Expansion hopeful Team 11 unveil A-League stadium plan for Dandenong
Momentum is building behind an expansion A-League team in south-east Melbourne, with plans and a site for a 15,000-seat stadium based in Dandenong unveiled on Monday.
One of Australia's best-known sports investors Gerry Ryan and well-loved Socceroos, Vince Grella, threw their support behind the "Team 11" bid, declaring the region perfect for an A-League and W-League outfit.
"Just look at the opportunity to unite the community and build something great," Ryan said.
"There's 1.2 million people here. There's so many clubs here. It's common sense to have an A-League club here. It would be a success."
Ryan founded cycling outfit Orica-Scott, has invested in the A-League's Brisbane Roar and NRL heavyweights Melbourne Storm, and sits AFL club St Kilda's board.
The BRW rich-lister said investing in the club or the stadium was on his radar.
"I'm open to it depending on the people," he said. "I can also be an advisor. I can talk about structure and developing cultures."
The Dandenong stadium is viewed as a game-changer for the Team 11 bid, which is backed by three major councils in south-east Melbourne.
The Greater Dandenong Council will gift the land to the team if they are selected as a successful bidder, paving the way for the $170 million stadium which still needs additional public and private investment.
The stadium would house Team 11's A-League, W-League and youth teams, with the potential to host NRL and Super Rugby matches and other major events.
Grella said the region's contribution to the national team was remarkable.
"Jackson Irvine, Bailey Wright, Scott McDonald, myself … that's four Socceroos from here and there are definitely potential Socceroos out there," he said.
"I would have loved to have played football where I was born … the stadium plans look great. I wish I could turn back the clock to play in it."
The bid also won qualified support from potential rivals Melbourne Victory on Monday.
Speaking on SEN, Victory chief executive Trent Jacobs said the club supported expansion in principle and he favoured another club in Victory's backyard, provided it wasn't based at AAMI Park.
"We'd probably be a little disappointed if another Melbourne club came and played out of AAMI Park," he said.
"To have another rival in Melbourne … with their own stadium would only be a good thing."
Competition for an A-League licence has intensified over the past month after FFA announced it would accept two new teams into the competition for the 2019-20 season.
An announcement will be made in October.
Up to a dozen consortiums are putting together their bid documents in the hope of admission into the A-League.
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