PanStadia & Arena Management Magazine is the undisputed world leader for the business of stadia, arenas, sporting events and venues on a global scale.

John Holland picked for Marvel Stadium revamp

The Australian Football League (AFL) has announced renowned integrated building, infrastructure and rail company John Holland as the official building partner of the Marvel Stadium and stadium precinct upgrade.

John Holland is one of Australia’s leading integrated infrastructure and property companies and is currently involved in delivering many of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects, as well as significant property and urban renewal projects.

The works will commence at the conclusion of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season and are expected to be finished during the 2023 season.

Once completed, the Marvel Stadium and stadium precinct upgrade will deliver a 365-day a year hub for all things sport and entertainment in Melbourne.

The Marvel Stadium and surrounding precinct works will include revitalised eastern and southern entry points, including a new ‘Town Square’ transforming the space into a seven-day per week open and accessible area to gather Monday to Sunday, or when attending a sporting event or concert.

A new city-side extension will include function rooms with views of both the arena and CBD as its backdrop.

The signature new Town Square plaza will welcome pedestrians arriving on the Bourke Street footbridge from Southern Cross Station – a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces with some stadium walls removed to provide a visual connection to the field of play.

Markets and community gatherings will fit naturally in the space, while hospitality businesses on two levels will be open to the public and able to be converted to ticketed areas for sporting events and concerts.

Overlooking Wurundjeri Way, a “City Edge” stadium extension will refurbish public and function areas and provide views back into Melbourne’s CBD.

The fan experience will be enhanced with major renovations to public food and beverage areas connecting into the arena and overlooking the field of play and more spaces to catch up with friends, pre, during and post the match.

Two new and bigger scoreboards will hang from the roof at either end of venue, a new sensory room and changing place facility will ensure Marvel Stadium is a place that welcomes people of all abilities, and additional bicycle parking facilities to promote sustainable transport.

There will also be a boost to the event-day experience through improved lighting and technology upgrades throughout the stadium. Home clubs on a match day will be able to fully integrate their brand and club colours into the exterior and interior of the new development – from the concourse, new entrances and through to function rooms.

Athletes will also be supported with upgrades to the team facilities to provide state of the art male and female change rooms.

AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said the upgraded design will deliver the best experience for fans in-stadium and for visitors to the precinct. He said:

The John Holland team will help bring our vision to life – which is to make the Marvel Stadium precinct one of the best and technologically advanced sports and entertainment destinations in the world.

John Holland has a proven track record in delivering major projects in Australia and we are excited to partner with them and get the build started later this year.

 We have great, innovative designs that have captured our desire to amplify the stadium’s ability to host multiple events across a calendar year and ensure fan experience has been front of mind when designing the upgrade.

By renovating the existing structure of the stadium, it will provide a more environmentally sustainable way of building, as well as ensuring minimal disruption to fans during the construction period.

On behalf of the AFL, I want to thank the Victorian Government for their continued partnership across both elite and community football and welcome the John Holland team to this exciting project for footy fans and visitors to the stadium and precinct.

Pre-pandemic, Marvel Stadium hosted more than 75 sporting and entertainment events annually, from the Toyota AFL Premiership season, Big Bash cricket to concerts of major acts like Taylor Swift, U2 and Ed Sheeran. The revitalisation will ensure Marvel Stadium continues to attract the biggest major events.

The project is part of the Victorian Government’s A$225 million partnership with the AFL which, in addition to the transformation of Marvel Stadium, secured the Toyota AFL Grand Final at the MCG until at least 2058, delivers a better deal for fans and clubs across Victoria and includes a continued partnership across a range of sport development programs to support multicultural, indigenous and women’s football.

Image courtesy of AFL

@PanStadiaArena