A plan to move the headquarters of the Adelaide Crows to Thebarton Oval has been given a $15 million boost by the South Australian government.

Key points:

  • The SA government announces $15 million in funding for the Adelaide Crows plans for new headquarters at Thebarton Oval
  • It matches a $15 million commitment from the Federal Government
  • The club still has to complete a second phase of community consultation and gain council approval before work can begin

Premier Peter Malinauskas announced the government’s funding to the Adelaide Crows’ $100 million plan to move from West Lakes will match a previously announced federal government commitment of $15 million.

Another $10 million will be provided by the state government for improvements to community space around the site impacted by the government’s North-South Corridor upgrade.

The club still has to complete a second phase of community consultation and enter an approval process before any building works commence.

The precinct would include training, administration and community facilities.(Supplied: Adelaide Football Club)

Under the plans, Thebarton Oval — which is currently leased to the SANFL and closed to the public — will be open to the community outside of designated match and training times.

As part of the state government’s funding agreement, the Crows will be required to publish Thebarton Oval’s public opening times on its website.

Local concerns about the development — particularly over the Crows’ planned use of the publicly accessible Kings Reserve — prompted changes to the club’s master plan.

Adelaide Crows chairman John Olsen said the club had made some “concessions” along the way in response to community feedback and “addressed a number of key issues”, including creating road access to Thebarton Oval directly from South Road and removing part of Kings Reserve from the proposed lease.

Emma Dawes from the 5031 Community Facilities and Green Spaces Action Group, said the group was “stoked” that the western end of Kings Reserve would be preserved for community use.

“It’s a key green space for our area, it’s our only freely accessed large green space,” Ms Dawes said.

“It’s ours. The Crows are coming here, we can share with them but we have to retain access the majority of the time and we have to know when we can access it.”

Emma Dawes says while the group welcomed the support it had received from the state government, some questions remain over the proposal.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

Ms Dawes said the group was “excited” to continue working with the club and governments, but still had questions about traffic management, lighting and sound mitigation and tree loss at Thebarton Oval.

“The fight is not over,” Ms Dawes said.

“This for us is a really positive step forward and it’s great to see that a community group can come together and achieve such a big outcome from where we started.”

Mr Olsen said the Crows would now work with the local council to “take the process forward from here”.

He said he hoped the consultation and approval process would be complete by the end of this year, with tenders to go out early next year.

“I would hope construction would commence in May and June with a target of being able to have our first W game at the start of the ’25 season and move into the facility from West Lakes in the February/March ’26 period.”

The club hopes the facilities could be ready to move into in early 2026.(Supplied: Adelaide Football Club)

Women’s facility a step forward for equality, captain says

In addition to being the club’s headquarters with training and administration buildings, it will also be the match day home for its women’s team.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said despite the Crows AFLW team winning three out of seven premierships, it did not have a “permanent facility to call home”.

“We are now fixing that problem,” he said.

“This will be the home of the AFLW side for the Crows and that gives a degree of certainty not just for the club, but critically for fans.”

The club’s women’s captain, Chelsea Randall, said moving the side’s home to Thebarton Oval, where the first AFLW Crows game was held in 2017, was “quite fitting”.

Chelsea Randall says it will be a “fitting” return to Thebarton Oval for the women’s side.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

She said she hoped the club’s proposed facilities would create lasting change for future generations of female footballers.

“For 16 years when I was playing football as a female sometimes you wouldn’t even have access to change rooms and you’d just try and change in the car or huddle in, so to be even part of this conversation is surreal,” Ms Randall said.

“For our young girls and boys growing up, they can finally see that equality and I think that’s something amazing. You can’t quite put into words for our community and our society.”

Crows mens captain Jordan Dawson, who won the Malcolm Blight Medal last night, having the men’s and women’s teams “under the same roof” would be a “great thing”.

Jordan Dawson says the move will help the club grow.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

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