Casey Fields will play host to the majority of Team 11’s home games in its debut A-League season.
The Cranbourne East site has everything required to host professional sport, with the Melbourne Demons playing AFLW games there as well as AFL pre-season matches.
The 10,000-capacity oval gives south-east Victoria’s A-League bid a readymade local option to host its early matches while construction of a rectangular stadium next to Dandenong Train Station is completed.
Build time of that stadium, a project subject to Team 11 successfully being admitted to the A-League and State Government funding, is estimated at approximately two years.
City of Casey Mayor, Councillor Geoff Ablett, said Casey Fields – which will house Team 11’s training and administration base – was the logical choice to host the majority of matches until Dandenong Stadium is complete.
“Casey Fields is already the premier regional sport, recreation and play precinct in Melbourne’s south-east, known widely for its size and success in providing such a diverse mix of quality facilities for a range of sports and recreation opportunities,” Cr Ablett said.
“We are confident that the intimate capacity, uninterrupted sight lines and ample standing room around the venue will provide a unique and enjoyable experience for A-League fans in the early evolution of Team 11.”
Faced with the prospect of needing to address temporary playing arrangements until the Dandenong Stadium is complete, Team 11 Project Officer Matt Windley said the bid team was adamant games had to be kept in the south-east.
Purely for logistical and safety reasons, some derby games may be taken to one of the city’s larger venues.
“We are a club that will be representing a specific part of the state. Why would we take our games away from that region when many of our potential fans are telling us that distance to the city is one thing preventing them from becoming hardcore followers of Melbourne’s existing clubs,” Windley said.
“In an ideal world we would be playing out of Dandenong Stadium from Day 1, but the reality is stadiums are not built overnight.
“For the sake of football’s future 10, 50, 100 years from now, we think the potential of having a boutique rectangular stadium in the middle of one of the country’s major population hubs is an exciting proposition worth waiting for.”