Unley Oval receives SANFL award recognition

Published on 09 November 2023


The iconic oval’s redevelopment has been undertaken in stages, with phase two delivering state-of-the-art training facilities for male and female players, a versatile function room in the remodelled Jack Oatey Grandstand, and well-equipped office spaces for club administration. First floor windows open to provide a unique visitor experience, with spectacular views from the observation deck.

The SANFL judges said the refurbishment of the facility now delivers ‘an exceptional match day experience’ for players, club members and football fans. You can read more about the reasons for the award in the SANFL website story.

Council and the Sturt Football Club have commenced on other improvements to the historic Oval and are currently undertaking significant work in replacing the playing surface and installing irrigation, a project which is envisaged to be completed by April next year.

There is a strong focus on the community in the redevelopment, with its grandstand space operating as a venue for corporate and community-based functions such as seminars and training forums.

City of Unley Mayor Michael Hewitson says he is delighted with the project outcomes, and what Unley Oval offers to football and local sporting groups, as well as to the community.

‘This project has been about much more than simply upgrading an ageing arena. There was a very clear vision about its revitalisation in a staged approach over several years to finally realise what all the partners in this project have achieved.

The current upgrade to the playing surface will result in a first-class facility not only for sporting clubs, but also for local schools who hold their athletics carnivals at the Oval.’

‘Our Council made the initial financial commitment - around a quarter of the project budget - to ensure this development could attract other funding. I’m pleased the Federal Government chose to support us to help fund this project stage with a significant contribution from its Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program.’

‘As a result of that support, Sturt Football Club contributed a million dollars to see this vision come to fruition. The collaboration has resulted in this facility being brought up to an exceptionally high standard and completes the fantastic work the Oval has had done previously in earlier phases.’

‘It’s a huge win for local sports clubs in programs for male and female participants, and for a range of community users. This is now a premium facility that functions well for chief stakeholder Sturt Football Club, and it has also become a place for local businesses and resident groups to meet.’

‘Congratulations to everyone involved in this landmark project, and to the SANFL for recognising the thought and work that has gone into it. Unley Oval has always been at the heart of this community, and this development ensures that it will remain a vital part of its life for generations to come.’

While primarily for use by Sturt Football Club during the playing season, the Unley Oval Community Hub is available for hire to corporate and community organisations. Its modern features include linked screen technology, new bathrooms, commercial kitchen and bar facilities, and lifts for easy accessibility.

For more information regarding facility hire, email ucc@unley.sa.gov.au.