Kardinia Park fifth stage spruce-up to begin


Australia Kardinia Park stadium redevelopment update Image: Kardinia Park Stadium Trust

Work on the fifth stage of the Kardinia Park Stadium (Australia) redevelopment will begin after the Australian Football League (AFL) season with one of Australia’s leading construction firms – BESIX Watpac – being confirmed on August 12th as the project builder.

The ‘Kardinia Park Stadium Trust’ stated that the Andrews Labor Government has provided sole funding of $142 million to deliver the final stage of the landmark remaking of Australia’s premier regional stadium, supporting more than 120 construction jobs.

The Australian Professional League confirmed on July 30th that the new A-League season will begin on October 30th. The 2021-2022 campaign is then expected to end with the Grand Final currently slated for May 28th, 2022.

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the pre-eminent and only fully professional men’s competition of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport’s governing body and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game.

Kardinia Park (also known as GMHBA Stadium due to naming rights) is a sporting and entertainment venue located within Kardinia Park, South Geelong, in the Australian State of Victoria. The stadium, which is owned and operated by the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, is the home ground of the Geelong Football Club and the A-League football club Western United FC. The capacity of Kardinia Park is 36,000, making it the largest-capacity Australian stadium in a regional City.

BESIX Watpac is a leading Australian multidisciplinary construction company based in Brisbane with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Cairns, Townsville, and Port Macquarie.

BESIX Watpac has completed dozens of major infrastructure projects across Australia including Brisbane’s 52,500-capacity Suncorp Stadium and sports facilities at Albert Park and Lakeside Oval, and is currently building the City of Greater Geelong’s Civic Administration Building.

The ‘Kardinia Park Stadium Trust’ further stated that local workers and suppliers will be big winners under the Labor Government’s Local Jobs First Policy, which requires minimum 91 percent local content for declared strategic projects such as Kardinia Park Stage Five.

The Major Project Skills Guarantee means apprentices, trainees and cadets will perform at least 10 percent of all work on the project, and at least $1.2 million in goods and services must be procured from social enterprises.

At the heart of the Kardinia Park Stage Five project is the construction of a 14,000-capacity, two-tier Northern stand to replace the aging Ford Stand and Ablett Terrace. This will increase the stadium’s capacity to more than 40,000 people, boosting Geelong’s ability to attract and host national and international events.

The new stand will include facilities for professional and community sport, including unisex change rooms, and administration facilities for the Geelong Cricket Club.

Kardinia Park is widely used by the local community for activities and events, and this project will enhance facilities for patrons with a new Northern entry plaza, sports museum, function room, and a suite of technology upgrades including additional high-speed public Wi-Fi and LED signage.

Stadium operations will be bolstered through the delivery of a new administration area for stadium and event staff, a crowd management center and additional CCTV capability.

The redevelopment will also provide dedicated sustainability measures including solar panels to the roof of the new grandstand and provision for battery storage. The works are forecast to be completed in mid-2023.

Previous stages of the redevelopment have delivered the Brownlow, Players, Premiership, and Reg Hickey stands along with broadcast-quality lighting and an array of function rooms.

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