The redeveloped Reid Oval has been officially opened, with the $10.7 million project completed on-time and under budget.
The upgrade includes a new playing surface; a modern, accessible, gender equitable pavilion; lighting that allows for night football and cricket matches as well as better training facilities.
Christine Couzens MP officially opened the new facility on Friday April 29 on behalf of the Victorian Government.
“As a regional member myself I understand how important projects like this are,” she said.
“Sporting clubs play such a vital role in our communities.
“It’s you as a community that has driven this. Having had a tour, it’s absolutely extraordinary.
“This signals a new era of possibilities in a town that loves its sport.”
Warrnambool Mayor Cr Vicki Jellie thanked the many parties responsible for such a terrific outcome.
“A project of this magnitude is years in the making, and to borrow a sporting cliché, this win is a team effort,” she said.
“Despite the complexities of such a large project, not to mention the significant impact of COVID-19, the Reid Oval Redevelopment was completed on time and under budget.
“This meant that we could include a 500m concrete footpath around the entire oval, improving the accessibility for all spectators. It also meant that we could upgrade the lights at the netball courts to allow for night games to be played. And all while remaining within budget.
“I’d like to recognise that a facility as outstanding as Reid Oval doesn’t just look after itself.
“As well as investing in new equipment, Council staff have spent years undergoing specialised training to prepare for the curation of such a high-level playing surface.
“Reid Oval is in safe hands, and it’s a facility that everyone can enjoy for many years to come.”
Warrnambool Football Netball Club Football Operations President Ken Radley said that the club was excited to settle in to its new home.
“It’s been a long time coming but we’ve been really patient and worked really well with Council and the contractors,” he said.
“It’s a fantastic facility and we’re really grateful to be a tenant here.
“Our numbers in our youth girls under 18s has grown dramatically and these facilities help make our women feel part of the club.”
Nestles Cricket Club President Gary MacLean said that the surface, as well as the new nets and the potential for night cricket were all very exciting.
“This year we got to play four or five games here at the end of the season, and now moving forward, we have 12 teams that are part of our club, boys and girls, so it’ll be fantastic to be able to get into the brand-new nets and really work towards getting our club to where we want to be,” he said.
“Everyone has been impressed with the wicket and the grass – it’s nice and fast for cricket – and the next step is to turn the lights on for some T20 games or day night games.”
About the upgrade:
The playing surface: The new Reid Oval used Santa Ana Couch grass – the same species used at Adelaide Oval, Junction Oval and Ikon Park. There is a clay turf wicket in the centre for cricket. Beneath the oval’s surface is a modern drainage and irrigation system.
The pavilion: The new pavilion includes modern player and umpire facilities that cater equally for males and females. The pavilion also includes tiered seating, social rooms, kitchen facilities, massage rooms, meeting spaces and coaches/media boxes. It also incorporates the fully accessible spectator amenities.
The lights: The project initially called for 200 lux lighting for the main oval, which would allow for night football matches. In reality, 300 lux was able to be achieved, opening the door for night cricket matches.
The training facilities: New lights mean that the training ground is well-equipped for night training. The grass species used is the same as the main oval, with a modern drainage and irrigation system to match. And for cricketers in particular, the multi-lane cricket nets not only allow more bowling and batting practice at once, the inner nets can be retracted to allow for a range of drills and sessions.
Victorian Government (Sport and Recreration Victoria & Regional Development Victoria)
Council (Treasury Corporation Victoria Loan)
Club and community