A-League Expansion Decision Imminent
The FFA board is expected to announce on Wednesday if two of the six A-League aspirants have been successful in joining the top tier of Australian football for the 2019/20 season.
There are six remaining bidders – three from Melbourne, two from Sydney and one from Canberra. South Melbourne is the only existing club while the other two Melbourne bidders have proposed to build new stadiums.
The bidding process is down to the wire and below is a summary of the six bids.
Canberra is the sole remaining bid outside of Melbourne and Sydney. The team will play out of the 25,000-seat GIO Stadium, which has hosted some Central Coast Mariners home games in recent years and previously the Canberra Cosmos in the old NSL. It is also the home of NRL side Canberra Raiders and Super Rugby side ACT Brumbies. A third team based at the stadium will renew calls for a new $400 million indoor stadium for the nation’s capital. The team will be based at the AIS and have access to its world-class facilities and leading sports science departments, while also building their own $30 million training facility.
Former NSL and current NPL Vic club South Melbourne has long had ambitions on joining the A-League and believe their time is now. They have a 40-year lease on Lakeside Stadium, which has a 8,000 capacity and is shared with Athletics Victoria as Melbourne’s primary athletics venue. As well as South Melbourne home games, the venue also hosts W-League matches and has served as a training base for touring teams.
WESTERN MELBOURNE GROUP
Central to the Western Melbourne bid is a new $150 million privately-funded 15,000-seat Wyndham Stadium located at Tarneit. It’ll be privately owned – not government owned and would also feature training fields and with residential and commercial development also planned for the surrounding area. The team will play at Geelong's GMHBA Stadium until the new stadium is built.
South-East Melbourne bid located in a fast-growing area of Victoria. A new 15,000-seat Dandenong Stadium has been proposed to be built next to Dandenong Stadium. It seems that FFA is waiting for the Victorian government to indicate that it will build the stadium, while the government is waiting for FFA to confirm that Team 11 will be chosen before making an announcement. If the team is accepted into the A-League before the new stadium is built, they’ve said they’ll play home games at Casey Fields for the first two seasons.
MACARTHUR-SOUTH WEST SYDNEY
Located in a fast-growing area which will soon include a new airport, university and hospital. Propose to play out of Campbelltown Stadium and redevelop it into an all-seater venue over a multi-staged renovation process. They've flagged having a home training base in greater Liverpool, building a centre of excellence and club house further north from their home stadium.
The bid is based across three main regions in southern Sydney and the south coast, aiming to call Kogarah, Sutherland and Wollongong home in some sense. It's most likely their permanent base will be in the Sutherland Shire and they will play a majority of games out of Shark Park in the short to medium term before building their own purpose-built stadium. They have also mentioned playing games at Jubilee Stadium and WIN Stadium.