THE Melbourne Victory is keen to keep having home games in Geelong.
Victory chief executive officer Trent Jacobs and head coach Kevin Muscat visited GMHBA Stadium last week ahead of the A-League club’s sixth competitive game at the venue, which will be against the Newcastle Jets on March 2.
Mr Jacobs said the partnership between the soccer club and the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust was now five years old, and the Victory would look to extend it to a sixth year and beyond.
“We’ve been really pleased with the engagement in Geelong, whether it’s how we’ve worked in the community with the relationships and partnerships we’ve built with junior clubs and local schools, and we have a number of significant, long-term partners based in Geelong, being WorkSafe and the TAC and others.
“We average about 15,000 by way of crowds down here, so for the first time we’re now going to play a game in the month of March where I think we’ll have a greater capacity to be able to connect with the community.”
Trust chief executive officer Michael Brown said the trust had hosted several events at the stadium in summer – including rugby league and Big Bash League – and had learned a lot as a result.
“Getting people from holiday parks (to attend) is not as easy as probably even we thought.”
The Western Melbourne Group received its A-League licence in 2018 and will eventually play out of a new stadium in Wyndham, but has sounded out using GMHBA Stadium as a base in its early years.
Mr Brown said there had been a meeting between the trust and the Western Melbourne Group but no agreements had been reached, and the trust was seeking further details.
“We’re getting a really busy stadium; we’ve had over 80 events a year. It’s a matter of if we can assist, we will.
“There is an interim discussion – the trust, as a public body and funded by government, is dutybound to explore all options for the stadium, and we’ll do that in the best possible faith we can.”