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The Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) Trust have presented a billion-dollar plan to the Victorian Government that proposes a link between the MCG and the Melbourne and Olympic Parks.

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Sports Minister Mia Davies joined members of the Sports Fans User Group to inspect the first of 60,000 seats that will be installed at the new Perth Stadium & Sports Precinct following 18 months of rigorous consultation and testing.

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AFLNT told to upgrade TIO Stadium to AFL standard

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Image credit: Daniel Hartley-Allen. Source: News Corp Australia.


The AFLNT has been warned it needs to upgrade TIO Stadium to AFL standard and Chief Executive, Tony Frawley, and Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Nugent, have been quick to act, presenting a “Northern Australia Strategy for AFL Northern Territory’’ to the AFL executive in Melbourne last week.

They want to use NT Chief Minister Adam Giles’ “Developing the North” white paper to attract the $80m needed to fund the project. All levels of government, parent body the AFL, other stadium users, and Indigenous Australia will be involved with the AFLNT in designing a funding model.

Frawley advised:

TIO needs an enormous amount of work to be the equal of those grounds in places like Launceston, Hobart and Canberra. So we’re saying on the back of the $15m investment in the Michael Long Centre, we should upgrade TIO Stadium and make sure we get more AFL games and more AFL pre-season camps in Darwin.

Australian Football League pro-active on stadiums

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The Australian Football League’s attendance was down but TV watching up for 2012. Total attendance for the NAB Cup, NAB Challenge, AFL Premiership season and finals was 7,374,832, down from 7,488,198 in 2011; while average attendance per game in the Premiership season was 31,509, down from 34,893. The fall was in line with the League’s expectations following the introduction of expansion clubs Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney.

AFL’s Chairman Mike Fitzpatick explained:

“Playing Premiership season matches in smaller capacity venues in Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Launceston may also have the effect of reducing overall crowds, but the AFL Commission is committed to providing an opportunity for as many people as possible to attend an AFL game.”

The AFL has confirmed it would like to buy Docklands Stadium earlier than 2025, when its existing deal means it will take ownership of the venue. It also says it is again considering plans to develop a new stadium in central Melbourne to help ease the financial burden on Victorian clubs playing at Etihad Stadium.

Leading sport architects join forces – AFL and S&P

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Edgbaston cricket stadium is one of AFL's recent sport design projects

Edgbaston cricket stadium is one of AFL’s recent sport design projects

AFL Architects and S&P have merged to form AFLS+P, becoming one of the larger architectural practices in the UK, with offices throughout the UK and Ireland employing more than 100 staff. Recent projects in the sports sector include the London 2012 Aquatics Centre, the Peter Makaba Stadium in South Africa and the Abu Dhabi Sports Village.

Keith Ashton, former director of S&P and now one of the six Principals of AFLS+P, said:

S&P is a well-established, 22-year old business with an extensive track record in sports and leisure.  This merger with AFL Architects adds to our skill base and allows us to offer more services to our existing clients internationally.  All staff at both practices will remain in their current positions and will have the opportunity to work on new and varied projects.

John Roberts, of AFL and now a Principal of AFLS+P, added:

We have been working collaboratively on projects with S&P for three years.  Now, with a highly experienced board, we have become one of the largest architectural practices in our specialist sector, we will embrace new opportunities, seek to drive best practice and innovation in the industry and continue to offer an excellent service to our clients.  Our staff too will have the opportunity to work on new and exciting projects in the UK, and abroad.

By joining forces, they will extend their reach nationally and internationally.  AFLS+P has offices in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin and Doha.  Regional growth will continue in the UK, with a new office in Birmingham in May this year, and internationally, where it will build on work in Russia, Azerbaijan and Doha.

The board of directors of AFLS+P are Keith Ashton and Peter Simpson (S&P), and Martin Morton, Phil Osborne, Garry Rowlands and John Roberts (AFL).