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AFL appoints John Holland to carry out Marvel Stadium upgrade

Building, infrastructure and rail company John Holland has been named as the official build partner for the upgrade of Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium and surrounding precinct, with work set to begin at the end of the 2021 AFL Aussie rules season.

Once completed, it is hoped the stadium complex will serve as a year-round sports and entertainment hub. The work is set for completion during the 2023 AFL season.

John Holland is one of Australia’s leading infrastructure and property companies and has previously worked on upgrades of Canberra’s Parliament House, the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Sydney Metro.

The Marvel Stadium project will include revitalised eastern and southern entry points at the venue, including a new Town Square, which will transform the space into a multi-purpose gathering area. A new city-side extension will also be developed and will include function rooms with views of the stadium and Melbourne’s CBD.

The space will also accommodate markets and community gatherings, while hospitality businesses on two levels of the Town Square plaza will be open to the public and converted into ticketed areas for sporting events and concerts.

Other elements of the project will include a City Edge stadium extension providing views of Melbourne, major renovations to public food and beverage areas, two new and bigger scoreboards hanging from the stadium roof, a new sensory room and a new changing place facility.

Additional event-day improvements will see upgraded lighting and technology capabilities, with AFL clubs to be able to integrate their brand and colours into the exterior and interior of the new development.

Gillon McLachlan, chief executive of the Australian Football League, which owns the 56,000-seat stadium, said: “The John Holland team will help bring our vision to life – which is to make the Marvel Stadium precinct one of the best and technologically advanced sports and entertainment destinations in the world.

“John Holland has a proven track record in delivering major projects in Australia and we are excited to partner with them and get the build started later this year. We have great, innovative designs that have captured our desire to amplify the stadium’s ability to host multiple events across a calendar year and ensure fan experience has been front of mind when designing the upgrade.

“By renovating the existing structure of the stadium, it will provide a more environmentally sustainable way of building, as well as ensuring minimal disruption to fans during the construction period.

“On behalf of the AFL, I want to thank the Victorian Government for their continued partnership across both elite and community football and welcome the John Holland team to this exciting project for footy fans and visitors to the stadium and precinct.”

The Marvel Stadium upgrade is part of the Victorian Government’s A$225m (£123m/€143m/$174m) partnership with the AFL, through which the League’s grand final will continue to take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground until at least 2058. Plans for the upgrade were revealed back in November.

Image: Victorian State Government