Melbourne Storm fans are set to get a world-class 27,750 seat rectangular-pitch stadium, providing the best facilities for rugby league the state has ever had.
Premier Bracks, who made the announcement on Sunday from the Olympic Park precinct where the stadium will be built, is delighted to have finally set the wheels in motion for the new stadium.
The announcement is welcome news to the Melbourne Storm, with the popularity of rugby league in Melbourne growing noticeably in recent times.
“The popularity that is getting behind Storm and has got behind Storm, grand finalists just recently and already has a grand final win under their belts, has been building and building,” said Mr. Bracks.
The staging of marquee events such as State-of-Origin and Tri-Nations games in Melbourne, as well as Melbourne Storm’s participation in the 2006 NRL grand final, which was watched by over 1 million Victorians, is testament to the need for a stadium of this nature.
With the Storm set to be one of the founding tenants, Mr. Bracks is under no illusions as to what will make the new stadium a success.
“Let’s not make any mistake here, the anchor tenants are really what’s going to make this work. That is the Melbourne Storm who are a great partner and given so much to Melbourne over such a long period of time,” said Mr. Bracks.
The stadium will maintain the iconic bioframe roof design and house sports training and administration facilities which will rival the word’s best.
The 27,750 seat stadium would cost around $256 million and is due to be completed in 2009.
The stadium will be built with strengthened foundations to allow future expansion.
To lessen the impact on the state’s water supplies, the stadium would capture storm water for use in stadium facilities such as toilets.