Max McMahon Oval, the home of Aussie Rules club the Maitland Saints, has undergone a ground transformation bringing it up to AFL national standards and the same size as the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The news is the culmination of massive earthworks carried out on the Rutherford site in several stages over the past two years.
The oval has also undergone extensive lighting and irrigation improvements and will later undergo an amenities upgrade thanks to funding from AFL NSW and ACT.
Maitland City Council Works Manager Ashley Kavanagh said the project started in 2017 when council met with AFL NSW and ACT.
“This was when the Saints were looking to go into the Black Diamond League (the Newcastle AFL competition) which they joined last year.
“AFL NSW and ACT said they would contribute to the upgrade of the change rooms if council got the ground to the preferred dimensions of 160 metres by 130 metres,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“We carried work on the oval as council resources became available and we have now achieved those dimensions.”
He said the Saints could play at Maitland’s No.1 Sportsground as well. “But it is a smaller facility at the moment and their preferred location is Max McMahon Oval which is their home ground,” he said.
While he could not disclose the overall cost of the ground expansion, Mr Kavanagh said the irrigation and lighting improvements cost $300,000.
“This holds us in pretty good stead in terms of high standard sporting facilities,” Mr Kavanagh said.
“The ground, along with a few others in Maitland, look good with rye grass on first.
“We’ve done this at other footy and soccer grounds at Cook Square Park for example to ensure all codes have one premier facility to hold premier matches on.”
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