Geelong's Skilled Stadium will be transformed into a community facility as well as the Cats' fortress, with the green light given to redevelop the Doug Wade Stand.
The State Government made good on its $25 million election promise yesterday, with Premier and Cats fan Ted Baillieu announcing the commitment at the Cats' first home game for the season. It was welcomed with applause from the club faithful.
"This is a great day for the football club and for the city," Cats president Colin Carter said.
Under the plans, the ageing Doug Wade stand will be pulled down at the end of the AFL season, with a new stand incorporating a new community wellness and education centre expected to be completed before the start of the 2014 season.
Once finished it will increase the capacity of the stadium by more than 7000 to 34,500.
Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty said the community wellness and education centre would be used by the entire community, not just the club.
"This will increase the capacity of the facility to hold more spectators and also look after the young up-and-coming sportspeople around the area," he said.
"One of the great features of this redevelopment will be its capacity to give back to the families and community who have helped make the Geelong Football Club what it is today."
Cats CEO Brian Cook said stage three of the stadium's redevelopment would cost $34 million in total, with the club still looking for $3 million from both the AFL and the City of Greater Geelong.
Guaranteed funding from the Federal Government for the full $130 million redevelopment fell through with Australia's failed 2022 World Cup bid.
"At this stage, we've actually asked for some money from the Federal Government for this development to do a little bit more than what we have actually planned, but we are not holding our breath," Mr Cook said.
The final stage to redevelop the northern or city end of the stadium remains in limbo.
Speaking at the season's first president's luncheon, Mr Cook said stage four could be "five years or a generation away".
The new Doug Wade stand will be supporter and community focused, with better spectator amenities, a dedicated members' lounge and no corporate boxes.