Melbourne Olympic Stadium
There were various proposals to build a new stadium to serve as the main stadium for the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. First, it was intended a new stadium would be built at the Melbourne Showgrounds, however the site was deemed unsuitable and it was then proposed the venue would bePrincess Park in Carlton. On February 2, 1953, it was decided the Melbourne Cricket Ground would become the main stadium for the Melbourne Olympic Games. The new Olympic Stand was constructed and capacity was around 100,000 as it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, athletics and football.
The first proposal was to build a new stadium at the Royal Agricultural Showground, next to the existing main arena. The venue would have excellent transport links with the existing showgrounds train station located at the site. The below photo shows the proposed stadium, with Flemington Racecourse in the background.
In early 1952, Princes Park firmed as the Olympic venue when the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds were considered unsuitable and the MCG was refused on the grounds that the conversion of the arena was considered “engineeringly impracticable”. The existing Princes Park (Carlton Recreation Ground) was to be developed into a 100,000-capacity stadium over four years at a cost of $1,2 million, with the the now heritage-listed Gardiner Stand to be demolished. It was subsequently determined that costs for redevelopment of the stadium would be “considerably in excess of that originally anticipated”.
Princes Park photos courtesy of Carlton FC.
Below are additional proposed designs for a the construction of a new Melbourne Olympic Stadium - both at Princes Park.