Push to move forward final stage of Kardinia Park redevelopment
Coronavirus and the postponement of the T20 World Cup could bring forward the fifth and final stage of the GMHBA Stadium redevelopment.
The final stage of the redevelopment will see a new grandstand replace the existing Ford Stand and Gary Ablett Terrace, while the Hickey Stand will also be refurbished.
Once complete, the Geelong stadium will seat 40,000 spectators and will mark an end of an almost 20-year complete rebuild of the venue.
The venue was set to stage six games for the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup in October, however the International Cricket Council has postponed the tournament in Australia until 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Authorities had previously stated the final stage would commence following the tournament, but G21 chief executive Elaine Carbines said it would “make a lot of sense” to bring forward the construction.
“The construction jobs are really important and many of our construction workers are currently travelling to Melbourne for work,” Ms Carbines said.
Ms Carbines said the fast-tracking of the project would allow the vision of a completed stadium to finally come to fruition.
“It’s an incredibly important venue, not just for the Geelong Cats, but also for a number of activities and events,” Ms Carbines.
Kardinia Park Stadium Trust chief executive Gerard Griffin remained tight-lipped and said the trust was working with stakeholders.
“Kardinia Park Stadium Trust is working to deliver the stage five redevelopment as quickly as possible while also considering the needs of its tenants and event organisers, including Geelong Football Club, the men’s T20 World Cup and Big Bash League,” Mr Griffin said.
Despite some funding already committed to stage five, there remains a shortfall of between $20-$40 million for the project. Previous stages of the redevelopment have had to cut out some planned facilities due to shortfalls in funding.
The redevelopment of Kardinia Park was originally unveiled in 2007 and started with the construction of the Hickey Stand 2004/05. Since then, new grandstands have been built in three stages, new lights and headquarters for the Geelong Football Club.