Bulldogs in bold grand final pitch
SOUTH Fremantle intend to make a bold bid to become the permanent host of the WAFL grand final.
This year’s WAFL decider will be played at Fremantle Community Bank Oval next month after the WA Football Commission revealed the six-figure cost of opening Optus Stadium made it unfeasible for the State’s premier sporting venue to host the match.
But the Bulldogs believe their home ground could become the permanent grand final venue, with a proposed multi-million redevelopment underpinning their bid.
South Fremantle president Peter Christie announced the club’s ambitious plans as the Bulldogs secured the minor premiership and the right to host the second semi-final this Sunday against Claremont.
“The grand final will be played here this year and we hope it will be played here every year,” Christie said.
“We are making good progress on a ground development that should make Fremantle Community Bank Oval the best in the WAFL.”
The key element in the proposed changes is pivoting the playing surface westwards to place it directly in front of the historic Victoria Pavilion.
The State Government last month announced that a new $52 million police station would be built at the Stan Reilly site behind the ground on South Terrace by the end of 2022.
Fremantle council last month voted to support a major ground redevelopment.
South hope that a crowd of 12,000 will be allowed to attend the grand final, while a redevelopment could take capacity to about 15,000 in greater comfort than currently available.
Grand final crowds have averaged 18,101 this decade.
Fremantle hosted the first WAFL grand final in 1904 but the game has been held at Subiaco Oval or Optus Stadium every season from 1936.