Freo players training at Fremantle Oval
FREMANTLE will move to an elite training and administrative facility in Cockburn, south of Perth, in 2017.
The club signed a heads of agreement with the City of Cockburn on Friday and will soon commence planning for the 26,000 square m facility.
Cockburn is located about 24km from the centre of Perth. The new facility is about six km from Fremantle Oval, where the club has been based since its formation in 1995.
Fremantle will contribute about $10 million to the new facility, while the AFL will chip in with $1 million. The overall cost of the facility, which may also include a future campus for Curtin University, will be about $110 million.
"We have been working on this project for more than four years and … have reached a decision that the board believes is in the best long-term interests of the club and best meets the needs of our players, members, supporters, stakeholders and the community," Fremantle chairman Steve Harris said.
"The international standard and scale of the facilities at Cockburn Central West will be world class and place the club at the absolute forefront of integrated elite sporting and community facilities in Australia."
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou welcomed the announcement, saying: "Fremantle’s proposed partnership with the City of Cockburn is a terrific opportunity and will see the club have access to enhanced training and administrative facilities as part of an exciting new recreational centre that will benefit the growing local community."
The new facility will give Fremantle access to two playing ovals, two swimming pools and world-class sporting and recreational facilities.
And it continues the trend of clubs such as Collingwood, Hawthorn and shortly, Essendon, of moving away from their cramped traditional suburban bases to custom-built facilities.