Hume City Council has voted in favour of the master plan for the future site of the rugby league hub – backed by a $12 million game changing investment from the Victorian Government.
With the continuing success of the Melbourne Storm and the rise of the NRL Women’s Premiership, rugby league is booming around the state, with female player registrations leading the charge, up in Victoria to 755, an increase of more than 62 per cent from 2015.
The new facility will provide NRL Victoria with a quality headquarters to develop and host rugby league programs, and a modern venue complete with up to four fields, a grandstand and female friendly change rooms for training, camps and state and national level tournaments.
The Centre will also pave the way for the introduction of a future Melbourne Storm women’s team in the new NRL Women’s Premiership.
Grassroots rugby will also feature at the centre with the venue to continue as the home of the 18-team strong Northern Thunder Rugby League Club.
The Centre and NRL women’s license form part of the Victorian Government’s investment in elite pathways and facilities for women and girls to take their game to the next level.
Other similar investments include $64.6 million for a major upgrade to the State Netball and Hockey Centre, $20 million to redevelop Ikon Park into the home of women’s football, $13 million for AFLW facilities at Moorabbin Oval, $5 million for Whitten Oval, $5 million for Casey Fields, $2 million for Victoria Park, and $10 million to deliver more opportunities for women and girls through the Melbourne Victory Football Academy.
The Victorian Government has also invested more than $850 million in community sport and recreation facilities since 2014, including building new female-friendly facilities at 150 locations across the state.
In addition to the Harvey Norman All Stars game played this year, Victoria will also host four major NRL matches in the next six years – two State of Origins in 2021 and 2025, and International Test Matches in 2022 and 2023 further cementing Melbourne’s reputation as the home of the best of Rugby League.