June 24, 2024

The Adelaide Football Club has overcome a significant hurdle in its quest for a new home with the approval of planning for a $100 million headquarters at Thebarton Oval. However, one challenge remains.

An image of the Crows' proposed new home at Thebarton Oval. Image: Adelaide Football Club/City Collective

The State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) granted planning consent on Monday for the construction of a new training and administration facility for both men’s and women’s teams at Thebarton Oval in Torrensville. Previous attempts to relocate to North Adelaide and Brompton did not materialize.

The new facility at Thebarton will feature a ground floor with a retail outlet, licensed café with outdoor dining, and a club museum. The second floor will house a function room equipped with a kitchen, bar, and outdoor terrace.

The $100 million plan encompasses several components, including the installation of five 40-meter-high floodlights, the realignment and resurfacing of Thebarton Oval, the establishment of a new training oval at Kings Reserve, and enhancements to the site’s state heritage-listed entry gates and ticket stand.

According to recently published minutes of the SCAP meeting, the proposed development was found to be in alignment with the planning code. However, the planning consent is contingent upon 15 conditions. These conditions include restrictions on the operation of the new floodlights beyond certain hours on matchdays and regular days.

Additionally, the SCAP has stipulated that for every regulated tree removed, the club must plant two replacement trees, and for every significant tree felled, three replacement trees must be planted. The club’s application seeks to remove six regulated trees and four significant trees, with a commitment to planting 220 additional trees, raising the total number of trees on site from 327 to 522.

The planning approval comes after nearly two years of public consultation and redesigns to address concerns raised by local residents regarding tree loss, open space, and traffic impacts. Both state and federal governments are contributing $30 million to the project, with West Torrens Council contributing $11.26 million to enhance the broader Thebarton Oval precinct.

While the club aims to commence construction in September with completion targeted for September/October 2026, approval from the City of Charles Sturt for the SANFL’s plan to relocate from Thebarton Oval to West Lakes’ Football Park is still pending.

The SANFL’s proposed redevelopment of the former AAMI Stadium precinct into a hub for various talent programs awaits approval from the council amid concerns over open space.

The SANFL holds a lease on Thebarton Oval until 2031, and the Crows’ relocation is contingent upon the SANFL securing another long-term oval that meets its requirements.

Thebarton Oval HQ

Under the redevelopment, Thebarton Oval will serve as the Crows’ AFLW home ground, with expected attendance ranging from 3500 to 4500 for regular season games and 9000 for finals. The club is obligated to develop event management traffic plans, subject to the approval of the City of West Torrens and the Department for Infrastructure and Transport.

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