Whitten Oval Redevelopment Plans (UPDATE: No AFL Games)

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BulldogJake

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Jul 24, 2016
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It would be staged. They'd aim for 18k straight up which would sell out for all afl games. Then they'd hope to add 5k at a time every decade or so. There'd be potential for a 25-30k stadium which would be huge for the club. Gordon St may have to go for that to happen, but I think in 20 years that'll be more doable. West Footscray station is about to be upgraded with another platform and will be a key terminus for the Frankston and Cranbourne lines too, so lack of parking won't be such a big issue
This. They can eventually upgrade West Footscray to 4 or 5 platforms can’t they?
 

Sharkey66

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Found this quite funny. Unfortunately most of it is probably fairly close to the truth



When it comes to handouts, how much do clubs want?
By Jake Niall
May 11, 2019 — 4.22pm



AFL clubs are upping the ante on funding.Credit:
The minister looked up abruptly from a desk cluttered with departmental papers and polling data. ‘‘How much do Hawthorn want?’’ he asked.
‘‘I think they want $20 million,’’ said the adviser. ‘‘For their new facility at Dingley. It’s the size of a small suburb.’’
The minister groaned. ‘‘Is that what Labor’s promised?’’
‘‘Yep. Jeff Kennett will drive us mad if we don’t match. They’ve pitched it as money for community facilities and an HQ for headspace, the mental health group, and someone else.’’

Bloody Jeff, thought the minister. Kennett did not give a fig for the federal Liberals. But it was still noteworthy that Jeff had not attended the ALP’s Dingley announcement with Albo and Mark Dreyfus, the local member, and had instead gone to a Hawthorn-Collingwood announcement with Eddie McGuire.
‘‘Albanese’s a Hawthorn fan, isn’t he?’’ ‘‘Yes, Rabbitohs, then Hawthorn,’’ replied the adviser, who had been to a lunch in Canberra for something called Hawks on the Hill, in which Jarryd Roughead had been seated next to an excited Albanese and Michael McCormack, the deputy PM.

Jeff Kennett and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire.Credit:AAP
‘‘Hawthorn can wait,’’ said the minister. ‘‘Can you give me a rundown on what we’ve handed out so far?’’
The adviser opened the manila folder he carried under his arm. ‘‘Here you go. We gave $15 million to the Brisbane Lions. I think they were first.’’

‘‘What for?’’ ‘‘For women’s footy at their new Springfield facility, mainly. Abbott had defunded a Labor promise – partly because Springfield’s in ALP territory. We’ve reinstated it. The view was that we needed to show support for women’s sport – you know, Libs on the nose with women and all that.’’
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‘‘OK. Who was next?’’ The adviser squinted at the sheet. ‘‘Carlton got $15 million – centre for women’s footy at whatever Princes Park’s called. Frydenberg’s a Carlton tragic. They got $20 million from the Victorian government, too.
‘‘The Adelaide Crows got $15 million for their facility. Backed by both Kate Ellis and Pyne, of course. Pyne lobbied hard even though he was leaving.’’
The adviser continued. ‘‘The Sydney Swans – $15 million, for their training and admin base. Think the AFL and the club claimed it would help us hold Wentworth, which is complete bullshit as we know, but I suppose we had ...’’

The minister interrupted. ‘‘Didn’t we give money to Richmond and Collingwood in the last few weeks, too?’’
‘‘We did. They both got the standard $15 mil. Frydenberg was involved. Richmond were doing something with their Indigenous learning centre – they’re naming it after William Cooper, and I think they threw Bachar Houli in there, too. Indigenous AND multicultural/Muslim. They’re smart. Dan Tehan’s a Richmond man, by the way.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is a Blues tragic. Credit:AAP
‘‘The Pies got the money for some kind of research project with Monash – and of course, they’ll spend it on their Taj Mahal as well. Always get looked after by Labor. Shorten is a Collingwood convert. He used to barrack for the Swans. Convenient.
‘‘Essendon’s actually in Shorten’s electorate, at the airport. They got only $4 million – they host the Paralympics athletes. Lindsay Tanner will do better out of Labor.’’

