Cats put out big hand

Saturday, July 13

GEELONG Football Club wants at least $20 million from the State Government, City Hall and the AFL to fund a massive redevelopment of Skilled Stadium.

The club is counting on the Government contributing $12.5 million, City Hall $6 million and the AFL $2 million.

The club itself would pay about $4 million towards the $25 million stadium revamp, subject to a feasibility study that began this week.

The proposed funding split was revealed this week in City of Greater Geelong council papers.

A City Hall meeting on Tuesday awarded the $115,000 feasibility study to Hames Sharley, whose report will be crucial to the club's funding hopes.

Key elements of the Cats' vision for the stadium include:

BUILDING a 7000-seat eastern grandstand;

EXTENDING the Alex Popescu Room;

A NEW electronic scoreboard and public address system; and

EXTENDING the Brownlow building to create an elite training gymnasium.

Cr Michael Crutchfield told this week's council meeting the city needed to be sure any investment in the stadium was secure.

``The council is being asked for an extremely high figure to go on top of the millions of dollars council has already spent on Kardinia Park and Geelong Football Club,'' he said.

City Hall chief Geoff Whitbread told reporters this week the $6 million request would not be considered until after the feasibility study.

``We will evaluate the proposal using a triple-bottom-line approach to see whether it is of benefit to the Geelong community,'' Mr Whitbread said.

``The triple-bottom-line approach will be not just financial but will look at what the environmental considerations are and, very significantly, the social considerations of the Geelong Football Club.''