State Netball and Hockey Centre

The State Netball and Hockey Centre (SNHC) is a multipurpose sporting facility located in Melbourne, Australia. It is the administrative headquarters of the peak bodies for netball and hockey in Victoria and features two outdoor hockey fields and five indoor and four outdoor netball courts. National Basketball League club Melbourne United played home matches at the venue in the past, as well as Super Netball team Melbourne Vixens, though both clubs have shifted home matches to larger-capacity arenas. Hockey Club Melbourne of the Hockey One league play home games on the main pitch.

State Netball Hockey Centre
State Netball Hockey Centre Logo.gif
Location10 Brens Drive, Royal Park, Parkville, Victoria
Coordinates37°47′9″S 144°56′53″E / 37.78583°S 144.94806°E / -37.78583; 144.94806Coordinates: 37°47′9″S 144°56′53″E / 37.78583°S 144.94806°E / -37.78583; 144.94806
OwnerVictorian Government
OperatorState Sport Centres Trust
CapacityNetball: 3,050
Basketball: 3,500
Field Hockey: 8,000[1]
Broke groundMarch 1999[2]
Opened16 March 2001
Construction cost$27 million[3]

Victoria Vikings (AHL) (2001–18)
HC Melbourne (HO) (2019–present)


Melbourne United (NBL) (2002–2017)


Melbourne Vixens (ANZ) (2008–2011)[a]
Melbourne Phoenix (CBT) (2001–2008)
Melbourne Kestrels (CBT) (2001–2008)

Other Tenants

2006 Commonwealth Games

The facility, opened on 16 March 2001, is located in Royal Park, Parkville next to the Melbourne Zoo.[4] The facility is run by the State Sport Centres Trust, which operates four other sporting facilities in Melbourne, namely the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC), the MSAC Institute of Training (MIT) and Lakeside Stadium.[5]


The development of the State Netball Hockey center dates back to 1996 when the Royal Park Master Plan was prepared by the City of Melbourne. Under the plan the existing State Netball Centre would be demolished and integrated with the State Hockey Centre. The demolishing of the State Netball Centre along with a reduction in the number of outdoor courts enabled the reinstatement of parkland and playing fields. The plan also outlined improving amenities for all park users in conjunction with the development of the Centre, including improved roads, public transport and car parking.[6]

In May 1998 funding for the project at $24.5 million by the Community Support Fund was approved at development was officially announced by the State Government. In February 1999 a revised budget of $27 million was accepted after a tender process found that the previous budget was too small, even after reducing the scope of the project. The approval for the Centre was fast-tracked so significant progress would be made so the venue could be assessed by the 2006 Commonwealth Games Evaluations Panel in mid-1999. The redevelopment of the facilities began in March 1999 and was planned to be completed by April 2000.[6] Construction was completed in November 2000, and the facility was officially opened on 16 March 2001.[2]

The redevelopment of the Park had seen objections from interest groups. In May 1999 legal action commenced against the redevelopment of Royal Park on the grounds that the development was inconsistent with the purpose of the Crown land reservation. Another issue was raised after concerns over the effects of the exterior lights on the surround areas, including the nearby Melbourne Zoo.[7][8]

In March 2019 the centre began undergoing a $64.6 million redevelopment announced earlier by the Victorian Government. The redevelopment (expected to conclude in March 2021) will feature six new indoor netball courts, a new indoor hockey facility, a high-performance gymnasium and the Sports House 2 building, which will provide a home for the peak sporting bodies Netball Victoria and Hockey Victoria.[9]


The Centre has five indoor netball courts including two in the main stadium along with four outdoor courts. The main stadium has permanent seating on three sides of the courts and retractable seating can be used (covering the second court) to increase the capacity to 3,050.[10] The secondary hall can be configured for 250 spectators.[11] When the main stadium is configured for basketball it has a capacity of 3,500.[12]

The netball courts can be transformed to cater for basketball, volleyball, martial arts, concerts, indoor soccer and other indoor sports.

The centre has two hockey pitches with a grandstand situated between them, providing seating for 1,000 spectators undercover on the main pitch and seating for 250 spectators on the second pitch. The main pitch is surrounded by grassed seating areas which can accommodate temporary seating for up to 8,000 spectators, as has been utilised for past events such as the 2006 Commonwealth Games.[1]

The hockey pitches can be transformed to cater for lacrosse, gridiron, soccer, touch football and other outdoor sports.

State Netball Hockey Centre


This arena has been used for professional netball since its opening. It has hosted matches in the Victorian Netball League, Australian Netball League and the defunct Commonwealth Bank Trophy and ANZ Championship competitions. Past tenants include the most highly successful team in the Commonwealth Bank Trophy, Melbourne Phoenix and the ANZ Championship team the Melbourne Vixens. The Vixens used the arena throughout 2008 to 2011 and also used it for home finals in 2013 and 2019, on both occasions because their usual venues were unavailable.[13]


In past National Basketball League seasons, the facility was occasionally used by Melbourne United (formerly the Melbourne Tigers) and was nicknamed 'The Cage'. The club made the Centre their home in 2002 due to financial trouble and the high costs of hiring their previous home, Vodafone Arena.[14]

Over time, the club gradually moved all of their matches to the larger capacity Melbourne Arena located near the city. The Tigers (now United) utilise the facility for home matches if Melbourne Arena is unavailable.

Commonwealth GamesEdit

For the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games the facility was used for all the hockey games and netball preliminary matches.[15]

Water conservationEdit

As part of an initiative in conjunction with the Commonwealth Games in 2004 the Centre received a grant from the Smart Water Trust to recycle water from the hockey pitches and the roof structure. The recycled water substitutes for drinking water to water the hockey pitches and is expected to reduce water usage by 78%.[16]


  1. ^ Used by the club for one-off matches in 2013 and 2019.


  1. ^ a b "Capacity for hockey". Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Retrieved 21 November 2006.
  2. ^ a b "Construction dates" (PDF). Department of Infrastructure. Retrieved 21 November 2006.
  3. ^ "Construction cost of Centre". Department for Victorian Communities. Retrieved 19 November 2006.
  4. ^ "Opening date of the Centre" (PDF). Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2006.
  5. ^ "Non-profit status of Centre". official webpage. Archived from the original on 21 August 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2006.
  6. ^ a b "Royal Park Master Plan" (PDF). City Of Melbourne. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 October 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2006.
  7. ^ "Construction cost of Centre". Department for Victorian Communities. Archived from the original on 27 August 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2006.
  8. ^ "Audit 2000".
  9. ^ "State Netball and Hockey Centre". Development Victoria.
  10. ^ "About SNHC | MSHUB". MSHUB. Retrieved 12 October 2016.
  11. ^ "Capacity for netball". official webpage. Archived from the original on 21 August 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2006.
  12. ^ "Capacity for basketball". National Basketball League. Archived from the original on 15 November 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2006.
  13. ^ "Vixens to host final at State Netball and Hockey Centre". Melbourne Vixens. 20 August 2019.
  14. ^ "Melbourne Tigers move to SNHC". The Age. 26 July 2002. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
  15. ^ "Usage for Commonwealth Games". Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  16. ^ "Water Conservation plans". Smart Water Fund. Retrieved 21 November 2006.

External linksEdit