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Labor makes election pledges to upgrade Geelong Performing Arts Centre and GMBHA Stadium
The Victorian Labor Party has made major pledges to complete the final stages of both Geelong’s GMBHA Stadium and the Geelong Performing Arts Centre if re-elected to Government.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews visited Geelong to announce the election pledges to upgrade the city’s home of AFL and its performing arts centre.
The Victorian Premier committed $102 million for the final stage of the redeveloplment of the GMBHA Stadium at Kardinia Park.
The upgrade would see the replacement of the venue’s Ford Stand and Ablett Terrace with a new two-tier northern stand, increasing the stadium's capacity to 40,000 from its current capacity of 36,000.
Under the plan, a new northern entry plaza would be built for patrons entering from Geelong's city centre and the South Geelong train station, and the existing Geelong Cricket Club rooms will be replaced with new facilities.
The redevelopment would also include new media and loading facilities with better access to the pitch to allow the delivery of drop-in pitches.
Premier Andrews advised “this is a facility that is much more than footy - it's about entertainment, it's about other sports.
"It's also about the community using for conferencing, for conventions, for all sorts of different activities."
Cricket Australia welcomed the plans, with Chief Executive James Sutherland stating “with the stage-five development of the ground, we'll see seating behind the bowlers' arm - a very important part of the ground from a cricket viewing perspective.”
New unisex changerooms would be built as part of the redevelopment, which the Government says will allow more professional women's sport to be played in Geelong.
Work would start after the International Cricket Council World T20 matches being held at Kardinia Park in 2020, with construction expected to finish in 2022.
The Government says the project would create about 300 jobs, and would allow the stadium to host major concerts and family events.
Michael Brown from the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust said up to 10 major events could be staged at the venue each year, adding "there's no reason the Elton Johns of the world should not be considering our stadium when they next tour regional Australia.”
Victorian Labor is also promising to complete the third and final stage of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre's redevelopment at a cost of $128 million.
This would include a 500-seat drama theatre, 250-seat courtyard theatre, another smaller performance space, an outdoor atrium, more dining options, an upgraded box office and refurbished back-of-house and administration facilities.
The project would cover about two thirds of the site, with most of the work focussing on the Little Malop Street side of the building.
Work on the arts centre would start in 2020 and be completed by 2023.
Work is currently underway on the on the $38.5-million second stage of the centre's redevelopment, including a new foyer, bar area and four rehearsal studios.
Premier Andrews concluded “this is all about providing the best facilities so that we can have more shows and a more diverse program of events.
"We will have, when this work is finished, not only the best stadium in regional Australia but the best performing arts centre anywhere in regional Australia as well."
Images: An artist's impression of the completed GMBHA Stadium (top, courtesy of the Victorian Government) and an artist's impression of the second stage redevelopment of the Geelong Performing Arts Centre (below, courtesy of Hassell).
12th January 2018 - Work commences on Geelong Performing Arts Centre redevelopment
24th December 2017 - Final stage of Kardinia Park redevelopment to cost $100 million
2nd November 2017 - Geelong FC announces GMHBA Stadium naming rights deal
30th June 2017 - New Chair announced for Kardinia Park Trust
8th December 2016 - Top lawyer named chair of Geelong Performing Arts Centre Trust
23rd April 2016 - Chris Cochrane named as Kardinia Park Stadium Trust Chief Executive
28th July 2015 - AFL backs funding for Simonds Stadium redevelopment
7th April 2015 - Populous to coordinate stage four of Simonds Stadium redevelopment
3rd June 2013 - Geelong play first game under Simonds Stadium’s new lights
23rd July 2010 - $75 million plan for Geelong’s Skilled Stadium
16th April 2010 - Redeveloped Skilled Stadium Ready for Season Opener
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