Victoria’s burgeoning rugby and football codes (real football!) have long awaited a dedicated stadium to accommodate elite level crowds in a way that provides the intimate viewing experience afforded by purpose built venues. AAMI Park provides the missing link in Melbourne’s sporting infrastructure for a medium sized rectangular pitch stadium.
Built on Edwin Flack field (Olympic Park), Melbourne’s new 30,050-seat state-of-the-art Rectangular Stadium was officially opened on 7 May 2010 with an International Rugby League Test between Australia and New Zealand.
The world class AAMI Park stadium features a cutting-edge Bioframe design with a geodesic dome roof which substantially covers the seating area. This structure is then skinned in a triangular panelised façade that is made up with a combination of glass, metal and louvres, as well as potential for photovoltaic cells. The beauty of the design is that spectators will enjoy unobstructed views, free from pillars, walls or other support structures. Even from the back row at the highest point of the grandstand, fans are no more than 45metres from the sideline.
Plans for the new Melbourne rectangular stadium were originally brought to light in 2005 when Melbourne was bidding against Perth for the right to host an Australian new Super 14 Rugby team. Although Melbourne was not awarded the team, plans were later released on 6 April 2006 to build the stadium with a smaller 20,000 capacity. Construction was delayed due to concerns the stadium would be too small, mainly by the Melbourne Victory Football Club. On 23 May 2007, Victorian Premier Steve Bracks announced the stadium would be built with an expanded capacity of over 30,000 seats. Construction began in late 2007 and was anticipated to take two years. The completion date was delayed by a few months but AAMI Park officially opened its gates on 7 May 2010 with a crowd of 29,442 attending the match.
AAMI Park will be the home ground of the Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Heart Football Clubs, Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club and the new Melbourne Rebels Super 15 Rugby franchise. The Victory and Storm both have their training and administration bases at the stadium, as does the Melbourne Football Club (AFL).
Budget: $267.5 million
Number employed during construction (on and off site): 1,200
Construction period: Late 2007 – May 2010
- 2,500 tonnes of steel used in the roof shell frames.
- More than 20,000 square metres of cladding in the roof.
- 40 kilometres of custom built aluminium framework in the roof.
- 35,000 cubic metres of concrete used in the project.
- 4,000 tonnes of concrete reinforcing steel.
- 1,200 workers employed on and off site.
- Turf was grown in Pakenham before transplanting to stadium
- 136 x 82 metres rectangular pitch – accommodating rugby league, rugby union and soccer.
- A sports campus including an elite training centre, gymnasium, lap pool, and office space for tenant sporting organisations.
- 24 corporate boxes (seating up to 18 people each) with external seating.
- A dining room with capacity for 1,000.
- Merchandising facilities, food and beverage outlets and 14 bars.
- A public café / bar and merchandise outlet on Olympic Boulevard.
- The bio-frame roof requires about 50 per cent less steel than a typical cantilever roof structure. Given the high embodied energy of steel, its minimal use in the stadium represents a significant environmental benefit.
- The structure will be clad in a triangular panelised façade made up of a combination of glass, metal and louvers. Rainwater will be harvested and stored from the roof.
- Low water use fittings.
- The roof LED lights are environmentally friendly, using around one tenth of the power when compared to an equivalent floodlit façade.
- Elsewhere, low energy light fittings used where possible.
- Maximum natural ventilation and light.
- Recycled building material where appropriate.
- Use of low embodied energy ‘hollow core’ concrete slabs.
- Only plantation or recycled timber used.
- An efficient, low embodied energy bio-frame design.
- Use of low Volatile Organic Compound carpet and paints.
- A fully integrated waste management and recycling system.
- A building automation system to minimise power use.
- Bike storage facilities and good access to public transport.