Lakeside Stadium

Lakeside Stadium is an Australian sports arena in the Melbourne suburb of Albert Park. Comprising an athletics track and soccer stadium, it currently serves as the home ground and administrative base for the South Melbourne FC, Athletics Victoria, Athletics Australia, Victorian Institute of Sport and Australian Little Athletics.

Lakeside Stadium
Lakeside Stadium Logo.png

Lakeside Stadium - Melbourne -01.jpg
Former namesLake Oval, South Melbourne Cricket Ground, Bob Jane Stadium
LocationAughtie Drive, Albert Park, Victoria
Coordinates37°50′25″S 144°57′54″E / 37.84028°S 144.96500°E / -37.84028; 144.96500Coordinates: 37°50′25″S 144°57′54″E / 37.84028°S 144.96500°E / -37.84028; 144.96500
OperatorState Sports Centre Trust
Capacity12,000 (7,400 seated)[1]
SurfaceGrass (soccer stadium), blue synthetic (athletics track)
Broke ground1876
Renovated1995, 2011, 2019

Australian Little Athletics
Athletics Victoria
Athletics Australia


South Melbourne FC
Melbourne Victory FC (Youth Team)
Melbourne Victory FC (Women's Team)

other tenants

Albert-park Football Club (Challenge Cup/VFA, 1878-1879)
South Melbourne Football Club (VFA/VFL, 1879–1915, 1917-1941, 1947-1981)
Victorian Institute of Sport
South Melbourne Cricket Club (until 1994)

Methodist Ladies' College
Ground information
International information
Only WODI31 January 1985:
 Australia v  England
As of 8 September 2020
Source: CricketArchive

The venue was built on the site of a former Australian rules football and cricket ground, the Lakeside Oval (also called the Lake Oval and the South Melbourne Cricket Ground), which served for more than a century as the home ground of the South Melbourne Cricket Club and most notably as the home of the South Melbourne Football Club from 1879-1915, 1917-1941 and 1947-1981,[2] though Australian rules football had been played at the site for nine years prior to the oval's construction. The ground has also been used for soccer from at least 1883.[3]

It is one of four state-supported sporting facilities in Melbourne - the others being the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC), the MSAC Institute of Training (MIT) and the State Netball and Hockey Centre (SNHC) - organised under the banner of Melbourne Sports Centres.[4]


First centuryEdit

The 1926 grandstand prior to Lakeside Stadium redevelopment

The South Melbourne Cricket Club was formed as early as 1862 and the South Melbourne Football Club was formed in 1874.

With the formation of Albert Park from a low lying swamp, a growing population and the popularity of football in the 1870s, an oval was established at the South Melbourne end of the park by the late 1870s, and both clubs soon adopted it as their home ground.

What came to be known as the Lake Oval or Lakeside Oval served most prominently as the home ground for Australian rules football club South Melbourne, in both the Victorian Football Association and the Victorian Football League. In its early days, the ground was considered one of the best in the league and was the venue for the 1901 VFL Grand Final.

Following the destruction of the previous grandstand by fire, a new grandstand was built in 1926 designed by Clegg & Morrow and featuring a non-symmetrical layout, ornamental gables and prominent vents in the form of ridge lanterns.[5]

When electric floodlighting was installed at the venue during the 1950s, it became one of the first venues in Melbourne to regularly host night football matches, including the night premiership series between 1956 and 1971. Night premiership matches in the Victorian Football Association in 1957 and 1958[6] and night interstate matches,[7] including many matches at the 1958 Interstate Carnival[8] were also held at the Lake Oval.

The ground record crowd for Lake Oval was set on 30 July 1932, when 41,000 turned out to see Carlton defeat South Melbourne by nine points.[9]

South Melbourne used the ground for home games until the end of the 1981 VFL season, when the club relocated to Sydney and became the Sydney Swans. The last senior VFL match played at Lake Oval was on Saturday, 29 August 1981, when South Melbourne were defeated by 33 points against North Melbourne in front of 8,484 fans. The club continued to use Lake Oval for reserves matches for several years after 1981.

Aerial photo of the South Melbourne cricket ground with a football match in progress.

For a time during the late 1980s and early 1990s, the struggling Fitzroy Football Club used the ground as a training and administrative base.[10] The Old Xaverians Football Club of the Victorian Amateur Football Association were based there in 1993 and 1994. The oval remained home to the South Melbourne Cricket Club during the summer.


