. So I sit with enough leg room to not cramp me at Etihad instead.
Despite being someone who lives in the East and isn't particularly fond of Etihad, the move to the Docklands was a no-brainer. It's only a sense of nostalgia and romanticism that drives the argument for Waverley still existing, there's nothing practical about it. That's why the group of those in favour of retaining Waverley can basically be narrowed down to Hawthorn supporters.

We don't need a 3rd stadium either, the only current stadium issue in Melbourne is the campaigners running Etihad.
 

Teagueeee15

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Nice write up BornBredHawk74. I never really held anything for Waverley. It was before I was old enough to remember it as a venue and something I don't associate a whole lot of romance with; it wasn't a hundred years old, it didn't have a beautiful big facade, it just seemed a botched experiment only ever really adored by the people who live in the east and hate Etihad. As someone who lives in the inner north and loves Etihad, that's probably my sway and ego...

Alas, there is no need for a south-eastern stadium. People don't like Optus Oval because, a 15 minute tram from the CBD, it's too much hassle. Melburnians even use the excuse of "oh, Southern Cross is four more stops from Richmond." City football is the best football. People will always head to the city for dinner, for a band, for a night out, to see their friends, to meet girls, to do the things that makes life worth living. The only people who'll do something 40 minutes from the city are the ones who already live there. How many football fans would go to the Western Oval if their (non-Bullies) side played? Or Moorabbin if they weren't Sainters fans? And there's almost zero use in spending millions on a stadium and millions on train lines for what? Eleven Hawks games, maybe three or four Richmond ones, and a few of St Kilda's? I mean that's under the notion of this ground holding 70,000 plus which it simply won't ever.

If there's a fourth Victorian venue any time soon, it'll be up in the pretty suburbs of north Carlton or in E-Gate or something similar. And it'll hold 25-to-30,000 and have to hope the soccer or rugby or cricket get reamed by AAMI Park or something. I'd love a suburban ground but the time has unfortunately passed I think. Sometimes on an overcast, hungover Saturday arvo I wish a North - Suns game was up at Optus Oval, but it isn't. So I sit with enough leg room to not cramp me at Etihad instead.
Waverley still holds memories for me that will stay with me forever. I was 6 and one of my first footy memories is listening to the 1994 Preliminary final from there on 3LO and Carlton losing what everyone thought was the unloseable game against Geelong.

I actually really enjoy the facade with the great mosaic and foundation stone. So much history preserved.





When I visited there I still got this great vibe when I was standing in the spot where I took the photo below, that only 20 odd years earlier, in the exact spot where I was standing that an AFL Grand Final was played in the middle of this housing estate. It was so eerie and surreal that it's hard to describe without witnessing it for yourself.



Here are some images from the 1991 Grand Final.

From the VIP Area as the banners are being set up.

Balloons let off as the Eagles run out.

A packed bottom level of the Luke Stand


Eagles run through the banner

Kick to Kick after the game





Crowd moving through main concourse (Probably better than Subi)

Crowd leaving at the end of the game. Doesn't that look fun? You can just make out on the sign at the bottom says bus to clayton station.

 

Silent Alarm

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Crowd leaving at the end of the game. Doesn't that look fun? You can just make out on the sign at the bottom says bus to clayton station.

This reminds me of the bedlam of post-game Subi; the Kitchener Park carpark and the bus rank right near it. I remember getting the footy special a few years ago and getting lost every single time, climbing aboard three buses and having to ask about three people every time if this was the one going to Curtin Uni. It was so packed, just all these people milling about and not doing anything – probably because the signage was so piss poor and the attendants usually such pricks. I reckon the buses were held up for another 10 minutes just trying to find a stop in the foot traffic to actually get out of the parking bays.

It's probably nicer going through tree caverned streets on a bus stopping just a nice, again tree-filled, walk away from your sharehouse than getting one or two buses in the freezing cold through boring suburbs, but maybe I can see why people are chuffed and find solace in those memories. I definitely do.
 

Macca_1870

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Waverley still holds memories for me that will stay with me forever. I was 6 and one of my first footy memories is listening to the 1994 Preliminary final from there on 3LO and Carlton losing what everyone thought was the unloseable game against Geelong.

I actually really enjoy the facade with the great mosaic and foundation stone. So much history preserved.





When I visited there I still got this great vibe when I was standing in the spot where I took the photo below, that only 20 odd years earlier, in the exact spot where I was standing that an AFL Grand Final was played in the middle of this housing estate. It was so eerie and surreal that it's hard to describe without witnessing it for yourself.



Here are some images from the 1991 Grand Final.

From the VIP Area as the banners are being set up.

Balloons let off as the Eagles run out.

A packed bottom level of the Luke Stand


Eagles run through the banner

Kick to Kick after the game





Crowd moving through main concourse (Probably better than Subi)

Crowd leaving at the end of the game. Doesn't that look fun? You can just make out on the sign at the bottom says bus to clayton station.

Teague- do you have any idea if the wooden seats behind the statue of John Kennedy, are original seats from the stadiums playing days?
 

Teagueeee15

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Teague- do you have any idea if the wooden seats behind the statue of John Kennedy, are original seats from the stadiums playing days?
Yes, but they weren't originally in that particular location. Those seats behind the Kennedy statue were originally located on the top level of the Luke Stand. Back when AFL was played there the Luke stand was 16 bays across in total (see below), whereas these days it is only 8 bays across (As seen in my post above) so they took some of the seats and moved them to their current positions.




 

cartel

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Those photos make me miss it!

It is popularly regarded as being the middle of nowhere but is actually reasonably close to the population centre of Melbourne. Just poor service from public transport. I grew up in the immediate area, and I wouldn't have developed such an obsession about the game (or St Kilda) without Waverley.

Going to Saturday night games was pretty freezing though.
 

AM

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My memory of Waverley is of a cold old hole where the seats were set back too far from the ground and getting in and out by car was often a nightmare.
 

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