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Richmond Tigers propose 40,000 seat Punt Road Oval redevelopment as Melbourne’s third AFL stadium

Richmond Tigers propose 40,000 seat Punt Road Oval redevelopment as Melbourne’s third AFL stadium
March 20, 2016

With Melbourne’s sporting leaders influencers fixated on a new AFL stadium, the Richmond Football Club has advanced a proposal for redevelopment of Punt Road Oval as an alternative to Eddie McGuire's proposed 60,000-seat ground on the current site of Hisense Arena.

Tigers Chief Executive Brendon Gale said the plan for a 40,000 seat venue at the club’s Punt Road Oval headquarters would not require the demolition of Etihad Stadium in the Melbourne Dockland would include a fans' zone between the ground and neighbouring MCG, with Richmond railway station also part of the upgrade.

Gale told News Corp "Punt Road should be in the frame, it's an existing venue, it wouldn't require the selling of (Etihad Stadium), and the Richmond railway station has been the agenda for a number of years and maybe this gives the government the opportunity to redevelop that."

In a statement on the Tigers’s website, Gale outlined the reasons why the team has put the Punt Road playing plans back on the agenda after shelving the initial idea three years ago, with a return to home matches at the famous ground, which were last played there in 1964, featuring as a prominent part of Richmond’s planning.

Gale added “we wouldn’t expect to play all games here.

“Clearly, our home ground’s the MCG, just over the road, and our average crowd last year was just under 50,000. So, I’d anticipate we’d play a lot of games at the MCG.

“But there are some games where we draw less, so it’d be feasible.

“There’s a handful of clubs in Melbourne, and the expansion teams, that have lower-drawing games. A lower-capacity, low-cost stadium would make those sorts of fixtures much more viable.

“(Discussions about Punt Road Oval becoming a third AFL stadium in Melbourne) began in 2013, when there were concerns about the stadium deals that some clubs had that weren’t very productive. So, it was a means of trying to provide a low-capacity, low-cost stadium, to provide better returns for clubs. It was on that basis the AFL came to us.

“Punt Road was an attractive venue, so we were prepared to have a good, long, hard look at it. There was, however, no compelling reason for us to explore it because there was only an 18,000 capacity, which meant we wouldn’t play there at all.

“But (three years on) we’re still talking about the structural issues of stadium deals and how some clubs are hamstrung.

“In the context of discussion and debate around third venues, if the capacity was increased, we’d want it to be put back on the agenda.”

However, Gale stressed that the plans were nothing more than an idea at this stage, and a long way from coming to fruition, concluding “it’s an idea, which we thought would be worthwhile re-presenting to consider in light of the current discussion around stadiums.”

Funding for a new venue would have to come from the AFL and the Victorian Government.

Punt Road Oval was last upgraded in 2012 into an elite, multi-purpose sporting facility combining a high performance training, treatment and recovery, education, workplace and retail components.

Meanwhile, three Chinese conglomerates have reportedly expressed interest in the purchase of the Etihad Stadium for up to $1.3 billion with a view to redeveloping the site for commercial and residential uses.

Images: Suters' 2012 Punt Road Oval project for the Richmond Football Club (top) and the 2013 propoosal to upgrade the venue (below).

10th March 2016 - TV’S MCGUIRE LEADS PUSH TO DEMOLISH MELBOURNE’S ETIHAD STADIUM AND HISENSE ARENA FOR NEW AFL VENUE

1st March 2016 - AFL REVENUES TOPPED $500 MILLION IN 2015

27th February 2016 - RICHMOND FOOTBALL CLUB’S OFF FIELD SUCCESS BUILT ON THE INDUSTRY SKILLS OF KEY STAFF 

3rd December 2015 - HISENSE ARENA TO STAGE SHOWPIECE NETBALL TOURNAMENT UNDER THREE-YEAR CONTRACT

19th November 2015 - RICHMOND RECORDS 11TH CONSECUTIVE YEAR OF PROFIT

29th July 2015 - WESTERN BULLDOGS PRESIDENT CALLS FOR NEW MID-CAPACITY AFL STADIUM IN MELBOURNE

8th April 2013 - AFL CONSIDERS THIRD ‘NEW GENERATION’ MELBOURNE STADIUM

7th August 2012 - INTERNATIONAL AWARD SUCCESS FOR SUTERS ARCHITECTS 


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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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