East Fremantle Oval: Sharks move away from oval to have ‘minimal’ impact


East Fremantle Oval.
East Fremantle Oval.

THERE would be “minimal” impact on the East Fremantle community when the East Fremantle Football Club moves out, according to deputy mayor Michael McPhail.

The statement comes after a City of Fremantle announcement that the East Fremantle Sharks would soon call Fremantle Oval home as part of a $20 million redevelopment of the oval and Stan Reilly Centre.

A move is expected within the next five years.

Mr McPhail said the football club had made a “significant contribution” to the heritage and identity of the town and did not expect that would change with the move.

“The club contributes about $13,000 per annum in revenue,” he said.

“Games tend to attract upwards of a thousands people, with a recent game attracting 1700 spectators, but while this would bring an economic benefit, it’s hard to quantify.

“A Sports and Recreation Plan, informed by a significant amount of community engagement, is being prepared for the entire town, due towards the end of May, which will identify future options for the oval.”

He said he believed the club was likely to continue having a presence at the oval regardless of the move.

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said while the addition of the Sharks would come at the loss of the Fremantle Dockers, the business case showed there were benefits to Fremantle by opening up the oval for wider use.

“I love the idea of a WAFL game in central Fremantle every weekend in the football season which will attract thousands of people to Fremantle,” he said.

“With the return of women’s competition on Wednesday nights, country week football, regular junior programs and summer sports, we can create a real hub for grassroots footy.

“The redevelopment will also open up the oval for community events and concerts and I could imagine events like Blues and Roots and other festivals being held at the oval in the summer season, which will activate the area and share some of Freo’s key events with the Esplanade Reserve.

“The plan includes the retention of the Fremantle Football Club’s merchandise and membership shop-front so a piece of the Dockers will hopefully remain in Freo.”