Toorak Park

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Toorak Park
Toorak Park during a Premier Cricket match in 2013-14
Former names Hawksburn Cricket Ground
Location Toorak, Victoria
Coordinates 37°51′10″S 145°0′45″E / 37.85278°S 145.01250°E / -37.85278; 145.01250Coordinates: 37°51′10″S 145°0′45″E / 37.85278°S 145.01250°E / -37.85278; 145.01250
Owner City of Stonnington
Field size 160m × 125m
Surface Grass
Opened 1893
Tenants
Prahran Football Club (winter)
Old Xaverians Football Club (winter)
Prahran Cricket Club (summer)
Melbourne Rugby Club (social facilities only)

Toorak Park is a cricket and Australian rules football arena in the Melbourne suburb of Armadale, Victoria, Australia. It is the home ground of the Prahran Football Club and Old Xaverians Football Club of the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) and Prahran Cricket Club, which plays in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition. The current capacity of the venue is 15,000.

Toorak Park opened in 1893 when it was used by Hawksburn Cricket Club (later Prahran). The Prahran Football Club in the Victorian Football Association began home matches at the venue in 1899, and used it as its home base until it left the Association after 1994. Old Xaverians moved there for the 1995 VAFA season and now share the oval with Prahran, which now also plays in the VAFA.

Toorak Park hosted four VFA Grand Finals between 1935 and 1938, and served as the finals venue (including Grand Finals) for the VFA Division 2 for most of the time it existed from the 1960s-1980s. The ground record attendance for a football match is approximately 17,000, for the 1938 VFA Grand Final between Brunswick and Brighton.[1]

During World War II, several venues used by the Victorian Football League teams were commandeered for military use. The VFA was in recess during World War II, so the St Kilda Football Club, whose Junction Oval was one of the commandeered venues, temporarily moved to Toorak Park, using it as a home base in 1942 and 1943.[1] South Melbourne also played one home match there in 1942. Altogether, Toorak Park hosted thirteen VFL matches.[2]

In 1959, the Prahran Council leased the ground to the Victorian Rugby Union on alternate Saturdays (when the Prahran Football Club Firsts team was playing away) for the enormous sum of £660 – at the time, the Prahran Football Club paid only £60 to rent the ground for the whole winter.[3][4] The VFA rules required that all clubs have access to the same ground throughout the winter, so that the Seconds could play home when the Firsts played away; as a result, Prahran was expelled from the VFA for that season. The football club secured a winter-long lease in 1960 and returned to the Association.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Daffey, Paul (30 July 2005). "Landmarks". The Age. Retrieved 2 November 2012. 
  2. ^ "Toorak Park". AFL Tables. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Prahran expelled by VFA". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). 17 March 1959. pp. 61,64. 
  4. ^ "No compromise on lease by VFA". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). 12 March 1959. p. 59. 
  5. ^ "Prahran gets Toorak Oval". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). 6 October 1959. p. 52.