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Push for AFL footy to return to Whitten Oval under $150 million redevelopment plan

The Western Bulldogs have confirmed they will push to play “heritage” games at Footscray’s Whitten Oval in coming seasons.

The push comes as part of a proposed $150 million redevelopment plan, which would increase the capacity of the Dogs spiritual home to 18,000 and see AFL games return to the ground within five years.

Gerry Eeman, President of the AFL Fans Association, said he would like to see AFL return to suburban grounds.

“I think that’s part of the appeal of the AFLW,” he told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“I think a lot of people like going because it connects them to grounds that they were so familiar with in their youth.”

But Mr Eeman admitted that footy fans have become accustomed to the comforts provided by large stadiums.

“We have become softer. Our expectations are that seats will be a certain width,” he said.

Premier Daniel Andrews has said the redevelopment would be “fantastic” for both the AFL and AFLW.

The Bulldogs have received $1 million from the state government to compile a detailed Whitten Oval revamp design.

It’s unclear exactly where the $150 million needed to fund the plan would come from, but state and federal funds, as well as a contribution from the Bulldogs would likely be required.

Press PLAY below to hear what Gerry Eeman had to say on 3AW Drive.