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AFL to proceed with upgrade plan for Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium
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.
15th May 2020 - AFL announces that season will restart from 11th June
13th May 2020 - AFL announces protocols for return to training and play
10th April 2020 - AFL faces up to post lockdown changes
30th March 2020 - AFL looks to secure $600 million loan
29th March 2020 - AFL and players agree pay-cut deal through Coronavirus shutdown
22nd March 2020 - AFL suspends season until end of May in response to Coronavirus
17th March 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees AFL announce plan to cut season to 17 rounds
4th March 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees AFL cancel Shanghai fixture
26th February 2020 - Marvel Stadium delivers hospitality upgrades ahead of 2020 AFL season
14th February 2020 - AFL and Ticketmaster move to scrap ticket booking fees at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium
20th December 2019 - New Spartan Race format to make Australian debut at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium
25th November 2019 - Rugby Australia takes 2020 Bledisloe Cup Test to Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium
4th November 2019 - AFL announces new management arrangements for Marvel Stadium
28th June 2019 - Marvel Stadium roof to remain closed for AFL games
24th May 2018 - Disney secures naming rights at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium
30th April 2018 - Etihad Stadium welcomes 40-millionth event patron
7th October 2016 - AFL agrees Etihad Stadium purchase
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