AKA: Olympic Park
The stadium that occupied the area now known as Olympic Park was owned by 'colourful' Melbourne identity John Wren. The VFL flirted with a plan to turn the ground into "league headquarters", in much the same way Waverley would be in the 1960s, but the ground never became a permanent home to top flight football. It did, however, host three VFA grand finals from 1925-27. Richmond had also threatened to play games there during a dispute with the cricket club at Punt Road.
The ground was primarily a speedway track, but also hosted soccer games from around 1925 to 1935. Melbourne played three home games there early in 1932 while the MCG was undergoing resurfacing works, failing to register a win. While there was room for over 40,000 spectators, the ground claimed that after renovations there would be room for 75,000. The main issue for players at the ground was the concrete walls close to the boundary. They were originally only supposed to play two home games there, before a third was added.
During the first game at the ground a microphone and loudspeaker were used to broadcast the scores of other games at each quarter break. A less welcome innovation was using the speakers to have a commentator call the game live. This only lasted a few minutes until spectators and players complained, causing the league's secretary to put a stop to the broadcast.
They moved back to the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Round 9 of the same year and league football was never played at the ground again despite renovations to remove the sloped concrete track in 1933. South Melbourne played Richmond in 1935 exhibition match, and the Tigers almost relocated to the ground permanently.
It remained in use as a motor racing venue until after World War II, but petrol rationing during and after the war spelt the end for speedway racing and in 1951 the complex began to be converted into what became the Olympic Park complex.
|1||14.11.95||Geelong||Round 4, 1932|
|2||9.9.63||Carlton||Round 6, 1932|
|3||7.13.55||Richmond||Round 2, 1932|
|1||61||Richmond||Round 2, 1932|
|2||38||Geelong||Round 4, 1932|
|3||24||Carlton||Round 6, 1932|
Boyles Football Photos