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The Victorian Government and the AFL have announced a $55 million upgrade of seven former VFL/AFL grounds in Melbourne: Punt Road, Princes Park, Moorabbin, Windy Hill, Victoria Park, Waverley Park and Arden Street.

Under the plan, iconic grandstands at Princes Park and Moorabbin will be demolished and replaced by community sports centures. The other five grounds will also be partly redeveloped.

Every grandstand at the Saints' Moorabbin base, as well as the social club and all existing buildings, will be torn down and replaced by a multi-purpose venue including a pool and sports hall. The club's HQ, including the infamous "animal enclosure" that was home to the most parochial fans, will boast a futuristic all-in-one complex.

Victorian Premier Steve Bracks said the grounds were important local assets which could deteriorate unless more money were invested. He said the whole principle of the upgrade was to ensure the venues were upgraded and opened up so the local community could get all the benefits.

The funding will come from the State Government, the AFL ($14 million), local councils and football clubs involved: Richmond, St Kilda, Carlton, North Melbourne, Essendon, Hawthorn and Collingwood ($15 million in total).

The AFL sees the upgrade as another move to put all clubs on equal footing.

 

Johnson Leung

AFANA journalist

Melbourne

Article last changed on Wednesday, June 21, 2006 - 9:48 AM EDT


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