Marvel Stadium upgrade with fans in mind


Australia Marvel Stadium update May 2021 Image: AFL

Celebrated integrated building, infrastructure and rail company John Holland is the official building partner of the Marvel Stadium and stadium precinct upgrade (Australia).

The ‘AFL’ stated that John Holland is one of the nation’s leading integrated infrastructure and property companies and is presently involved in delivering many of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects, as well as significant property and urban renewal projects.

The 53,359-capacity Docklands Stadium, also known by naming rights sponsorship as Marvel Stadium, is a multipurpose sports and entertainment stadium in the Docklands area of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Construction started in October 1997, and was completed in the year 2000 at a cost of A$460 million.

The upgrade works will start at the conclusion of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season (August 20th, 2021) and are expected to be finished during the 2023 season.

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.

The ‘AFL’ further stated that once completed, the Marvel Stadium and stadium precinct upgrade will deliver a 365-day-a-year hub for all things sport and entertainment.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AFL, Gillon McLachlan, stated, “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.”

The Marvel Stadium and its surrounding precinct works will include revitalized Eastern and Southern ingress points, including a new ‘Town Square’ transforming the space into a seven-day per week open and accessible area to gather Monday to Sunday, or when attending a sporting event or concert.

A new Cityside extension will include function rooms with views of both the arena and the central business district (CBD) as its backdrop.

The signature new Town Square plaza will welcome pedestrians arriving on the Bourke Street footbridge from Southern Cross Station – a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces with some stadium walls removed to provide a visual connection to the field of play.

Markets and community gatherings will fit naturally in the space, while hospitality businesses on two levels will be open to the public and can be converted to ticketed areas for sporting events and concerts.

Overlooking Wurundjeri Way, a ‘City Edge’ stadium extension will refurbish public and function areas and provide views back into Melbourne’s CBD.

The fan experience will be enhanced with major renovations to public food and beverage spaces connecting into the arena and overlooking the field of play and more spaces to catch up with friends, pre-, during and post- the match. Two new and bigger scoreboards will hang from the roof at either end of the facility, a new sensory room and changing place facility will ensure Marvel Stadium is a place that welcomes people of all abilities, and additional bicycle parking facilities will come up to promote sustainable transport.

Event-day experience will be elevated through improved lighting and technology upgrades throughout the arena. Home clubs on a match day will be able to fully integrate their brand and club colors into the exterior and interior of the new development – from the concourse, new entrances and through to function rooms.

Athletes will also be supported with upgrades to the team facilities to provide avant-garde male and female change rooms.

McLachlan further stated that the upgraded design will deliver the best experience for fans in-stadium and for visitors to the precinct -“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.”

He added, “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.”

McLachlan maintained, “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.”

Prior to the coronavirus onslaught, Marvel Stadium played host to more than 75 sporting and entertainment events annually, from the Toyota AFL Premiership season, Big Bash cricket to concerts of major acts like American singer Taylor Swift, Irish rock band U2 and the English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. This revitalization will make certain that Marvel Stadium continues to attract the big-ticket events.

The above project is part of the Victorian Government’s $225 million partnership with the AFL which, in addition to the transformation of Marvel Stadium, secured the Toyota AFL Grand Final at the MCG until at least 2058, delivers a better deal for fans and clubs across Victoria and includes a continued partnership across a range of sport development programs to support multicultural, indigenous and women’s football.

The 1,00,024-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), also known locally as ‘The G’, is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia).

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