New stadium helps local economy

Article image - New stadium helps local economy Photo by Malcolm Herberle.

The City of Albany in Western Australia has welcomed a new AFL stadium, which will become the premier ground in the region.

The ribbon has been cut to officially open the Great Southern’s new state-of-the art AFL stadium.

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said it was a major milestone in the redevelopment of the City’s Centennial Park sporting precinct and thanked the State Government and Australian Government for their contributions.

“This magnificent stadium will be the heart of the redeveloped Centennial Park sporting precinct,” Mayor Wellington said.

“Given Albany’s population and importance as the region’s centre, our sporting facilities were well below the standard of sporting venues in much smaller towns and not what was expected of a regional city.

“This facility is now the region’s premier stadium and ground and contributes significantly to a precinct that we can be proud of as a rich and vibrant regional hub for sports, recreation, events and community activity.”

The $14 million football stadium and surrounding grounds has been completed thanks to $8.25 million from the Australian Government and $5.75 million from the State Government.

It forms part of stage one of the $27 million Centennial Park redevelopment towards which the State Government has contributed a total of $18.77 million and which has generated a major boost to local employment, generating direct benefits to the local economy.

The stadium features a 442-seat grandstand, full commercial-grade kitchen and bar, outside broadcast facilities, multi-use meeting and function rooms with a formal seating capacity of 200, and a full-sized AFL field with 250-lux West Australian Football League (WAFL) grade lighting.

Mayor Wellington said there was still some work to complete on landscaping and preparing the oval turf while growing conditions were favourable, but it would be ready for the 2017 Great Southern Football League season.

“The more care and time given to the playing surface in this seasonal window before heavy use will ensure the turf holds up over the coming football season and beyond and enable us to explore any possible opportunity to host a NAB Cup or WAFL fixture next year,” Mayor Wellington said.

Royals Football Club and Albany Football Club will be co-tenants of the new football stadium and are expected to be able to start training on the ground once a week in March.