Kardinia Park 2005?

The image on the right could represent Kardinia Park come the year 2005, providing funding and planning hurdles can be overcome. Costed at $20Million, the focal point of the redevelopment would be a new grandstand build on where the Eastern Terraces currently reside, seating some 6,000 'Premium' patrons as well as a new conference/entertainment facility to seat 700. (Who knows, Geelong may even one day host a Brownlow Medal after all!). The new stand would also hold changeroom facilities for the visiting team, and hopefully a sound and bullet (idiot?) proof box for visiting coaches.

As well as the new stand, the ageing RJ Hickey Stand would get new seats, something well overdue in my personal opinion, an electronic scoreboard, and improved entry systems (electronic turnstyles). Not sure if the latter is a good idea, though, as at the MCG & Colonial it simply means Ticketmaster collects a few dollars from every patron, while the Bluecoat brigade with old style hole punches suffice. At the end of the day, the existing capacity of 28,000 patrons will be retained, with another reduction in standing room.

The funding arrangements are a bit up in the air, but reasonably sound, certainly in line with developments of other grounds such as Subiaco, Football Park, the GABBA, and York Park. The plan to get $20Million is as follows-

$12.5M State Government, $6M City of Greater Geelong, $4.5M from GFC, $2M from the AFL. The Club's $4.5M would come from the proceeds from the Waverly Park sale ($2Million), and a ticket levy to remain in place for some years.

My verdict? - assuming it is financially viable in the long term, it should be a goer. A little concerned about the further reduction in standing room, as in recent years Geelong supporters have showed their unwillingness to pay for a reserved seat, especially at the cheaper end. $60 (adults) and $30 (concession) seats have gone largely unsold in 2002, while the terraced standing areas have been packed for all home games so far. Proceed with caution.