Hands Oval transformation under way as old venue is demolished

Headshot of Breanna Redhead
Breanna RedheadSouth Western Times
Demolition has begun at Hands Oval.
Camera IconDemolition has begun at Hands Oval. Credit: Breanna Redhead/SWT

The highly anticipated Hands Oval redevelopment is officially under way with the old site completely demolished on Wednesday morning.

Built in 1955, the SWFL headquarters and change room buildings are now nothing but rubble, as construction workers make way for the $17.42 million development.

Once complete, the facility is expected to be among the best on offer in regional Western Australia — set to include a brand new 745 seat grandstand, five change rooms for players and umpires, four doctor and massage rooms, separate spaces for timekeepers, coaches and media, offices, a boardroom, kiosk, amenities as well as carpark and landscaping upgrades.

It is understood the debris will take a week to clear, with construction then expected to start immediately for anticipated completion in September 2024.

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The oval is home to the South West Football League headquarters and typically hosts grand finals each year, drawing more than 4000 spectators packing out the grandstands and banks.

Due to the construction, this year’s games have relocated to Kelly Park for the women and Payne Park for the league, reserves and colts competitions.

Demolition has begun at Hands Oval.
Camera IconDemolition has begun at Hands Oval. Credit: Breanna Redhead/SWT

Aided by $8 million of State Government funding, Sport and Recreation Minister David Templeman said the facility would mark a “new chapter” for Bunbury.

“Hands Oval in Bunbury has long had a strong reputation in the region as a premier Australian football facility and this redevelopment will add a new chapter in its history,” he said.

“Sport, recreation and community activities play an integral role in local communities, and this new facility will help to better meet the needs of this vibrant and sport-loving region.”

Following the release of artist impressions in November, Bunbury Mayor Jaysen Miguel said the “much-needed” project would benefit the whole South West community.

“This project is not only an important one for Bunbury’s sporting fraternity but the entire community and South West region,” he said.

“Hands Oval is already the home of the SWFL, but these upgrades would truly put Bunbury at the forefront of AFL in regional WA as the home of AFL and elite sport in the South West.”

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