The minister wasn’t particularly fond of AFL, but he had been in the Olympic room on grand final day last year with all the corporate bigwigs, Waleed Aly and every liniment-sniffing MP who could get in, and he had enjoyed being at the apex of cultural, business and media power.
Morrison, as a Sydneysider, wasn’t huge on AFL either, but he’d been seen by millions sitting next to Gillon McLachlan, looking vaguely statesman-like to a mainly Victorian and WA audience.
The AFL had seated the minister on the same table as Jude Donnelly, who’d worked for Richmond and in Abbott’s office. She was the AFL’s Liberal lobbyist and versed in two-way access.
The minister wasn’t particularly fond of AFL, but ... he had enjoyed being at the apex of cultural, business and media power.​
‘‘We don’t need to give anything to those Perth teams, do we?’’ The minister knew they were rolling in it and the WA government had forked out nearly a billion for that new stadium. Obscene.

‘‘They got $10 million each for their facilities a while ago. Nothing new, no.’’
‘‘Geelong? They’re forever getting grandstands built by taxpayers.’’
‘‘Not this time. They’re mainly state government-funded. Andrews has pledged $100 mil for their next phase of their ground. I think they’ve gouged more than $250 million from the three tiers of government, but the vast majority of it is state. They’ve been lucky to have marginal seats and a couple of premiers who’re Geelong nuffies.’’
The adviser glanced again at his notes on the AFL clubs. They hadn’t funded North Melbourne’s planned redevelopment yet. Nor St Kilda, which had pissed away millions by moving to Seaford and then returning to Moorabbin.
He knew the Saints were McLachlan’s team, however, and guessed that, at some stage, they’d have their hand out, probably on the basis of local footy and that locals could use the gym. The next government’s problem.

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The Western Bulldogs were relying on the state government for the expansion of their facility. Labor territory. They’ll get the money, the adviser thought.

The minister’s assistant knocked and opened the door simultaneously.

‘‘Richard Goyder, the AFL chairman, is on the phone, sir,’’ she said. ‘‘He said it’s important that you speak to him.’’

The minister turned to his adviser, bothered. ‘‘Do I have to speak to him?’’ ‘‘Yes, minister.’’

When it comes to handouts, how much do clubs want?
 

cecil

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I attended a small invite only community meeting regarding the project tonight, chaired by Peter Gordon, Ameet Bains, and the company who had been enlisted to devise a master plan.

Key points:
* No plans to play AFL games at the venue again.
* The focus is on it becoming the best community ground in Australia, particularly for AFLW, and also VFL
* No talk of funding being secured yet
* Project isn't set and some parts will evolve as time develops. Stage 1 is more to do with the western edge of the ground, and more set in stone.
* Hoping to make it like the "Fed Square" of the west, with a real focus on community programs.
* Scope to have a lot more community events in the future (night markets, open air cinema, concerts all explicitly named).
* Will likely be retail offerings on the site
* Possibility of a multi story car park as a means of bringing money into the club, with this aided by the big upgrade to West Footscray station. This had been supported by Bill Shorten, but hadn't had talks with the new government yet. Probably at least a decade off though.
 

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Doggies7

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I attended a small invite only community meeting regarding the project tonight, chaired by Peter Gordon, Ameet Bains, and the company who had been enlisted to devise a master plan.

Key points:
* No plans to play AFL games at the venue again.
Hmm isn't that different than what was said a few weeks ago at the Q and A?
 

cecil

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Hmm isn't that different than what was said a few weeks ago at the Q and A?
I didn't attend that one. This was very explicitly stated by Peter Gordon though.

I would assume the entire plan is built around it being a community hub and for aflw games. He stated that they didn't want to turn it into another kardinia park full of stands, and wanted to maintain the overall character and heritage of the ground.
 

dogwatch

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There'll be no public funding for an openly stated goal of playing AFL games at VUWO. There will, however, be a fair chance of funding if it's for innovative stuff, community-based, women's sport, inner suburban regeneration, retail operations, etc.

Embrace the ideas that are likely to get funded and then if the opportunity happens to arise a few years down the track to play the odd AFL game there, so be it.
 

Norm De Guerre

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Its hardly a surprise that the original grandiose plans have seemingly been scaled back and it speaks clearly to the reception that it received by Government. The timing of the original announcement that contained the illusory possibility of an occasional "heritage game" so as to get a splashy front page on the Herald Sun, always had the stink of a pre-election fishing exercise wafting about it.
 

Oliver Gigacz

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So is this that proposed plan they did a while back!
Yep this is Stage 2 of our Master Plan, still more to come after this.

