Councillors Ron Nelson and Peter Murrihy have joined Member for Geelong Christine Couzens and Member for Lara John Eren at West Oval to inspect major upgrades in progress to transform the oval into a first-class regional sporting facility.
The $11 million upgrade of the Geelong West Giants, Geelong West Cricket Club and Geelong Cycling Club home is being jointly funded by the Victorian Government and the City and is on track to be completed in September 2021.
Sport portfolio chair Councillor Ron Nelson said that West Oval, like Kardinia Park, was a ground with a great deal of historical significance in Geelong.
“West Oval is home to several sporting clubs and these upgrades will make it a second regional-level facility, an alternative to Kardinia Park and capable of hosting AFLW and VFL games,” Cr Nelson said.
“The Council is proud of its investment in this much needed $11 million upgrade, which includes a club gym and space to fit 200 guests, allowing these clubs to grow and thrive.”
The new two-storey pavilion will be equipped with home and away changerooms, umpires’ changerooms, all-accessible shower and toilet facilities, commercial kitchen, kiosk and bar, a club gym, timekeepers and coaches’ boxes, as well as much-needed equipment storage space.
Member for Lara John Eren said it was fantastic to see the progress that has been made since the funding was announced in 2018.
“This funding, and these upgrades will go a long way to encouraging more locals to get active and strengthen Geelong’s sporting reputation,” Mr Eren said.
Member for Geelong Christine Couzens said the Victorian Government was proud to deliver the $7.4 million election commitment to make this project a reality.
“Congratulations to the Geelong West Giants for their advocacy for this facility, and their focus on providing female-friendly sports facilities,” Ms Couzens said.
“This club’s promotion of female sport and leadership in the community is to be commended.
“This will be a great sporting and community facility for Geelong.”
Additional venue upgrades include the resurfacing of two existing netball courts and new warm-up area, new scoreboard, enhanced spectator seating, landscaping, pavements including ramps, a new southern car park and modifications to existing northern car park.
The masterplan guiding the upgrades is sensitive to maintain the historic elements of the venue, such as the heritage-listed Flowers Family Stand, which has received minor modifications.
The transformation of West Oval aligns with the G21 Geelong Regional Alliance AFL Barwon Regional Strategy which identified West Oval as a preferred location for hosting regional football finals, AFLW, TAC Cup and VFL matches.