Leederville Oval

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Medibank Stadium
Leederville Oval
Full name Leederville Oval
Location 246 Vincent Street, Leederville, Western Australia
Coordinates 31°56′7″S 115°50′38″E / 31.93528°S 115.84389°E / -31.93528; 115.84389Coordinates: 31°56′7″S 115°50′38″E / 31.93528°S 115.84389°E / -31.93528; 115.84389
Built 1915
Expanded 1958, 2003
Owner City of Vincent
Surface grass
Scoreboard digital[1]
Capacity 18,000
Record attendance 24,567 (1978)
Tenants
West Perth Football Club (1915–1993)
Western Australian Amateur Athletic Association (1930s–1950s)
East Perth Football Club (2003–)
Subiaco Football Club (2004–)

Leederville Oval (known as Medibank Stadium under a naming rights agreement) is an Australian rules football ground located in Leederville, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. The ground is currently used as a home ground by two clubs: the East Perth Football Club and the Subiaco Football Club, both competing in the West Australian Football League (WAFL). The ground was previously home to the West Perth Football Club from 1915 to 1993, before the club moved to Arena Joondalup, its current home ground. The ground is serviced by the Joondalup railway line, with the nearest stop being the Leederville station.

History[edit]

Originally part of a series of interconnected wetlands north of the Perth central business district, the land now part of the ground was first established as a recreation reserve by the Leederville Municipality in 1900.[2] The ground was opened in July 1915 with a timber and brick grandstand as a purpose-built venue for the West Perth Football Club, who had previously shared the WACA Ground with the Perth Football Club.[3] The first match was played on 24 July 1915, with Subiaco defeating West Perth by fifteen points, 10.9 (69) to 6.18 (54).[4]

A number of other sports were played at Leederville Oval from the early 1920s to the early 1970s. The Western Australian Amateur Athletic Association leased the ground for a number of years,[5] and the Australian Open Track and Field Championships were held there in 1940 (men's), 1947 (women's), 1953 (men's), 1954 (women's) and 1960 (men's).[6] A picture theatre operated at the ground in 1924.[7] Due to a dispute between the Perth City Council and the WANFL regarding the rental agreement, neither Leederville Oval nor Perth Oval were used during the 1940 WANFL season. West Perth were forced to use Subiaco Oval and East Perth the WACA Ground for the duration of the season.[8]

The ground underwent extensive redevelopments beginning in 1958 to allow it to be used as a venue for the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Perth. This involved "shrouding" the timber base of the old grandstand with concrete. The new construction was named the RP Fletcher Stand after the president of the West Perth Football Club from 1946 to 1962.[2] A match between West Perth and East Perth in round 21 of the 1978 season saw 24,567 attend, a ground record.[9]

West Perth vacated the ground in 1993, moving to Arena Joondalup for the 1994 season. At the last West Perth home game held at the ground, in August 1993 against Subiaco, a crowd of 20,112 people attended.[10] A small number of East Perth and Subiaco home matches were played at the ground after 1994; however, these were not well-attended. With the restructure of the City of Perth in 1994, responsibility for the ground was transferred to the newly formed Town of Vincent.[11] The council's headquarters were located in the Leederville Oval grandstand until its new administrative centre was constructed. The ground hosted two Australian Football League pre-season matches in February 1995: one between a West Coast under-23 and a Brisbane Lions under-23 side, and one between West Coast and Sydney.[12]

After the East Perth and Subiaco Football Clubs agreed to move into the ground, in 2003 and 2004 respectively, a A$4 million redevelopment was announced, funded by the State Government and the Town of Vincent.[13] It was also proposed by the Department of Sport and Recreation to move some interstate cricket matches to Leederville Oval from the WACA Ground; however this did not eventuate.[14] In 2006, the Town of Vincent signed a A$250,000 naming rights deal with Medibank Private to rename the ground "Medibank Stadium" for three years.[15] This was renewed in 2009. Leederville Oval hosted Australian Football League (AFL) pre-season matches in 2006 and 2010, featuring West Coast and Hawthorn and West Coast and Carlton respectively,[16] and WAFL inter-league matches in 2004, 2009 and 2010.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Leederville, Western Australia – scoreboardpressure.com. Posted 26 March 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b A Brief History of the Suburb Leederville – vincentheritage.com.au. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  3. ^ NEW LEEDERVILLE OVAL.The West Australian. Published 23 July 1915. Retrieved from Trove, 20 November 2011.
  4. ^ Answers to correspondentsThe West Australian. Published 14 October 1932. Retrieved from Trove, 20 November 2011.
  5. ^ Leederville Oval LeaseThe Sunday Times. Published 13 November 1938. Retrieved from Trove, 20 November 2011.
  6. ^ Results – Australian Open Track and Field Championships – athletics.com.au. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  7. ^ LEEDERVILLE OVAL.The West Australian. Published 3 October 1924. Retrieved from Trove, 20 November 2011.
  8. ^ GROUNDS DISPUTE SETTLED.The West Australian. Published 21 February 1941. Retrieved from Trove, 20 November 2011.
  9. ^ Round 21 - 1978 - League – wafl.com.au. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  10. ^ Round 21 – 1993 – League – wafl.com.au. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  11. ^ CITY OF PERTH RESTRUCTURING ACT 1993 - SCHEDULE 3 – austlii.edu.au. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  12. ^ Eagles Practice, Exhibition and Pre-Season Matches – limitedetitionsports.yolasite.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  13. ^ Leaving Perth Oval – Fight On East Perth. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  14. ^ WACA wins turf war with Subiaco – austadiums.com. Published 21 September 2003. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  15. ^ Leederville's sweet pill. – highbeam.com. Published 16 February 2006 in The West Australian. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  16. ^ Events at Leederville Oval (Medibank Stadium) – austadiums.com. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  17. ^ VFL demolishes WAFL in State League clash at Leederville Oval – perthnow.com.au. Published 22 May 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2011.

External links[edit]