Value capture model to fund Western United stadium
The future home stadium of A-League club Western United will be entirely funded by a concept known as ‘value capture’, with no state or federal funds committed to the project.
The 15,000-seat Wyndham City Stadium in Tarneit, which is yet to commence construction and still no timelines have been confirmed, will become the first sports stadium in Australia to be funded by such a model that could help boost infrastructure in Australia's economic recovery from COVID-19.
Standing in an empty paddock in the west of Melbourne where the stadium will be built, director of deals, investment and major projects at Wyndham City Council, Kate Roffey, explained to ABC News how the financing model will fund the venue.
"We're providing, at no cost, the piece of land, apart from about six and a half hectares for the stadium itself. Anything that the developer wants to develop on, they pay for … purchased at market rate, stays in the ownership of council and we use the profit to pay for the stadium.
"So you need a group of investors who were really interested in doing something good for the community, as opposed to saying 'we could just buy the land, develop it ourselves and put the cash in our pockets'."
The model is common in Hong Kong and has helped finance the massive new crossrail tunnel under London.
The $150 million purpose-built football stadium will be built near a future train station on the Melbourne-Geelong line, which will link it to the CBD in around 20 minutes.
The Wyndham City Council is considered the fastest-growing area in Australia, which the A-League club will call home by 2023.
The new purpose-built stadium was central to Western United’s A-League bid, but construction has been delayed, believed to be due to the lack of land sales in the stadium precinct.
In September, the club and Wyndham City Council announced the construction of an elite training facility, including a 5,000-seat grandstand, to be located next to the proposed stadium, with construction due to commence in early 2021 and be completed in 2023.
As yet, no construction timelines have been confirmed for the main stadium, however site investigations were completed back in December 2019.
Western United played home games in their inaugural season at GMHBA Stadium, Mars Stadium and one game at the Whitten Oval. In the upcoming A-League season, they’ll again play games in Geelong and Ballarat, with the remaining games to be played in Melbourne at a yet-to-be-confirmed venue.