Redevelopment of the venue from an oval football/cricket stadium to the rectangular football stadium which became known as the Lakeside Stadium took place in 1995, when South Melbourne FC was forced out of its old home at Middle Park.[11] The stadium was built with a capacity of 14,000 people,[12] which was achieved or approached several times in South Melbourne's history at the ground. A grandstand with an approximate capacity of 3,000 people was situated on one side, with a social club, reception centre and administrative facilities built in, while the other three sides of the ground consisted of open terraces with wooden seats. At one stage, a second two tiered stand for the outer side was proposed, but only preliminary plans were produced.[13]

As well as being the home of South Melbourne FC, the venue also hosted games by the Socceroos,[14] Young Socceroos, Australia's national women's team the Matildas,[15] and grand finals and finals matches of the Victorian Premier League (now National Premier Leagues Victoria).[16]

The old grandstand remained unused and decaying in this period; at one stage the Sydney Swans football club showed interest in repurchasing it to be used as a museum and administrative building, while there were also calls from others to demolish the building because of its derelict state.

Athletics venueEdit

In May 2008, the state government announced that Lakeside Stadium would undergo a major redevelopment, in order to accommodate an athletics track, as part of moving Athletics Victoria from Olympic Park. The Victorian Institute of Sport, Athletics Victoria and South Melbourne FC would share tenancy of the venue. Major Projects Victoria committed $60 million to the project. South Melbourne played its final match under Lakeside Stadium's previous configuration in April 2010, and construction work on the remodelled venue began in June 2010. Under the remodelling, the old grandstand stand was refurbished to house the VIS.[17]

The synthetic 8-lane athletics track was constructed to international IAAF standards. A 6-lane 60 metre warm-up track was also constructed. The remodelling also saw a FIFA-sized natural grass soccer pitch, a new electronic scoreboard, upgraded lighting, a new northern stand and new spectator amenities. The old grandstand was also renovated to accommodate offices.[18] In March 2012, the stadium hosted the Melbourne Track Classic.

The venue is operated by the State Sports Centre Trust, the operators of the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre and the State Netball and Hockey Centre.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Lakeside Stadium". South Melbourne FC. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  2. ^ South Melbourne did not compete in 1916 due to World War I, while the ground was occupied by the military from 1942 to 1946.
  3. ^ Syson, Ian (30 September 2013). "Victorian Soccer Fixtures and Results 1883". Neos Osmos. Retrieved 24 June 2016.
  4. ^ "Melbourne Sports Centres - Home". Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  5. ^ "South Melbourne Cricket & Football Grandstand and Press Box". Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Lone V.F.A. club's 'no' to night football". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. 2 April 1957. p. 47.
  7. ^ Carrick, Noel (24 July 1957). "Burst by S.A. crushes V.F.A.". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 45.
  8. ^ Bretland, Bernie (3 July 1958). "Big men pave way for WA". The Sun News-Pictorial. Melbourne. p. 38.
  9. ^ "Lake Oval - Attendances (1921-1981)". AFL Tables. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  10. ^ Linnell, Stephen (23 July 1993). "Lion members back move to Western Oval". The Age. Melbourne. p. 28. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  11. ^ Keyte, Jennifer (presenter); Donahoe, Brendan (reporter) (29 May 1994). "Albert Park - The Track". Seven Nightly News. Seven Network. HSV Melbourne. Retrieved 5 July 2017 – via Argiri on YouTube.
  12. ^ "Lakeside Stadium". Austadiums. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Bob Jane Stadium Redevelopment". Austadiums. Archived from the original on 17 May 2008. Retrieved 5 July 2017.[better source needed]
  14. ^ Esamie, Thomas; Stock, Greg; Cazal, Jean-Michel; Scicluna, Frank. "Socceroo Internationals for 1996". OzFootball. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  15. ^ Esamie, Thomas. "Matildas Internationals for 2006". OzFootball. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  16. ^ Punshon, John. "2006 Vodafone Cup Results". OzFootball. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  17. ^ "State Sports Facilities Project". Major Projects Victoria. Archived from the original on 22 April 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  18. ^ "State Sports Facilities Project Profile" (PDF). Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

External linksEdit