Management of Marvel Stadium integrated into AFL as part of restructure
There has been a change of management at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium following the announcement of the AFL’s significant restructuring of its operations.
The Docklands stadium, which was purchased by the AFL in October 2016, has now been formally integrated into the AFL structure following Monday’s announcement, meaning the independent management of the venue by Melbourne Stadiums Limited (MSL) has come to an end.
Former MSL CEO Michael Green will continue to oversee the stadium under his new title of Head of Stadium Operations, with a newly former Stadium Operations team reporting into Kylie Rogers – the AFL’s Executive General Manager, Commercial and Customer.
The AFL is expected to report a $400 million loss of income this year due to COVID-19 and the league used the $1 billion stadium asset to secure a $500 million loan in March to secure the short-term future of the league and continue the 2020 season.
It’s yet to be revealed how many of MSL’s full-time staff have survived the mass-cull of talent across the two organisations.
The stadium's last event was on July 4, an AFL game closed to the public between Western Bulldogs and North Melbourne, before all matches were relocated to the northern states.
The Marvel Stadium redevelopment will now sit under Travis Auld, the AFL’s Executive General Manager - Finance, Clubs and Broadcasting, with the dedicated precinct redevelopment team to be led by General Manager of Property Development, Matthew Chun.
“Marvel Stadium is a fantastic asset for the AFL business, our end goal was to always fully integrate the stadium business into the AFL, which in turn will provided fans, at any event, the best possible experience.” AFL CEO Gill McLachlan said.
AFL General Manager of Infrastructure, Major Projects and Investment, Ray Gunston, also Chairman of MSL, will transition to an industry advisory role in a consulting capacity for the AFL, while AFL Executive and MSL board member Darren Birch has been made redundant by the league.
The AFL and Victorian Government has previously confirmed the $225 million redevelopment of Marvel Stadium will proceed regardless of the COVID-19 economic fallout with funding already budgeted, however detailed plans and a timeline are yet to be revealed.
The redevelopment is expected to breathe new life into the Docklands precinct, with initial plans including open air bars, restaurants, a running track, ballroom and new waterside precinct.
AFL CEO Gill McLachlan commented on the proposed redevelopment on Monday, saying, “Once the redevelopment is completed, we aim to have the leading multi-purpose stadium and surrounding precinct in the world.”
The state government announced funding for the redevelopment back in April 2018, in a deal locking the AFL Grand Final in at the MCG until 2057.