A new Trust headed by Steve Bracks will oversee the next phase of development at Simonds Stadium to commence following the 2015 AFL season.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Thursday that $400,000 would be contributed by the Government to set-up the Trust. It’ll be run similar to the MCG Trust and Melbourne & Olympic Park Trust, running the day-to-day operations. Until now, the venue has been operated by City of Greater Geelong with the Geelong Football Club the promoter and construction manager.
Mr Bracks, who is a Cats supporter, will receive an honorary fee for his work as chairman once it is set up this year. He will also be part of the steering committee.
The Labor Government has pledged $70 million towards further expansion of the ground, with plans to boost seating capacity to 36,000.
Stage 4 of the Simonds Stadium redevelopment will commence in late 2015 and will see the replacement of the Brownlow and Jennings Stands. The ground will be completed in years to come with Stage 5 which will see the replacement of the Ford Stand, Ablett Terrace and Southern Terrace, while the Hickey Stand will also be refurbished.
The redevelopment of the ground will see an increased number of events held at Geelong including more Cats games, football, cricket and rugby.
Simonds Stadium hosted its first A-League match last Friday night and attracted over 21,000 fans while more than 205,000 fans attended events throughout 2014 with the highest crowd 27,402 for Geelong v North Melbourne under the new lights.