Bulldogs announces $150mn redevelopment plan



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Western Bulldogs - Whitten Oval Image: ausleisure.com.au

The Western Bulldogs have announced a $150-million redevelopment master plan for a reimagined Whitten Oval precinct, according to an official media release on the Australian football club’s website.

The future of the Bulldogs’ West Footscray home will be the centrepiece of Melbourne’s west, a home for an elite sporting club and a common place for the community. It will be an inviting, contemporary and cutting-edge place to work, recreate, explore, relax and connect, which caters for the changing face of the region, the release said.

The master plan is anticipated to be completed over a number of stages.

“Our master plan reflects the Club’s long-term vision of the Whitten Oval precinct as a hub for the west that attracts and connects our community to the football Club and gives us the best chance of success on and off the field,” said Bulldogs CEO Ameet Bains.

“A redeveloped precinct will provide an amazing base for our four teams, and we expect the football facilities to be a huge drawcard for the Club keeping and attracting star players.”

The first stage, which has already been completed with the assistance of state government funding, saw upgrades to the Club’s AFLW changerooms and facilities, and the installation of a new scoreboard.

At the next stage the Club aims to complete substantial redevelopment work, which is expected to cost between $40-$45 million, and will include:

  • Slight reconfiguration and upgrade of the VU Whitten Oval playing surface.
     
  • An increase of the spectator capacity of the VU Whitten Oval.
     
  • Enhancement to the spectator amenities at the venue and improvement of the experience of people visiting the precinct.
     
  • Rebuilding of the Whitten Stand with new function facilities and dedicated community spaces for the programs run by the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation.
     
  • Upgrades to the administration and football department facilities and museum.
     
  • Broadcast quality lighting upgrade.
     
  • Creation of an open, environmentally-friendly and welcoming public space, including a renewed entry plaza, and running track.
     
  • The development of a secondary venue, also in Footscray, with training facilities for our four teams to train on, taking pressure off the ground.
     

A significant capital contribution to this next stage will come from the Club itself, which is likely to be underpinned by its intended exit from gaming and its stronger trading performance and eradication of debt over the past five years.

The further stages contemplate a number of aspects, including a range of food and beverage options, a broader health hub for medical, fitness and enhanced childcare services to provide more amenities for the local community and a strengthening of long-term partner, Victoria University’s presence on site.

The Club’s ultimate ambition is to make the Whitten Oval precinct the heart of the community – an everyday precinct to spectate, celebrate and discover. The redevelopment will ensure that new generations can enjoy the Western Bulldogs’ home ground, create new and lasting memories, and retain a strong understanding of the Club’s history.

The next steps for the Club are to undertake more detailed design on the proposed next stage of redevelopment, over the next few months, while running a series of sessions with the view of engaging our members and fans, local residents who live near the precinct and other key stakeholders, about the details of the project.

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