St Kilda boots Moorabbin, heads to Frankston
St Kilda is quitting its traditional home for a new multi-million-dollar super stadium at Frankston.
The club confirmed today it had signed a deal with Frankston Council to move to a new high-tech training base by 2010.
The Saints will share the venue with VFL side Frankston Dolphins.
They will train at their Moorabbin base for the 2008 and 2009 seasons before moving to Frankston, a stronghold of St Kilda supporters.
Chief executive Archie Fraser believes the $10.25 million elite training centre will be comparable to the best in the AFL.
St Kilda's football and administration staff will also be based in Frankston but the club will retain a presence in Moorabbin - their home since 1965 - through a social club.
The new home will be jointly funded by the AFL, St Kilda, State Government and Frankston City Council in a huge boost for the bayside suburb.
The move follows a long fight with council over the club's use of its 83 poker machines.
The council, which backs a cutback in local pokies, did not want St Kilda to move its machines 200m from its social club to a proposed new venue on South Rd.
A breakdown in talks prompted the Saints to announce a search for new facilities, as reported by the Herald Sun in May.
The Frankston move, which has not gone to a vote of St Kilda club members, was chosen over a lucrative offer by the City of Casey to set up at Casey Fields in Cranbourne North.
St Kilda's current VFL affiliate is the Casey Scorpions.
The Saints also have shelved plans for a $10.5 million upgrade of Moorabbin, which was to have been footed by the AFL ($2.55 million), the State Government ($3.45 million), Kingston Council ($2.5 million) and the Saints ($2 million).
A final decision on the shift was made by St Kilda's new-look board, headed by president-elect Greg Westaway, after initial investigations by the ousted Rob Butterss led-team. The club playing group has previously expressed a preference for staying at Moorabbin.
The ground has been home to St Kilda since 1965 and was used as an VFL-AFL venue in 254 matches until 1992.