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Not to be confused with Skilled Parkmarker, home ground of the Gold Coast Titans in the NRL. For the public park of the same name in Geelong, Victoriamarker, see Kardinia Park.


Kardinia Park, currently known as Skilled Stadium due to naming rights is an Australian rules football (AFL) stadium located in South Geelongmarker, Victoriamarker. The stadium is the home ground of the Geelong Football Club. It is nicknamed "The Cattery" by the club's supporters. The capacity is 27,000, making it the smallest regularly used home ground in the league.

History

The Geelong Football Club began playing home games at Kardinia Park in 1941 after its previous home ground, Corio Oval, was needed for military reasons.

Previous names of the stadium as results of sponsorship deals have been Shell Stadium and Baytec Stadium (However it was only called Baytec Stadium for less than 2 months, and no AFL matches were played there under the name). On May 23, 2002, Kardinia park hosted a visit from the Dalai Lama who again visited the stadium in June 2007.

The stadium was for many years the only VFL affiliated ground located outside the Melbourne metropolitan area.

Redevelopments

An AUD $28 million redevelopment of the ground was announced in 2003, with $13.5 million in funding from the State Government, $4.5 million from the Geelong Football Club, and $2 million from the AFL. The redeveloped ground was opened on May 1, 2005 during the first home game of the 2005 season which includes a new western entry and membership area, as well as a new five level grandstand with a capacity of approximately 6000 spectators on the eastern side of the stadium. A favourite for the honour of the naming of the new stand was Bob Davis, coach of the Cats' premiership side in 1963.

On June 15, 2005, City of Greater Geelong councillors granted the club its wish to change the name of the new eastern stand to the Reg Hickey Stand, while the southern stand became the Doug Wade Stand. The northern terrace became known as the Gary Ablett Terrace while the western gate was re-named the Bob Davis Gate.

In September 2007, Skilled Stadium has received a further total $26 million towards the rebuilding of the Ross Drew Stand on the south eastern side of the ground, with completion due by April 2010. $14 million is from the Federal government and $6 million is from the Victorian government. Former Federal MP for Corangamite Stewart McArthur advocated the project, despite the stadium being outside his electorate. When finished, the stadium will have a capacity of over 35,000. $50,000 is also being spent on a new 600-seat temporary stand between the Reg Hickey and Doug Wade stands.

Hosted events



In May 2009 it was revealed that the City of Greater Geelong as stadium owner had approached a number of Melbourne based AFL clubs discussing the financial advantages of playing home games at the ground. The ground could see clubs earning $30 a patron at Skilled Stadium, compared to $7 earned at Etihad Stadiummarker in Melbourne. The Geelong Football Club had first floated Skilled Stadium as a potential home game venue for Melbourne clubs in 2006.

Dimensions

  • Length - 170m
  • Width - 115m
  • Goals run north to south


The field is the narrowest playing field used for AFL games, however many other venues are much shorter (with the Sydney Cricket Groundmarker the shortest).

References

  • Peter Begg (1990). Geelong - The First 150 Years. Globe Press. ISBN
0-9592863-5-7


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