Steel defects delay GMHBA Stadium redevelopment
The Geelong Football Club has confirmed the new 14,000-seat northern grandstand at GMHBA Stadium won’t be ready for any part of the 2023 AFL season.
It means the ground’s capacity will continue to be restricted to around 26,000 for the Cats’ nine home games during the 2023 season. The AFL had delayed Geelong's first game at the venue until round six, with the completion date initially set for “mid-2023”.
The club told its members last year it would not sell seats in the new stand until it had clarity which games it would be opened for.
It’s been reported the delays on the $142 million state government-funded grandstand are primarily due to problems with the quality of welding on steel imported from Qatar. “Uncertain and challenging environments” and supply chain problems have also been blamed for the delay.
The decision by builder Watpac to source 1200 tonnes of steel from overseas for the Kardinia Park project meant builders breached their commitment to local content baked into major project contracts.
Geelong CEO Simon Kelleher said, “the club is disappointed with the delays to the fifth state … and that the builder is unable to meet the previously stated completion date”.
Once completed, GMHBA Stadium will boast a seating capacity of 40,000. Geelong hosts Collingwood in round one of the AFL season on March 17 at the MCG.