Paradise misplaced and located: the Saints and Moorabbin

St Kilda was the most important loser from the bottom rationalisation coverage that noticed suburban fortresses jettisoned and the golf equipment, over time, herded into both what’s now the AFL-owned Marvel Stadium, or the MCG.

Not like the most important Melbourne golf equipment, which, regardless of apparent heartlands, have supporters scattered throughout the metropolitan space (and the nation) and which had been suited to an inner-city stadium, St Kilda has lengthy been a extremely native membership that pulls the majority of its assist from the bayside suburbs, principally following either side of the Nepean Freeway (Brighton Rd) from St Kilda junction right down to Mornington. The Saints personal probably the most geographically concentrated supporter base of all Victorian golf equipment, bar Geelong.

Leaving Moorabbin wasn’t best, however Waverley – for all of the jibes about Arctic Park and its dismal public transport – labored high-quality for a membership that’s rooted within the south-eastern suburbs; it is simpler to drive to Waverley from the outer bayside suburbs than to Docklands.

Tony Lockett in 1987, kicking goal 100 for the season at Moorabbin.

Tony Lockett in 1987, kicking aim 100 for the season at Moorabbin.Credit score:The Age

St Kilda did not have a lot alternative however to relocate to Docklands when Waverley was deserted. It is attainable that the Saints, had they hard-bargained like Hawthorn, may need had an MCG base or extra video games, although I doubt the AFL would have permitted each Hawthorn AND St Kilda to be on the ‘G.

St Kilda’s uncomfortably massive debt and customarily poor monetary efficiency over the previous decade has a variety of causes, attributable to a mixture of personal objectives by the membership and AFL coverage/selections.


The AFL herded the Saints right into a poor deal at Docklands (which now not applies), however the membership made the catastrophic name to relocate to Seaford after which deserted a possible goldmine in Tasmania, leaving the Hawks – so usually the purpose of unflattering comparisons – to reap Tassie taxpayer .

Moorabbin is near the epicentre of St Kilda’s supporter base. Think about what this membership would seem like had they, with AFL and authorities backing, been capable of construct a Geelong-like fortress at Moorabbin, which might be ceaselessly crammed with 30,000 or so?

This was by no means possible for the Saints, as a metropolitan membership, even when there is a marginal seat or two of their catchment space. They had been inspired to depart Moorabbin for Waverley, solely to see the AFL pull the pin on their very own floor, unload the true property to Mirvac and relocate the second stadium to Docklands.

This labored high-quality for many golf equipment. The Doggies, for example, are nearer to their folks at Marvel than they’d be at Carlton’s house (the place they performed house video games within the late ’90s). North Melbourne, too, is suited to Docklands. The large golf equipment want a stadium close to the CBD.

However it did not, and would not, work so effectively for the Saints, who’ve to make use of their refurbished Moorabbin base – an upgraded, healthful, but shrunken model of the charming previous floor/nightclub – to reconnect with these folks within the bayside.

Moorabbin won’t ever host house and away males’s video games for premiership factors once more. That paradise was lengthy misplaced for the Saints, who, nonetheless, have to make use of their new-old base to construct, from the bottom up, so to talk.

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