The Liberal Nationals Government has committed $15 million to the redevelopment of Ikon Park, a move that Carlton Football Club says is crucial to offering men and women the same professional experiences and opportunities.
This significant investment will help Carlton support the increase in demand of the Club’s combined football programs, whilst developing the next generation of female sporting talent from the wider community.
Carlton President, Mark LoGiudice, said the Club was thrilled by the support received from the Liberal Nationals Government.
“We sincerely thank the Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Liberal Nationals Government, for their commitment of $15 million,” LoGiudice said.
“This investment, in addition to the $20 million provided by the Daniel Andrews State Government, will consolidate Ikon Park as the home of women’s football and the long-term base of the Carlton Football Club.”
“Not only is this investment fantastic for AFLW, but also for the greater community.
“The investment made by the Liberal Nationals Government will now make possible further pathways for girls and young women who want to play football at the highest level.”
With the expansion of the AFLW competition and growth in female participation numbers increasing, LoGiudice said providing elite facilities in the heart of Melbourne is essential to growing Carlton and the game of AFL.
“This investment provides all Victorians with the opportunity to be part of the growing competition of AFLW, whether this is through player or coaching pathways, fan engagement or crowd attendance,” he said.
“The commitment also ensures that AFLW games, whether they are season openers or grand finals, can be played at a facility that will help us take the women’s game to a whole new level for our players, coaches and fans.”
“Our new integrated facilities will provide all of our athletes across AFLW, VFLW, AFL and VFL the same professional experiences and opportunities.”
As part of the Masterplan, the Club will also further develop the education facilities which currently house the Carlton College of Sport, providing a range of educational experiences to female athletes, coaches and the wider community.
Football administration facilities will also be expanded to allow for the continued growth of female football and the broader Carlton Football Club.
Most importantly, the state-of-the-art facility that will be developed at the iconic ground will provide upgraded match-day facilities including lights to broadcast standard, new player change-room facilities and a range of further upgrades that will greatly enhance the supporter experience, ensuring that attendance at all AFLW games continues to increase.
Seating capacity at the ground will remain around 18,000 – 20,000 people.
The redevelopment process has already commenced which started with the surface upgrade in 2018, undertaken by the Club at a cost in excess of $2 million.