AFL

Crows identify Thebarton Oval as new headquarters

Austadiums | Wednesday 24th August 2022
Concept plans for the Crows new headquarters at Thebarton Oval

The Adelaide Crows has identified Thebarton Oval as the future headquarters of the AFL club, including a new second oval to host the club’s AFLW home games.

The development of the 9.1ha site is expected to cost between $75m - $80m with the club continuing extensive negotiations with relevant stakeholders and seeking State Government funding support to enable the project to proceed.

The club had been deciding between Thebarton and the former Brompton Gasworks as its future home, before settling on the Thebarton Oval site that is 30 per cent larger.

The Thebarton site had also become more appealing in recent months with changes to the South Road Tunnels meaning the adjoining Kings Reserve will be available for the project immediately, rather than used for storage for the tunnel project for up to a decade.

A new oval the size of the MCG will be built at Kings Reserve, to serve as the new home ground of Adelaide Crows’ AFLW team, while the existing Thebarton Oval will be redeveloped as the Crows new training ground, with dimensions identical to Adelaide Oval.

The Crows have been located at Football Park since it entered the AFL in 1991, with the club continuing to be based at the West Lakes venue after it hosted its final AFL game in 2013 and its grandstands were demolished in 2019. A housing development has since been built at the site.

In 2019, the Crows announced plans for a $65 million training base in the Adelaide Parklands, north of the CBD, however these plans were blocked by the Adelaide City Council last year.

Thebarton Oval was the home ground of former SANFL club West Torrens Eagles, until they merged with Woodville and moved to Woodville Oval. The SANFL currently hold the lease to the ground, with the local Adelaide Footy League holding a sub-lease.

Facilities at the new Adelaide Crows headquarters would include:

  • Two ovals – one the size of Adelaide Oval, with the other replicating the MCG and featuring spectator seating and match-day facilities to host AFLW matches;
  • Gender equity with AFLW facilities capable of accommodating the industry’s future expansion to full-time athletes and coaches;
  • First-class aquatic facilities encompassing cutting edge hydrotherapy resources, as well as leading rehabilitation and medical amenities, with publicly accessible allied health services;
  • An indoor artificial grassed training field which is nearly double the size of what is currently available at West Lakes;
  • A new and improved council community hub can be developed to replace the existing building which will be demolished as part of the South Road works;
  • More member and fan focussed areas, such as an interactive museum and café, along with greater on-site car parking options.

Crows Chairman John Olsen said, “This development will underpin our football-first focus and it will benefit our players, coaches, staff, corporate partners, members and supporters, as well as the local community, for many years to come.

“Aside from being a state-of-the-art headquarters for all players, coaches and staff, it will be our AFLW team’s home ground, having dedicated facilities for both athletes and spectators.

“There will also be many and varied opportunities to celebrate our heritage, and engage with members, fans and the broader community.”

Thebarton Oval

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The Adelaide Crows has identified Thebarton Oval as the future headquarters of the AFL club, including a new second oval to host the club’s AFLW home games.
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