Blundstone Arena in Hobart is fast gaining a reputation as one of the best stadiums in Australia, and soon it will become even more of a hub for sporting events with news of a $15 million dollar contribution from the Tasmanian Government towards its redevelopment.
North Melbourne played in front of a capacity crowd of more than 14,000 against the Eagles in 2012, and an increase in the ground's capacity will allow for even greater numbers to fill the stands.
"It has been more than a decade since the last major improvements were made to Blundstone Arena and it is important that this picturesque ground continues to evolve to accommodate the needs of modern sport and the patrons that attend," Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings said.
The redevelopment will include a brand new Western stand, refurbishment of the current Southern stand and room for 19,500 people.
The Kangaroos will play two home fixtures at the stadium this season, starting with a Round 3 blockbuster against Sydney, before works begin following the Round 6 clash with Port Adelaide.
"It's (Blundstone Arena) already a fantastic venue for cricket and now AFL, and this redevelopment will make for an even greater experience for sporting fans," North's Interim CEO Cam Vale told NMFC.com.au.
The $15 million contribution from the State Government matched the commitment the Federal Government announced last January towards the project.
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou said the initiative underlined the league's decision to play games in Hobart.
"The upgrade to facilities and crowd capacity at Blundstone Arena will enable more Tasmanians to attend AFL matches and attract more AFL fans to Tasmania to see their teams play for premiership points, many of whom will no doubt also extend their stay in the state as tourists."
The redevelopment is expected to be completed by 2015.