By Victoria Stone-Meadows
The first stage of the revamped Casey Stadium was officially opened by City of Casey Mayor Sam Aziz on Sunday 6 August.
The renovations to the formerly named Casey Indoor Leisure Centre have cost the City of Casey just under $18 million.
City of Casey Mayor Cr Sam Aziz was joined by Terry Vickerman, State Member for Narre Warren South Judith Graley MP and Anthony Neal from YMCA Victoria to officially open stage one of the redevelopment.
The facility has had five new basketball and netball courts built, including a centre court for up to 1500 spectators, a cafe, piazza, and function space.
However, the new stadium hasn’t been entirely without controversy.
In June this year, Star News revealed that some sports such as beach volleyball and indoor soccer would not be offered at the new stadium.
Former sports co-ordinator at the centre Adrian Vella, who ran the indoor AFL, soccer and beach volleyball for eight years, said it was made clear to him there was no room for these sports at the new centre.
“They have re-purposed the use of all the areas we used in the centre,” he said.
“When I rang they said the problem was they would have to re-do the lease and they didn’t want to do that, even short-term.”
However, group manager of active communities at Casey Council James Rouse said the second part of the development would allow for different sports to be based there.
“Part two is the indoor sports component, which is about to undergo a redevelopment,” he said.
“That will see it re-purposed as a regional gymnastics, indoor cricket (capable of hosting state and national tournaments) and multi-sport venue with capacity for volleyball, badminton, wheelchair sports and more.”
The newly renovated stadium forms part of the City of Casey’s sporting precinct along with Casey RACE and Casey Fields just down the road.
Council will start stage two of the redevelopment at Casey Stadium straight away.
“One of the key objectives of our new 2017-’21 Council Plan is to be the destination for arts, culture, sport and leisure that attracts visitors and brings communities together, and our continued investment in Casey Stadium is a shining example of how we’re working to achieve that,” Cr Aziz said.
The $4.73 million stage two of the project will be mainly funded by council with a $781,000 contribution from YMCA and a $650,000 contribution from the Victorian Government.