The two local WAFL teams have announced they will use a business case to investigate a number of options, including the possibility of a co-tenancy at Fremantle Oval, or whether the Sharks should remain in East Fremantle.
Co-tenancy is not a new endeavour between the clubs. East Fremantle operated out of Fremantle Oval alongside South Fremantle for all but one year between 1898 to 1952.
South Fremantle chief executive Stuart Kemp said the decision to create the business case came about as both clubs strive to remain sustainable and maintain commitment to the Fremantle community.
‘Both clubs felt the need to discuss at the table sustainability issues and where the clubs felt they were heading in the long term and considering we shared the ground before, it was a natural progression to discuss for both parties,’ he said.
‘The main advantage if East Fremantle were to share Fremantle Oval in some form is the savings on cost and expenses for both organisations, which will help the bottom line of the clubs.
‘It’s a very passionate topic for our members and fans but we feel the members understand the importance for sustainability and as a major stakeholder of our organisation they will be kept informed during the whole process.’
He said the Department of Sport and Recreation is helping the clubs through the process, which is expected to be completed within 20 weeks once it is commissioned.
East Fremantle chief executive Adam Kelly said the announcement that the Fremantle Dockers would move out of the oval to a new facility to be built in Cockburn created the chance to discuss co-tenancy.
‘At this stage of the process it is difficult to suggest what the business case will mean for the club and our facility future, but what we are pleased with is that we have an option to explore,’ he said.
‘Beside investigating co-tenancy as a WAFL playing facility the business case will consider training facilities for the club at East Fremantle Oval or any other site deemed suitable and viable.
‘Shared facility usage would contribute to the ongoing sustainability of the two clubs and our current facilities require significant ongoing maintenance which impacts on the clubs ability to invest in our programs.’