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AFL to proceed with upgrade plan for Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium

AFL to proceed with upgrade plan for Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium
May 18, 2020

Despite financial uncertainty resulting from the Coronavirus crisis, the AFL is to proceed with the $225 million overhaul of Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium into what League Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan says will create “the most fan-friendly multipurpose stadium in the world”.

Plans for the 56,000-capacity venue in Melbourne’s Docklands will see it transformed into a seven-day destination with a new waterside hotel, rooftop bar and ballroom, a wing expansion, upgrades around the venue and a new public space.

Confirmed in April 2018 by the Victoria Government, the project has been delayed due to the AFL parting with it chief architect, while the Coronavirus has seen the League suspend its season, stand down 80% of its workforce and seek a $600 million loan.

However, the Victorian Government has assured AFL House of its backing with both parties saying work is certain to go ahead, with funding fully budgeted and revised redevelopment plans being drawn up.

AFL spokesman Jay Allen recently advised “the Marvel Stadium and surrounding Docklands precinct upgrade is a self-contained project, with funding committed specifically.

“And as such it continues to function, all be it remotely for the interim as the community faces an unprecedented challenge.’’

The Victorian Government committed to the project in April 2018 in exchange for a guarantee that the AFL grand final stays in Melbourne until 2057.

Owned by the AFL since 2016, having been acquired in a deal believed to be worth around $200 million, the venue, then known as Colonial Stadium, opened in March 2020.

Since then it has been a catalyst in the revitalisation of Melbourne’s Docklands precinct.

Details of the redevelopment masterplan are expected to be announced in the near future.

Image: The 2018 concept for the redevelopment of the then Etihad Stadium.

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