ADELAIDE’S ever-expanding band of professional sporting teams has led senior Crows officials to explore the prospect of a move to an inner-city training and administration base.
Currently fixed at their traditional West Lakes facility despite the demolition of Football Park, the addition of an AFLW team and baseball franchise has fast-tracked early discussions of a new home.
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While the Crows insist they’re happy with their current headquarters and a move isn’t on the cards in the near future, the need for more space is quickly growing.
Following the switch of home games from Football Park to Adelaide Oval in 2014, the Crows remain at West Lakes for day-to-day operations and training.
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And despite holding a rent-free lease at their current home until 2048, they have started to investigate the potential of several locations closer to the city centre.
“Adelaide Football Club recently approached council administration to seek information about the potential uses of a range of locations across the CBD and Park Lands,” City of Adelaide Director Services’ Steve Mathewson said in a statement.
“Council understands the club is undertaking a planning exercise around its long-term operations.
“The club has not made any formal proposal for a facility to be established within the City of Adelaide’s boundaries. Any such proposal would need to be brought to Elected Members for consideration.
“The question of the Adelaide Football Club moving into the city has been raised on several occasions and the club has previously indicated that it was not planning on moving from West Lakes in the short term.”
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One proposed location is situated within 1km of Adelaide Oval, across the River Torrens from Adelaide Zoo.
As slated by News Corp on Wednesday, the venue currently houses ovals used by Adelaide University and City Council’s green waste recycling and mulch centre.
Football Park, which is now in the process of having grandstands removed for a new housing complex – similar to Hawthorn’s transformed Waverley Park – sits 12km north-west of Adelaide Oval.
The club’s West Lakes facility underwent a makeover in 2009 to take it to a world-class standard.
“Our club has a long-term lease and a world-class training facility at West Lakes, including a playing surface maintained to an elite standard,” the Crows said in a statement.
“However, as we have stated many times in recent years, we consider it good and standard business practice to keep an eye on the future and gather information accordingly.
“To suggest there has been a formal application or approach is incorrect.”
It is understood the need for more space has taken the Crows to more than half-a-dozen sites across town.
Government funding for any potential new home would require involvement of community programs, like AFL rivals Fremantle (Cockburn), West Coast (Lathlain Park) and Essendon (Tullamarine) in recent times.
The Crows’ AFLW team launched in 2017, while Adelaide acquired the operations of baseball franchise Adelaide Bite in June this year.
While also adding an esports team in 2017, the Crows have flagged the potential for more investments to provide more revenue streams away from traditional football means.
Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS