Friday, June 23, 2006

Melbourne to build a new football-specific stadium

Design work is continuing on a spectacular new 20,000-25,000-seat, football stadium to be built in Melbourne's Olympic Park precinct in the Australian state of Victoria. The stadium’s cutting edge Bioframe design features a geodesic dome roof to fully cover the seating area while using 50 percent less steel than a typical stadium roof. Once completed, the "rectangular stadium" will be the new home for the A-League club Melbourne Victory.

It will also be used for matches by the National Rugby League team Melbourne Storm as well as featuring a sports campus, including an elite training centre, and providing office accommodation for Victory, Storm, the Australian Football League club Melbourne Demons, Football Federation Victoria, Victorian Olympic Council, Olympic Park Sports Medicine, the Victorian Rugby Union and Tennis Victoria.

The estimated cost of the stadium will be around A$190 million. The Victorian state government will make a contribution of A$149 million towards this cost, with the balance funded by Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust, tenants and suppliers. The final costs and completion timetable will be determined following the selection of the building contractor and the negotiation of detailed arrangements with all potential tenants, sponsors and suppliers.

The newly scoped stadium is expected to be completed in 2009 with some elements completed earlier. It will complement Melbourne's two oval-shaped stadiums, the historic Melbourne Cricket Ground (98,000 capacity) and the roofed Telstra Dome (60,000 capacity) and will replace the 14,000-capacity football-athletics arena built for the 1956 Olympic Games.

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