The Western Bulldogs have announced a master plan for the redevelopment of Whitten Oval which it hopes will see the return of the occasional AFL match at the heritage venue.
The revamp, done in stages, has already seen upgrades to facilities and the installation of a new scoreboard. The next stage, to cost $40-45 million, will upgrade the playing surface, increase spectator capacity to 18,000, install broadcast-quality lights and develop a secondary Footscray venue with training facilities.
“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 in a statement.
“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.
“We would love to see the occasional heritage AFL match return to the ground in time.”
The club will be funding part of the next stage, underpinned by the selling of its two poker machine venues, and is also seeking money from the state government.
Future stages of the redevelopment will look at the possibility of the development of residential towers, food and beverage options, an improved medical hub, and enhanced childcare services.