A-League

A-League champions Western United to deliver on stadium

Austadiums | Sunday 29th May 2022
Western United win the 2021/23 A-League Grand Final at AAMI Park

Fresh off claiming their maiden A-League championship, Western United can finally look towards playing at a home of their own.

The A-League expansion side, in what’s their third season, defeated Melbourne City 2-0 in Saturday’s Grand Final in front of a crowd of 22,495 at AAMI Park. The Melbourne rectangular stadium was one of five home grounds for the club during the 2021/22 season.

A purpose-built 15,000-seat stadium in Melbourne’s west formed part of Western United’s initial bid. First unveiled in June 2018, followed by updated renders by Populous a year later, the club had hoped to turn the first sod by the time they took the pitch for their first game, with a two year construction period.

With construction still yet to commence, club chairman Jason Sourasis recently admitted the club's early timelines were unrealistic but has vowed to deliver on the promise. It’s now anticipated the main stadium will be ready for action in 2026. Early site works commenced about six months ago.

Prior to that, the club will play games out of its under-construction 5,000-capacity elite training facility. Announced in September 2020, the facility will be built adjacent to the future 15,000-capacity main stadium in Tarneit. Construction commenced in March this year and is due for completion in May 2023.

Chief executive Chris Pehlivanis told reporters on Sunday the club hopes to boost the capacity of the training facility to 8,000 to play out of there for two seasons from the 2023/24 campaign.

"Playing out of that boutique little stadium of 8,000 for the next two-to-three years will allow us to build what we think will be a fortress, and from there we'll get an identity," he said.

Updated renders for the facility show a vastly different looking venue and downsized grandstand from the initial images released. It’ll feature three pitches, including one with a 5,000 capacity which will be capable of hosting A-League matches. There will also be a two-story building featuring a range of training and gym facilities, function and media spaces, change rooms and staff facilities.

With the elite training facility still at least 12 month away, it means Western United will again be nomads during their championship-defending season.

The club currently trains at Essendon’s FC’s training facility, The Hangar, and this year played home games at AAMI Park, Mars Stadium and Morshead Park (Ballarat), GMHBA Stadium (Geelong) and UTAS Stadium (Launceston). The club had hoped to play games at Lakeside Stadium prior to South Melbourne successfully shutting the A-League club out.

“Victoria needs a rectangular stadium in the west, which we will deliver,” said Sourasis.

“We can't get into our new Wyndham home soon enough.”

Wyndham City StadiumA-League

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Fresh off claiming their maiden A-League championship, Western United can finally look towards playing at a home of their own.
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