Freo field of dreams

The redevelopment, announced on the weekend, would see changes and improvements, including the oval being moved closer to the Victoria Pavilion, new club administration facilities, a collection of commercial office and retail space and a gym.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said a masterplan and funding models would be the next priority, with the project expected to be finished by 2021.

“We’re looking to achieve the development of a significant community asset where locals and visitors can enjoy cultural and sporting events,” he said.

“The integrated redevelopment of Fremantle Oval and adjacent areas will ensure maximum community benefit and financial sustainability of the project.

“The community will be able to look forward to more WAFL games, improved spectator facilities and a great range of community events throughout the year.

“We believe this is a win-win for all concerned – local football and local people.”

Dr Pettitt said the City was still in talks with the Fremantle Football Club about returning the lease once it moved to Cockburn, but the project had the support of the Department of Sport and Recreation and the WA Football Commission.

Under the redevelopment, East Fremantle Football Club would also move to the oval, sharing the football facilities with South Fremantle Football Club and creating the WAFL Centre of Excellence.

East Fremantle president Mark Stewart said despite the club’s ties with East Fremantle Oval since the 1950s, it would be good to return to where it all started.

“We need to look to the future, so can’t overlook the benefits of a move back to Freo Oval which would include a modern facility, a fantastic central location and our club’s ongoing viability,” he said.

South Fremantle president Haydn Raitt said there were benefits to both clubs sharing the facilities despite the on-field rivalry.