Olympic Park No. 2
Olympic Park No. 2 is a former stadium located near the Yarra River in Melbourne (next to the old main Olympic Park Stadium) which was primarily used for greyhound racing and rectangular sports. AAMI Park is now situated on part of what used to be the old stadium. While its history dates back to 1956 as a sports ground (hosting Hockey during the Olympics), the stadium opened as a greyhound racing venue in August 1962.
In 1973, a 2200-seat two-tier grandstand was constructed at a cost of $5.5 million, named after MGRA Chairman/Manager Harold Matthews. Crowds of 5,000 would regularly pack the venue for the Monday night greyhound racing meets. The venue was upgraded with a synthetic pitch, practice running track and throwing area to coincide with the 1985 World Veterans Athletic Championship. The rectangular pitch inside the track allowed for soccer and rugby matches to also be played there.
In late 1994, the planned CityLink Burnley Tunnel required a temporary relocation for the MGRC. It then became apparent the tunnel necessitated a permanent move due to the tunnel entry located within the track/field. The final greyhound race was held at Olympic Park on Monday 26 February 1996 in front of 3,000 punters. It wasn't until mid-2001, that the entire venue, including the grandstand, was demolished and in 2004, Edwin Flack Field opened on part of the site formerly occupied by No. 2, which was used as an AFL training ground by Collingwood until 2016. The ground lasted just three years and made way for Melbourne's new 30,000-capacity rectangular stadium, AAMI Park, which opened in 2010.
The precinct was originally known as the Amateur Sportsgrounds (featuring two sports grounds) and was re-named Olympic Park in 1933. The precinct was developed from 1951 onwards in preparation for the Melbourne 1956 Olympics and the new Eastern Sportsground or Olympic Park No. 2 was constructed and opened soon after, on the site partly occupied by the Motordrome previously - along with the new Velodrome built at the same time.
Initially, it was used as a general-purpose field for sports such as Australian football, while it hosted the field hockey preliminary rounds during the Olympics. The ground featured a small 1048-seat grandstand and was surrounding by a hill which could accomodate up to 20,000 fans. The Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) was a tenant until 1961 when construction of the greyhound track reduced the dimensions of the oval below the minimum dimensions for an Australian football ground.
Olympic Park No. 2 Details