||It has been suggested that Lake Oval be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2013.|
Historic view of Lakeside Stadium, 2009
|Former names||Lake Oval, Bob Jane Stadium|
|Location||Albert Park, Victoria|
|Operator||State Sports Centre Trust|
|Capacity||15,000 (Venue Capacity)
7,000 (Seated Capacity)
|South Melbourne FC
Victorian Institute of Sport
Australian Little Athletics
Lakeside Stadium (formerly known as Bob Jane Stadium due to sponsorship reasons) is an athletics track and soccer stadium in Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. Built on the site of the former Australian rules football ground the Lake Oval, it currently serves as the home ground and administrative base for the South Melbourne FC, Athletics Victoria, Athletics Australia, Victorian Institute of Sport and Australian Little Athletics. Previously the venue was solely a soccer venue for South Melbourne FC however the venue was completely rebuilt in 2011 to accommodate the state's premier athletics facilities after the demolition of Olympic Park Stadium.
The Lake Oval and Australian rules football
Lakeside Stadium stands on the site of the former Lake Oval a former home ground for the Australian rules football and home of the South Melbourne Swans before the club relocated to Sydney in 1982. The ground had a significant VFL/AFL history, having been the host venue for both the VFL Grand Final (1901) and the night premiership series (1952–1971).
A remnant of the old Lake Oval structure, a grandstand built in 1926, still remains standing at the venue. It had not been used for several years, and had fallen into disrepair. Its continued existence was the subject of debate. At one stage the Sydney Swans football club showed interest in repurchasing it to be used as a museum and administrative building, while there were also calls from others to demolish the building because of its derelict state. Under the re-modeling of the venue in 2011, the stand was refurbished to house the VIS.
The stadium was built with a capacity of 14,000 people, which was achieved or approached several times in South Melbourne's history at the ground. A grandstand with an approximate capacity of 3,000 people was situated on one side, with a social club, reception centre and administrative facilities built in, while the other 3 sides of the ground consisted of open terraces with wooden seats. At one stage, a second two tiered stand for the outer side was proposed, but only preliminary plans were produced.
As well as being the home of South Melbourne FC, the venue also hosted games by the Socceroos, Young Socceroos, Australia's national women's team the Matildas, and grand finals and finals matches of the Victorian Premier League.
In May 2008 the State Government announced that Lakeside Stadium would undergo a major redevelopment, in order to accommodate an athletics track, as part of moving Athletics Victoria from Olympic Park. The Victorian Institute of Sport, Athletics Victoria and South Melbourne FC would share tenancy of the venue. Major Projects Victoria committed $60 million to the project. South Melbourne played its final match under Lakeside Stadium's previous configuration in April 2010, and construction work on the remodeled venue began in June 2010.
The synthetic 8-lane athletics track was constructed to international IAAF standards. A 6-lane 60 metre warm-up track was also constructed. The remodelling also saw a FIFA sized natural grass soccer pitch, a new electronic scoreboard, upgraded lighting, a new northern stand and new spectator amenities. The old grandstand was also renovated to accommodate offices. In March 2012, the stadium hosted the Melbourne Track Classic.