What’s the future of Waverley Park Stadium?

05/08/2019

It’s the jewel in Waverley Park Estate’s crown – the iconic AFL oval and grandstand. It attracts ardent footy fans from far and wide, many of whom have taken up residence in the surrounding estate to be close to the landmark site.

This demand has created a positive effect on property prices in recent years. Our numbers tell us homes overlooking the oval and stadium have been consistently selling between $1,000,000 -$1,100,000. It doesn’t look like changing in the future either, with prices maintaining consistent averages around the million dollar mark.


The lure

One of the biggest attractions for football fanatic residents is the fact they have the weekly opportunity to enjoy watching Hawthorn Football Club’s training sessions, as the oval is also their home base. The general public also have the chance to use the oval when it’s not in use by the Hawks.

But the recent announcement of Hawthorn’s intention to shift the team’s home ground to Dingley has residents worried about the future of the stadium, and who will get to use it once the footy club leaves.


Why was the original stadium demolished?

Before getting to what the future holds, let’s take a quick look at the history.

From the early ‘70s to early ‘90s, Waverley Park (or VFL Park as it was originally known) was a beacon for footy fans in the southeast. It allowed them to watch their favourite games close to home, rather than make the trek all the way out to the city.

But when the Great Southern Stand works commenced at the MCG in the early ‘90s, the AFL revisited the need for Waverley Park. They made the sad decision to shift all in-season games solely to the MCG in 1999, and the 2000 VFL Grand Final was the last game ever played at Waverley Park.

In late 2001, the AFL sold the surrounding land to housing developer, Mirvac. In the coming years, Mirvac developed the site with close to 1400 new houses, approximately 65 of which had a fantastic view overlooking the remaining portion of the iconic members’ stand and oval.

It was around this time that the Hawthorn Football Club set up its digs too, using the oval as their training grounds and redeveloping part of the site to house their administrative buildings, a brand new pool and gymnasium for players.

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Today and beyond 

In 2015, Hawthorn announced its decision to move home grounds to a new-purpose built site in Dingley. Early this year, Hawthorn presented plans to Kingston Council, cementing the move in the near future.

Not surprisingly, residents have been quick to ask the question: what happens to the oval when the Hawks move on? As yet, there seems to be no clear answer.

Monash Council is adamant it will remain an open public space, but Hawthorn Club president, Jeff Kennett, says all decisions about whether the current site stays in Hawthorn’s hands will be made closer to the time of the club’s move.

While it’s a frustrating situation for residents, the chances the oval will remain open to the public are quite high, especially with obvious strong support from Monash Council.

In the meantime, properties in the area continue to maintain consistent pricing levels and we look forward to the final stage of development, which will include new home designs and a lake and park precinct.

 

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