This is excellent news to top off the night, hopefully we get confirmation on State Funding at the budget on 24th November. Has anyone heard anything final regarding state funding? I imagine it will go through as expected especially as AFLW is a major part of the redevelopment and the government will certainly want to support women's footy.

Here are some more high res renders and if anyone wants full planning documents with full plans I've attached links to the PDF below (beware it's over 100MB)...

Screen Shot 2020-11-12 at 9.14.02 pm.png

Screen Shot 2020-11-12 at 9.12.31 pm.png

Screen Shot 2020-11-12 at 9.12.39 pm.jpg

Screen Shot 2020-11-12 at 9.12.49 pm.jpg

Screen Shot 2020-11-12 at 9.12.20 pm.jpg


 

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Roogal

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So is this that proposed plan they did a while back!
No this releates to the "grand $150 mil development plan" announced back in 2018. This is part of the clubs application for planning permit for Stage 2 development of the ground for AFLW. The lights have already been budgeted and funded as part of the broader State Govt funded "$650 mil Stadia Development Plan". Notice the AFLW Logo on the oval in the image above? That's probably what the State Govt are funding for the lights for, not to put too finer point on that. Ikon Park is getting a set of four retractable lights similar to those at 'The Oval' in England. From their (the Govt) point of view they see Ikon Park, VUWO and possibly RSEA Park being Melbourne's AFLW hubs. The WBFC are seeking to essentially fund the rest of the ongoing development through a number of chanels (Govt and local council grants, loans, membership donations, sponsorships, fund-raisers and asset sales).
 
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Oliver Gigacz

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No this releates to the "grand $150 mil development plan" announced back in 2018. This is part of the clubs application for planning permit for Stage 2 development of the ground for AFLW. The lights have already been budgeted and funded as part of the broader State Govt funded "$650 mil Stadia Development Plan". Notice the AFLW Logo on the oval in the image above? That's probably what the State Govt are paying for the lights for, not to put too finer point on that. From their point of view they see Ikon Park, VUWO and possibly RESA Park being Melbourne's AFLW hubs. The WBFC are seeking smehow to fund the rest through a number of chanels (Govt grants, loans, donations, sponsorships, fund raisers and asset sales).
Not doubting you but have you got any documentation that show we are seeking funding through loans, donations, sponsorships, etc, etc? Last I heard was that the government had committed to funding this stage of the development or at least the majority and it was just awaiting final approval? Or are you talking about Stage 3/4?
 

Roogal

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Not doubting you but have you got any documentation that show we are seeking funding through loans, donations, sponsorships, etc, etc? Last I heard was that the government had committed to funding this stage of the development or at least the majority and it was just awaiting final approval? Or are you talking about Stage 3/4?
I'm talking in reference to the total project. We need to consider that club would obviously only pay for what it can physically own as an asset. The oval and surrounds are owned by the local council. What components of these developments are built on any Crown Land will be accordingly funded by the Govt and will always be State/Council assets. Anything constructed on any Freehold Title zone(s) adjacent to the ground will have to be privately funded or if funded by Govt then this opens the door for them to step in and compulsorily acquire those assets as happened in Ballarat with the North Ballarat Sports Club (and boy you don't want that, it got emotional and ugly). I don't know the arrangement with the WBFC at VUWO, i.e. whether they rent or lease their buildings from Council or if their occupied buildings are on freehold title land. At a guess, if government have coughed up monies in the past or recently to fund any building development at the ground then I'd suggest that they have bigger stakes in it as an asset. I hope that makes sense :)
 
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Roogal

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Is repairing the pothole in the car park part of this plan? Or do we need to lobby the government separately for that?
Depends whether the council or the club own the carpark ;)

If the club owns it, you can do a quick whip around or perhaps a Friday night chook raffle to pay for it :p
 

wian

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Looks great. So is the goal to ultimately play an AFL game there each year? Would be good to increase capacity to 25k
 

DexterTan

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According to the FAQs:

Could AFL games be played at VU Whitten Oval in the future?

While VU Whitten Oval’s principal football use will be for women’s and VFL games, the Club anticipates that its expanded capacity and quality could make the occasional fixturing of a heritage game in the men’s AFL premiership season an exciting option.
 

wian

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So after the next stage development coming up, will capacity be 18k, or is that further down the track?
 

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