Bull­dogs in bold grand fi­nal pitch

Fremantle Gazette - - SPORT -

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.

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