Adelaide Crows lose out on bid to develop Brompton Gasworks site for new headquarters

New and old buildings in a drawing

The Adelaide Crows have lost out to a Melbourne property developer in their bid to build new headquarters at the old Brompton Gasworks site in Adelaide’s inner-west.

Key points:

  • The Brompton Gasworks site was put out to tender for developers
  • The Adelaide Crows have been looking for a site for new headquarters
  • MAB Corporation was chosen over the AFL club

The South Australian government announced today that MAB Corporation was its preferred proponent to redevelop the 5.8-hectare site about 3 kilometres from the CBD.

MAB’s plan includes a hotel, housing for more than 2,000 people, hospitality outlets and a commitment to 25 per cent of the land being open, public space.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said he could not go into detail about why the AFL club missed out.

“There’s a handful of factors they had to be weighted against — one of which was the commercial offer — but there are a range of other evaluation criteria which we used, and when that was assessed overall the recommendation was clear from the evaluation team,” Mr Lucas said.

New and old buildings in a drawing
MAB Corporation’s proposed development for the Brompton Gasworks site.(Supplied: MAB Corporation)

The Crows have been looking to move their headquarters closer to the city since AFL games moved to Adelaide Oval in 2014.

They had previously been played at Football Park in West Lakes, where the Crows are still based and where they have a fan facility called the Crows Shed.

In 2019, the club proposed moving to a new facility to replace the ageing Adelaide Aquatic Centre but pulled out as COVID-19 hit its finances.

Thebarton Oval now focus for Crows

In a statement, the Adelaide Football Club said it had shifted its focus for a new headquarters to Thebarton Oval.

Crows chairman John Olsen described MAB Corporation as “a large commercial property developer” that had beaten its “community-focused plan”.

South Australian Liberal President John Olsen speaks to a journalist. He's wearing a blue shirt and glasses.South Australian Liberal President John Olsen speaks to a journalist. He's wearing a blue shirt and glasses.
Former SA premier John Olsen became chairman of the Crows in 2020.(ABC News: Matthew Doran)

“We owe it to our members and supporters to explore these opportunities, however, we must never jeopardise the club’s financial sustainability when considering any investment of this magnitude,” the former state premier said.

“Our extensive due diligence and multi-criteria assessment has also shown our desired football outcomes could be achieved equally at either site, while our key member and fan engagement initiatives could be delivered at Thebarton.

Mr Lucas said the proposal chosen at Brompton was “by far and away the best in terms of the development of the site but was also best in terms of the public interest”.

A building with an Adelaide Crows logo o itA building with an Adelaide Crows logo o it
The Adelaide Crows headquarters at West Lakes.(ABC News)

The Crows’ previous proposal would have required funding from the Adelaide City Council and the use of parklands property.

Both Liberal and Labor promised $15 million for the project ahead of the 2019 federal election.

The state heritage-listed gasworks produced gas for Adelaide from 1863 to 1964, under the South Australian Gas Company.

Renewal SA put out a tender for the site last July after cleaning up soil and groundwater contamination.

The Port Adelaide Football Club is redeveloping its headquarters in Alberton, despite opposition from neighbours.



Author: Ivan Robinson