$225m Marvel Stadium redevelopment plans revealed
New plans have been revealed for the $225 million redevelopment of Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium, to revitalise the 20-year-old stadium and make it more fan-friendly.
Much of the work centres on the eastern and southern sides of the stadium’s exterior, with the venue to opened up to Melbourne’s CBD.
While the plans don’t reveal any change the stadium’s seating bowl, they do reveal new and upgraded internal spaces, bars and restaurants, with some internal walls to be removed to open them up to the field of play.
A new ‘town square’ will be developed as an extension to the stadium near the Bourke St footbridge combining indoor and outdoor areas, capable of hosting community markets and public events.
A ‘city edge’ extension on the eastern side will be built with revamped public and function areas boasting city views.
Two new larger video screens are to be hanged from the roof at either end of the stadium, while upgrade lighting and technology will be implemented throughout the stadium to improve the game-day experience.
Home clubs will be able to fully integrate their branding when hosting events at Marvel Stadium, through external and internal LED lighting and LED video screens throughout the venue.
Player facilities will also be upgraded, including male and female change rooms, while bike parking will be created for fans to promote sustainable transport.
Sports Minister Martin Pakula said the project, designed by architects Grimshaw with Smartform, would go to construction tender next week, while work on the project is expected to commence in 2021.
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said the upgraded design will deliver the best experience for fans in stadium and visitors to the precinct.
"The Marvel Stadium precinct will be one of the best sports and entertainment destinations in the world, with its proximity to the city and a world class entertainment and food offering pre-and post-event," McLachlan said.
"The designers have captured our desire to amplify the stadium's ability to host multiple events across a calendar year and ensure fan experience has been front of mind when designing the upgrade.
"By renovating the existing structure, it will provide a more environmentally sustainable way of building, as well as ensuring minimal disruption to fans.
It’s the first time detailed plans have been revealed for the stadium development, with the Victorian Government committing the funds back in April 2018 in exchange for the AFL Grand Final being played in Victoria until at least 2057 (now 2058 after this year’s Grand Final was played in Brisbane due to Covid-19).
Concept plans were released in mid-2016, including a waterside gateway to the stadium, hotel, rooftop bar, 1500-seat ballroom, restaurants and a running track around the venue’s parameter. The AFL, owner of the stadium since October 2016, has since parted ways with the high-profile project’s chief architect, and most of those plans appear to have been removed from the project.
The 56,000-capacity Marvel Stadium celebrated its 20th birthday earlier this year and if not for Covid-19, would usually host events all year-round including AFL, BBL, A-League and concerts. It last hosted an event on July 4 and its next event is yet to be locked in, with the A-League fixture not released as yet, while venues for the BBL have only been announced for the early parts of the season.