Published: 18 May 2022
Richmond’s spiritual home at Punt Road Oval is to be transformed into a centre for the community and a base for its AFLW team.
The Tigers joined the AFLW competition in 2020 and made Punt Road Oval their permanent home ground in the 2021 season. The ground also hosts VFL matches and is the training centre for Richmond’s four teams, including its wheelchair football team.
Now, a $65 million redevelopment will ensure the women’s and men’s teams have access to equally impressive training facilities. A new Jack Dyer Stand will house change rooms suitable for the AFLW, plus a high-performance centre for all players.
“Women’s football will benefit enormously from our redevelopment,” said Richmond Football Club Chief Executive Officer Brendon Gale.
There will also be new spaces for Richmond’s community program partners. That includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth leadership and education programs, and a talent program for Muslim junior players.
Final approval on the Punt Road Oval project is expected soon. Construction is due to start later this year and will be completed in stages from early 2024.
Roaring into the future
The redevelopment builds on the club’s long history at the site - Richmond Football Club has played at Punt Road Oval since 1885.
On top of new home change rooms, the Jack Dyer Stand will have aquatic recovery facilities and change rooms for umpires and visiting teams. New grandstand seating and other match day facilities will create the perfect experience for fans attending games at the venue.
“The historical significance of Richmond Football Club being in Richmond cannot be understated,” said Mr Gale.
“This redevelopment will ensure we are a part of one of the world’s great sporting precincts, long into the future.”
More for the community
Punt Road Oval has hosted community programs since 2011 when the Korin Gamadji Institute was created in partnership with Richmond. The institute runs leadership and sport programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.
The Melbourne Indigenous Transition School is also based at Punt Road Oval. It offers away-from-home schooling for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth from remote and regional Victoria and the Northern Territory.
Meanwhile, former Richmond premiership star Bachar Houli has established the Bachar Houli Academy at Punt Road. It delivers a high-performance football talent program for young Muslim footballers.
“Punt Road Oval is a venue that connects the community, and our community programming works to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Islamic youth,” said Mr Gale.
“Winning football games is always the priority, but our purpose as a club is much broader than that. This redevelopment will allow us to live that purpose to the benefit of the broader community.”
The Victorian Government and Federal Government are each contributing $15 million to the redevelopment. Funding is also provided by the Richmond Football Club.