Richmond has proposed that a new 40,000 seat stadium should be built at Punt Road, instead of the 60,000 seat stadium proposed by Eddie McGuire. The upgrade would include a fans’ zone between the ground and the MCG, and an upgrade of the Richmond railway station.
Punt Rd which is home to the Richmond Football Club, is currently on a 18,000 seat plan which was help by former Chief Executive, Andrew Demetriou with cost to build it at $180 million. If they wanted to upgrade to 40,000 seats, then it will add an extra $400 million.
Richmond Chief Executive Brendon Gale believes the AFL should consider it.
“Punt Rd should be in the frame. It’s an existing venue, it wouldn’t require the selling of Etihad, and the Richmond railway station has been on the agenda for a number of years and maybe this gives the government the opportunity to redevelop that.”
This idea is a lot easier to accomplish than McGuire’s plan as no new stadium will be needed and can just develop from a stadium that has already been built.The cost will be cheaper and plus, Punt Road is close to the MCG so will be easy to get the stadium by bus or train.
This means that Ethiad Stadium will still be in tact which could raise concerns about the current stadium agreement clubs have as it is not helping clubs financially. However, the stadium will not have to be demolished as it was only built 16 years ago and is a great stadium to go watch football.
40,000 seats will not be enough for Richmond to host any blockbusters such as matches with Hawthorn, Carlton, Geelong etc but only matches against lower clubs and furthermore, Richmond will be the only team using the ground for home matches.
Eddie McGuire has not commented yet so it will be interested to see what he thinks about the idea. The plan is in place and we will have to wait and see what happens next.
— The Sportsman