08 Apr 2024

Gather Round the Barossa: major upgrades to deliver big community benefits


South Australia’s Barossa Valley is set to play a role in the 2025 AFL Gather Round, with the State Government partnering with The Barossa Council to deliver a jointly-funded $40 million upgrade to facilities which will leave a lasting legacy for the iconic wine region.

The funding will deliver a full-scale redevelopment of Lyndoch Recreation Park exposing this prized tourist region to a huge national audience and supporting the local economy.

The State Government and The Barossa Council will each contribute $20 million, with support from Barossa District Football and Netball Club.

The Barossa Park Project will see the existing oval upgraded to meet AFL standards, and deliver a precinct fit for multiple sports at community and professional levels as well as opening up new opportunities for festivals, the arts and conferences to come to the region.

This work will include a new multi-purpose building comprising a 300-seat event space and clubrooms with commercial kitchen, multi-sport change facilities and gym.

The project also includes a mini Adelaide oval replica bar and service area to support events and the cricket club, new netball courts, a recreation green and second oval, athletics track, shelters, a new playground and family garden, more carparks and a formalised roadway.

Located only 10 minutes from the 140-room Novotel Barossa, the Barossa Park Project will provide a significant platform for new major events, festivals, national and international sporting events.

The facility will be used year-round for local community and sporting events, including by the Barossa District Football and Netball Club, Lyndoch Cricket Club, Lyndoch Tennis Club, Lyndoch Bowling Club, Little Athletics Lyndoch & Districts, and the Barossa Valley Pigeon Racing Club.

The announcement of the Barossa Park project comes as more than 40 grassroots community footy clubs across South Australia are the first recipients to share in almost $2 million of funding through the new South Australian Football Facilities Fund.

The 42 clubs, representing 17 per cent of football clubs in SA, are the recipients of the first round of grants allocated under the new funding program, a collaboration between The State Government, the AFL and SANFL.

The $8 million Fund to support the continued growth of the game is part of the legacy of AFL Gather Round for the South Australian football community.
Premier Peter Malinauskas said he is thrilled the State Government and The Barossa Council are able to play host to the AFL Gather Round in the Barossa next year and looks forward to visitors and locals alike enjoying this premier tourist destination while getting along to the footy.

“With the Barossa acknowledged as one of the five most-recognised wine regions in the world, the wine and food experience as well as proximity to the CBD, the region was a logical choice to be part of the 2025 AFL Gather Round,” Premier Malinauskas said.  

“However, it is crucial this investment sees community dividends for decades to come and I look forward to partnering with The Barossa Council to deliver this competition-level multi-use precinct that will benefit both the local sporting community and, also, tourism and visitation outcomes for the Barossa region.”
AFL Chief Executive Andrew Dillon said he was also thrilled the South Australian Government is investing in the redevelopment of Lyndoch Recreation Park in the Barossa, allowing the AFL to take Gather Round 2025 there and continuing to build on the legacy of Gather Round for the community in years to come.

“One of the greatest things about Gather Round is the community spirit it invokes – illustrated this weekend with fantastic sold-out matches at boutique venues like Norwood and the Adelaide Hills,” Mr Dillon said.

“Nothing speaks to South Australia’s charm quite like their wine regions, so to have the opportunity to showcase the stunning Barossa in 2025 for the thousands of fans who attend Gather Round is going to be something special.”

Barossa Mayor Bim Lange said this exciting joint partnership by the State Government and Council will deliver a landmark precinct less than an hour from Adelaide’s CBD, bringing more visitors and tourism dollars into our regional and state economy as a major events destination.

“Importantly, this investment goes well beyond sport, unlocking opportunity for arts, culture and festivals on a local and national scale,” Mayor Lange said. 

“The expansion also puts us ahead of the game in supporting the growth of our new community, Concordia. And of course grassroots communities are the big winners through high-quality infrastructure and open space to support participation in community life.

We couldn’t be more thrilled with the State Government’s vision for the Barossa, backed by investment.”