The Victorian Labor Government has pledged $500 million to state-wide sports infrastructure including $225 million of the 2018/2019 Budget to help fund redevelopments to the MCG and Etihad Stadium Precinct.
As part of the deal, the AFL Grand Final will continue to be played at the MCG until at least 2047 ensuring Australia’s biggest football game will remain at Australia’s biggest stadium.
The money will fund the AFL’s proposed redevelopment of the Etihad Stadium predict. The MCG's Great Southern Stand will also be upgraded to ensure the ground's capacity is maintained above 100,000 as a state-of-the-art venue.
This deal is part of a $500 million investment into sport state-wide, with women’s and community sports the biggest winners.
Women’s sports facilities and access to them will receive a $100 million boost under the new budget, with $15 million of that amount going towards the Female Friendly Facilities Fund and $67 million to the elite women’s facilities.
Other venues expected to benefit from the funding include:
- Ikon Park (Carlton)
- Mars Stadium (Ballarat)
- Casey Fields (South-East Melbourne)
- Whitten Oval (Footscray)
- Victoria Park (Collingwood)
- Moorabbin Oval (Moorabbin)
- State Basketball Centre (Wantirna South)
The Etihad Stadium upgrades will see improvements for the provision of rectangular sports fields (soccer and rugby), improvements to the women’s change room facilities, and guaranteed access for other codes and major events to use the stadium. The AFL also plan to demolish AFL House and replace it with a hotel and ballroom capable of hosting the Brownlow Medal.
Ikon Park in Carlton will receive $20 million to make it the home of women’s football, while the funds will allow St Kilda to complete stage two of the Moorabbin Oval redevelopment following their move from Seaford.
Meanwhile, a new boutique venue in Melbourne to host smaller AFL games has been ruled out, with all games to remain at the MCG and Etihad Stadium.