Could post-pandemic blueprint help deliver A-League stadium?
A plan to reboot Victoria’s economy post-coronavirus is in the works, with 66 projects listed, including Western United’s new A-League stadium.
Focusing on Melbourne’s north and west, the blueprint revealed in Monday’s Herald Sun is designed to accelerate growth and jobs in specific areas of need, and includes projects such as a second Metro rail tunnel, outer-northern suburbs hospital and an outer metropolitan super highway.
It also details how to attract investment around major infrastructure developments already locked in, including the proposed Wyndham City Stadium in Tarneit.
Western United entered the A-League at the beginning of the current 2019/20 season, one of two expansion clubs set to enter the league within a two-year period.
The 15,000-seat privately-funded home stadium was seen as the primary factor that got it over the line, ahead of expansion rivals including Dandenong’s ‘Team 11’ and South Melbourne.
However, almost two years after the announcement of United joining the competition, construction is yet to commence and any talk of the new stadium has gone eerily quiet.
Updated stadium renders were revealed in July 2019, while its first milestone was reached on December 6 when it was announced that site investigations had been completed. The club was due to start playing at their new home in their third season. Earlier this year, the club announced it hoped construction would begin by mid-year.
The $180 million project is to be funded by the proceeds of residential and commercial property projects within the precinct at 1160 Sayers Road. It’s believed the sales of these projects has been a lot slower than anticipated, hampering progress of the stadium. It’s hoped this new post-pandemic blueprint for Victoria can push this project forward.
In its inaugural season, Western United played home games at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium and Ballarat’s Mars Stadium. It also decided to relocate one game to Whitten Oval in Footscray.
While off the field the club has struggled somewhat, attracting less than impressive crowds, on the field has been a different story. The club has surged into the semi-finals, winning five of their past seven matches, including an elimination final victory over Brisbane Roar. They now face Melbourne City on Wednesday night at Bankwest Stadium, with the winner to proceed to the Grand Final.