Work has begun on a major redevelopment of Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium, with the project to centre on significantly enhancing the fan experience at the venue.
Victoria’s Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula was yesterday (Monday) joined by AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan to inspect the start of construction, which has been made possible through an A$225m (£122m/€147m/$163m) investment from the state government.
The project will create almost 250 jobs during the construction phase, with the 53,000-capacity stadium, which is owned by the AFL, to remain operational throughout the work.
A key feature of the project is the development of Town Square, a new plaza on the southern side of the stadium. Town Square will provide a year-round all-weather space that is accessible for the general public, an area for community events and markets, and a gathering place for fans.
Updated hospitality venues looking over the Melbourne skyline will also provide an improved game-day experience for guests, while other additions will include a sensory room, a changing places facility and a multi-faith room.
The eastern entrance of the stadium will also feature City Edge, an enhanced concourse space bringing together ticketing, merchandise and food and drink outlets.
New video scoreboards will also be added in time for the first round of AFL games later this month, while themed lighting will be introduced to further enhance the fan experience.
The Marvel Stadium redevelopment forms part of a wider agreement between the Victoria state government and the AFL that ensures the grand final will take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground until 2059.
The Marvel Stadium upgrades will take place over the next two years. It will mark the first time the stadium has undergone major renovation work since it opened in March 2000.
McLachlan said: “20 years ago it set a benchmark, but now requires improvements to provide a modern offering. Our vision is to make Marvel Stadium and the Marvel Stadium precinct one of the best and most technologically advanced sports and entertainment venues in the world. I feel confident we’ll do that.
“We are excited about the scoreboards. I think they are going to be the largest scoreboards in the world, if not the largest in the Docklands precinct. The highest definition, sexiest things you can possibly imagine. We need them there in round one and John Holland have committed to that which, I’m pretty excited about.”
Building, infrastructure and rail company John Holland was named as the official build partner for the upgrade in May last year.
Image: Victorian State Government