GMHBA Stadium Redevelopment
The current redevelopment of Simonds Stadium (stage four) will see the construction of a new Grandstand to replace the Brownlow and Jennings stands, increasing capacity by 2,500 to 36,000.
The fifth and final stage will following this, with the Ford Stand, Ablett Terrace and Southern Terrace Replacement and Hickey Stand Refurbishment.
The third stage of the Simonds Stadium saw a new southern grandstand built to increase capacity to over 30,000. The was completed in mid-2013. Following this, lights were installed at the ground to allow for night matches.
The second stage of Simonds Stadium’s redevelopment included the Past Players and Ross-Drew Stands coming down to make way for a state-of-the-art sports and grandstand facility.
Work was completed in early 2010 and costing $30 million, this new complex will see the stadium capacity increase to accommodate 30,000 supporters and house:
- State-of-the-art sports science facility and gymnasium
- Club administrative offices
- Function room facility to cater for up to 300 guests
- Fifty new open air corporate boxes
- New executive hospitality suites
Geelong FC on the 19th of March unveiled a $25 million plan to give the local community a 21st century stadium and community facility.
“This is an exciting development for us, for all the partners and for all the people of Geelong who will benefit from this wonderful facility,” Geelong president Frank Costa said.
“The existing Skilled Stadium is in need of a major up-grade if we are to keep football here in the long-term and by golly we all went to keep the Geelong Football Club in Geelong. That’s why we’ve got together with a whole range of people, including the State Governments, the City of Greater Geelong and fellow users of Kardinia Park to come up with this plan.”
The Geelong Sports Precinct Feasibility Study commissioned by the Geelong Football Club has developed a funding strategy that requires:
$4.5 million from the football club;
$12.5 million from the State Government of Victoria;
$6 million from the City of Greater Geelong;
$2 million from the Australian Football League.
“While we are putting up $4.5 million, we won’t be going into any further debt,” Mr Costa said. “We will use our share of the dividend from the sale of Waverley Park plus funds received from a ticket premium to fund our contribution. The feasibility study notes an economic benefit from this development inside three years and over 25 years, the return to the community would be $100 million. Simply, we cannot afford not to being up-grading our stadium.”
Key community benefits from the new master plan include:
A new 6000 seat Eastern Grandstand including a 700 seat banquet/conference facility and fully-equipped media centre;
New Geelong Sports House complex (share administration complex for local sporting bodies);
New entry pavilions;
Extending the Brownlow building to create the elite training gymnasium for the region;
New stadium perimeter fence;
Development of a Sporting Boulevard and extensive landscape upgrades around the stadium;
New public address system;
New electronic scoreboard.
The new stadium will have a capacity of 28,000, the same as the old venue, but with a greater comfort level and the ability to be used more widely by the general community.
“If we can make this happen, everyone will be a winner,” Mr Costa said. “We are looking for support in a lot of areas and we believe this support will be forthcoming. This is not just something for the Geelong Football Club, this is something for all the people of Geelong.
“Already we are making our facilities available to the public. We can only improve this with a new Skilled Stadium. In the end, we have no choice but to go ahead with this plan because without it, there is little chance of the Geelong Football Club continuing to play in Geelong.