Jack Dyer Stand to be bulldozed in Punt Road Oval redevelopment
Punt Road Oval will receive a $60 million redevelopment, but an expanded MCG-sized training ground will see the demolition of the historic Jack Dyer Stand.
The reigning AFL Premiers have outgrown the existing facilities at their Richmond home and will build a new grandstand featuring public seating and amenities, female change rooms and function centre, allowing for crowds of 8,000 to attend AFLW and second-tier men’s matches at the venue.
The Jack Dyer Grandstand was built in 1914 and is the last remaining nod to the past at Tigerland, but will make way for the new facility and expanded playing surface. The grandstand was recently declared unsafe by the AFL and can no longer be occupied by spectators for matches at the venue.
The State Government announced funding of $15.5 million to the project, which comes on top of the $15 million already committed by the Federal Government in early 2019. The AFL club will now work to secure the remaining $29.5 million in funding needed to deliver the project.
Stage one of the redevelopment will see the Punt Road Oval playing surface increased in size to MCG dimensions, demolition of the Jack Dyer Stand and replaced with new public seating and amenities, female changerooms, community facilities and a function space.
Stage two will see construction of an underground car park while stage three will see a new landscaped forecourt, refurbishment of the existing Swinburne Centre including a new sports hall, Tigerland Superstore and public entry. It will also see a new landscaped terrace behind the northern goals.
The Punt Road Oval masterplan will see the football department take over the club’s current headquarters, opened in 2011, and the construction of new facilities to house the Korin Gamadji Institute, Bachar Houli Foundation and its women’s football program.
Tigers chief executive Brendon Gale said: “As of late last year, we have had to relocate a large chunk of our administration staff into portable offices and long-term that is unsustainable.
“We have gone from one team to five in recent years (including the club’s wheelchair team) and that has put significant space pressure on both our football program and the broader administration, including some industry leading community programming.”
The new William Cooper Centre, which will replace the existing grandstand, will feature elite-level facilities to support the growth of women’s football, a flexible learning space for the club’s Korin Gamadji Institute, accommodation for Melbourne Indigenous Transition School students who complete Year 7 on-site at the club, and a base for the Bachar Houli Foundation.
Richmond President Peggy O’Neal said the Tigers need to keep evolving as a club and meet the future needs of its players, supporters and the community.
“We need our AFL program to train on a ground that is the same dimensions as the MCG and we want our AFLW and second-tier competition teams to play at a venue that not only meets their needs, but that of those supporters that come to watch them play,”
“To achieve that outcome and ensure Richmond remains at Punt Road Oval long into the future we need to remove the Jack Dyer Stand. Elements of the stand will be retained and incorporated in the new facility.”
Meanwhile, the North Melbourne Football Club has received $7 million in funding from the Victorian Government to complete stage two of its Arden Street Oval redevelopment.
Plans include female-friendly change rooms, umpires change rooms, meeting spaces, multimedia facilities, commercial kitchen and a redesign of the club’s community arm – The Huddle. Construction is set to commence in early 2021.
The traditional home of the Kangaroos hosted its first AFLW match back in February but the completion of stage two will allow the club to host more games at their North Melbourne base.
The Western Bulldogs revealed their $60 million stage two plans for Whitten Oval on Sunday after receiving $36.6 million in funding from the Government.