Design & Development

Fresh designs released of Hobart’s AFL stadium

New concept designs have been released for a proposed AFL venue in Hobart, which is set to become the world’s largest timber-roofed stadium.

The 23,000-seat Mac Point Multipurpose Stadium is being designed by Cox Architecture, which was appointed in May by the Macquarie Point Development Corporation (MPDC).

A design concept had previously been released for the stadium, but Cox director Alistair Richardson said this gave the firm “some clues of what we don’t want to do”. A number of fresh designs were released yesterday (Sunday).

The stadium includes a 1,500-person function room with views of Mount Wellington. The design has been informed by modelling cricket ball trajectory data to ensure the stadium is capable of hosting top-level cricket as well as AFL games.

The venue will also feature a stage pocket in the northern stand to support concerts and events, while a single continuous concourse will run around the entire stadium. Fans will be seated close to the pitch, and a separated back of house and catering facilities will offer a below-ground service road to separate vehicles and stadium visitors.

Cox has implemented a woven-style façade in the design, inspired by the shape of the roundhouse structure that used to be part of the Hobart Rail Yard at Macquarie Point. The transparent roof will be supported by an internal steel and timber frame.

Work is continuing to prepare an application to assess the stadium through Tasmania’s Project of State Significance scheme. A submission is set to be made later this month.

The Tasmanian Government has capped its expenditure on the stadium at A$375m (£197m/€233m/$253m). The overall budget for the stadium is A$715m.

Nic Street, Tasmania’s Minister for Sport and Events, said: “We’ve worked to design a welcoming, functional and uniquely Tasmanian multi-purpose stadium, for this space. When completed, the stadium will be the largest timber-roofed stadium in the world. While developing this stadium is an important step in realising our dream of seeing our own AFL and AFLW teams running out on our own field, this facility will offer so much more.”

The release of the new renderings has also been welcomed by AFL chief executive Andrew Dillon, who said: “Having recently visited Hobart, there is real momentum regarding the club and the design of the stadium, being driven by the Macquarie Point Authority, gives the public great insight into what the stadium will bring to the city and state of Tasmania.”

Construction of the stadium was a condition of the AFL granting a licence to Tasmania in May 2023 for a team that is lined up to enter the competition in 2028.

Cox has designed several leading venues in Australia, including the Adelaide Oval, Perth’s Optus Stadium, and Allianz Stadium in Sydney.