On your marks

Few sporting arenas command the affection of fans like the MCG now redeveloped in time for the Commonwealth Games
Large sports stadium at the MCG with partially arena, sport venue, stadium, structure, black, teal
Large sports stadium at the MCG with partially glass roofing, and rows of seating.

One of the biggest challenges for the maincontractor Grocon was keeping the MCG fully operational during the three-year construction period, says the company's joint managing director Daniel Grollo.

"The challenges have been enormous. Despite this, we've delivered ahead of time. It's a great achievement, particularly when you look at the current challenges overseas involving the construction or redevelopment of major sport facilities."

Grollo says project manager Steve Richardson and site manager Frank Trinchi did an outstanding job, managing the 1,000 workers and 100-plusconsultants who worked on the "people's ground".

Entranceway to one of the MCG stadium stands architecture, building, condominium, corporate headquarters, landmark, structure, tourist attraction, white, black
Entranceway to one of the MCG stadium stands with statue in front.

"In 2003, we had to demolish and then rebuild a small section of the Southern Stand to make the running track fit," says Richardson. "Having laid the foundations, we restored the pitch for football and the finals series, before doing it all over again in readiness for last year's Boxing Day Test."

The rubber athletics track, from Italian running track specialist Mondo, was laid after the 2004 Grand Final. Richardson says meeting impending deadlines would have been impossible if better and faster construction methods hadn't been found.

"By following the conventional procedures, it would have taken us three weeks longer laying the asphalt on sand, then ripping it out and spreading a layer of crushed rock. We knew there had to be a better way, so we conducted a series of tests and came up with a new system."

View of enormous stadium with rows of seats, amphitheatre, arena, atmosphere, atmosphere of earth, daytime, landmark, line, metropolitan area, sky, soccer specific stadium, sport venue, stadium, structure, white
View of enormous stadium with rows of seats, and red running track.

Richardson says the building isn't just a world-class sporting facility.

"It's a corporate convention centre with five-star finishes, a range of training facilities, indoor practice wickets, spectacular atria, bars, rest rooms and amenities on a par with world-class venues."

For more details, contact Grocon, phone (03)9291 2000, or visit the website: www.grocon.com.au.

Mar 24, 2006
We know the specialists