Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre

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Westpac Centre
The Glass House
Lexus centre.JPG
Former names Swimming and Diving Stadium (1956)
Olympic Swimming Stadium(1957-83)
Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre (1983-98)
Lexus Centre (2004-10)
Location Olympic Blvd and Batman Ave
Olympic Park
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Australia
Broke ground October 1954
Opened 22 November 1956 (1956-11-22)
Renovated 1983, 2003, 2013
Owner Melbourne & Olympic Parks Trust
Construction cost £350,000
$10.5 million (1983 renovation)
$20 million (2003 renovation)
Architect Kevin Borland, Peter McIntyre and John and Phyllis Murphy
Structural engineer Bill Irwin
General contractor McDougall & Ireland
Capacity 7,200 (1983-98)
5,500 (Original)
Website Venue Website
Tenants
1956 Olympic Games
North Melbourne Giants (NBL) (1984-98)
Melbourne Tigers (NBL) (1984-91)
Eastside Spectres (NBL) (1987-91)
Westside Melbourne Saints (NBL) (1987-91)
Collingwood Football Club (Training facility) (2003-present)
Victorian Institute of Sport (Training facility) (2003-present)

The Westpac Centre (originally known as the Swimming and Diving Stadium and formerly known as the Olympic Swimming Stadium, Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre and Lexus Centre) is a sports administration and training facility located in the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct in Melbourne, Australia. The facility opened in 1956 as an aquatic centre for the 1956 Olympic Games. In 1983, the Olympic-sized pool was replaced with a parquetry floor and the facility became to numerous basketball events, until 1998. The venue served as Melbourne's primary indoor concert arena from 1984 to 1988, until the completion of the Rod Laver Arena.

History[edit]

Known originally as the Swimming and Diving Stadium, it was built as an indoor aquatic centre for diving, swimming, water polo, and the swimming part of the modern pentathlon events for the 1956 Summer Olympics.[1][2] It was the first fully indoor Olympic swimming venue in an Olympic Games and is the only major stadium structure from the 1956 Olympic Games with the facade intact.[1] It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.[3] The design of this building was the winner of one of three international competitions held in 1952 to provide stadia for the 1956 Olympic Games.[1] Architects Kevin Borland, Peter McIntyre, John and Phyllis Murphy and their engineer Bill Irwin won the only one of these competitions to be consummated.[1] Construction by McDougall & Ireland, one of Melbourne's then largest construction companies, began in October 1954 and was completed in 1956, just prior to the commencement of the Melbourne Olympic Games.[1]

After redevelopment in the 1980s, the venue became the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre.[3] It hosted home games for the National Basketball League's North Melbourne Giants, as well as the Melbourne Tigers, Eastside Spectres and Westside Melbourne Saints.[3] The arena, which had a capacity of 7,200 people, was also used as a concert venue.[3]

Sponsorship and naming rights arrangements[edit]

The luxury vehicle manufacturer Lexus bought the naming rights to the venue in 2004; as the Lexus Centre, it no longer served as a public stadium, instead being used by the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Collingwood Football Club as a sports administration and training facility.[3] The Lexus Centre was listed as part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct. On 21 November 2009, Collingwood Football Club announced publicly on the official AFL website that Lexus would no longer continue to maintain the rights of naming the centre. Lexus announced in a statement that "the branding exercise had achieved its marketing objectives and was no longer a priority in its marketing strategy", hence ending a six year naming rights deal between Lexus and Collingwood.[4] In March, 2010, Collingwood announced that Westpac bank was the new naming rights sponsor of the centre.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Victorian Heritage Database - OLYMPIC SWIMMING STADIUM". Heritage Council of Victoria. Retrieved 2007-09-27. 
  2. ^ Doyle, Edward A, ed. (1958). The Official Report of the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XVI Olympiad, Melbourne 1956 (Report). Organizing Committee of the XVI Olympiad. p. 41-42. ASIN B00CHQ4LLO. http://library.la84.org/6oic/OfficialReports/1956/OR1956.pdf. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Magpies seek new naming rights partner for HQ". Australian Football League. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Magpies seek new naming rights partner for HQ". Australian Football League. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Josey, Leigh (23 March 2010). "Collingwood announce new “Westpac Centre” sponsorship, Westpac announce interest rate rise. Coincidence?". Crikey. Private Media Partners. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Centre at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 37°49′27″S 144°58′47″E / 37.82417°S 144.97972°E / -37.82417; 144.97972