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St Kilda has called many places home over the years.

From the beloved to the bizarre, St Kilda Football Club has taken residency at many different places – some for far longer than others – over its 150-year existence.

Those like the club’s spiritual home of the muddy but magnificent Moorabbin are engrained into football folklore, others like the modern-day Marvel Stadium ushering in the new generation of football fan amid a fast-paced, high-octane world. Junction Oval is as traditional as they come, and then there’s the temporary homes, the odd relocations and the quirky tenancies, all of which have led the club to where they are.

So, where do we begin? It all starts in a mound of earth known as Alpaca Paddock.

Alpaca Paddock

St Kilda played its earliest games on a patch of ground known as the Alpaca Paddock, near what is now the St Kilda Railway Station.

The peculiar name derives from St Kilda Council’s earlier attempt to raise alpacas in the area as a commercial enterprise. The fact the fledgling Saints were able to lay claim to the small, grassy plain gives enough of an indication as to how the alpaca venture fared.

Alpaca Paddock was a stone’s throw away from the club’s future home of Junction Oval, and a short walk from Young’s Hotel where the club was first founded in 1873.

Junction Oval

The first true home of the Saints, St Kilda began playing regular games at the Junction Oval in 1886. The site of the club’s first VFL win (1900), iconic Crest Game (1933) and many more memories, the red, white and black made 580 VFL appearances at the venue up until 1964 when it sought a new home at Moorabbin.

Although sharing tenancy – and some friction – with St Kilda Cricket Club, the two clubs arranged for the ground to be fenced, meaning a charge could be made for admission. Despite the protests by one local resident that it would obscure the view from part of his house, the fence was erected in time for the new football season.

Seasider Saints
580 games; 257 wins, 4 draws, 319 losses
*VFL matches only
St Kilda 23.23 (161) def. Fitzroy 7.9 (51), Round 2, 1970
*Highest score registered by St Kilda at the venue
Harry Lever, 108 games
*The most of any Saint at the venue
Bill Mohr St Kilda Football Club Marking the Ball
Bill Mohr, 397
*The most of any player at the venue
Toorak Park

As World War II raged in the Pacific, St Kilda’s ground was taken over by US military authorities in April 1942. At the same time, the MCG was also commandeered to house US troops.

For two seasons – 1942 and 1943 – the Saints played their home games at Toorak Park, now home to Prahran Football and Cricket Clubs and the Old Xaverians Football Club. After 22 months, the military occupancy of the Junction ended in May 1944 and St Kilda subsequently returned to their home.

In 1945 and 1946, South Melbourne played home games at the Junction on alternate weeks to St Kilda.

Moorabbin Oval, RSEA Park

Widely regarded as the Saints’ spiritual home, Moorabbin gave rise to some of the club’s greatest players and was idolised by fans for decades.

Moorabbin had character and it had characters, pure and simple. From the fear-inducing Animal Enclosure at the opposition race to the ground’s muddy quagmires and unfavourable (to the opposition, at least) sprinkler system and cold changeroom showers, there was no place quite like it.

St Kilda had been exploring the possibility of moving to Elsternwick Park as early as the 1930s and again in 1959 to free itself of the tenant status it had under the cricket club as landlord. That move failed to eventuate, but the Saints – led by Premiership coach Allan Jeans – were still focused on securing a new home down south.

The Saints' spiritual home is treasured by the faithful far and wide.

An agreement was struck with Moorabbin Council and on the opening day of the 1965 VFL Season, the Saints met Collingwood in their first game at their new Linton Street home to a 51,000-strong crowd. That record crowd has never been beaten.

The tears ran freely when St Kilda played its last AFL game at Moorabbin in 1992, but football was breathed back into the hallowed turf with the introduction of the Saints’ AFLW side in 2020, as well as sporadic practice matches.

Although falling into disrepair after the club moved its training base to Seaford in 2011, the beloved ground was given a multi-million-dollar revitalisation in 2018, going under the new name of RSEA Park.

Magic at Moorabbin
St Kilda Football Club's Last Game at Moorabbin
AFL Games
254 games; 134 wins, 2 draws, 118 losses
AFLW Games
15 games; 6 wins, 9 losses
Barry Breen, 128 games
*The most of any Saint at the venue
Tony Lockett - St Kilda Hall of Fame Inductee 2003, Elevated in 2010
Tony Lockett, 329 goals
*The most of any player at the venue
St Kilda Football Club Round 1, 1965
51,370 spectators
Round 1, 1965 v Collingwood
Trevor Barker 2003 Inductee 2003, Elevated 2013
Barry Breen (128), Kevin Neale (108), Gary Colling (107) & Trevor Barker (100)
Allan Davis St Kilda Football Club Premiership Player 1966
Tony Lockett (329), Allan Davis (149), Kevin Neale (141), Barry Breen (130) & George Young (115)
Waverley Park

As pressure increased on smaller suburban grounds during the 1990s, St Kilda’s continued existence playing at Moorabbin became more difficult.

Feelings ran deep over departing the beloved Moorabbin ground as the issue was put to a vote and angry scenes erupted at meetings of club members. At the end of the traumatic saga, St Kilda opted to play home games at Waverley Park, dubbed “Arctic Park” by its detractors due to its howling and freezing winds.

Despite being away from their heartland, sections of the faithful slowly warmed to their new home, which featured some of the strongest St Kilda line-ups of all-time gracing the turf.

The ground has become a part of the game’s folklore since the infamous ‘Lights Out at Waverley’ game in 1996, which saw power fail at the venue, the game against Essendon abandoned and crowds descend into chaos and storm the ground in the aftermath.

Waverley Wonders
173 games; 79 wins, 1 draw, 93 losses
106 games, Nathan Burke
*The most of any Saint at the venue
209 goals, Stewart Loewe
*The most of any Saint at the venue
74,253 spectators
Elimination Final, 1992 v Collingwood
*The biggest crowd for a St Kilda game at the venue
Marvel Stadium

The modern-day home for the modern-day game. St Kilda had another move when they agreed to play home games at the newly built Docklands Arena from 2000 as stadium football became the new precedent.

The name may have changed from Colonial Stadium, to Telstra Dome, to Etihad Stadium to Marvel Stadium, but St Kilda fans nonetheless adopted their new residence.

When the Saints were on the charge, the rolling thunder from the grandstand was still as strong as it had ever been on the great days at Moorabbin and the Junction.

Some of St Kilda's most pulsating games have taken place at the Docklands.

From Troy Schwarze’s unbelievable bomb against the Lions in 2004, Stephen Milne’s 11 against the Lions and the universally acclaimed Battle of the Unbeaten in 2009, St Kilda fans have witnessed some of the club’s greatest victories under the roof.

It’s been the birthplace to some the Saints’ brightest stars of the 21st century, the backdrop to many a legend’s farewell matches, as well as the scene of the downright bizarre, such as when Malcolm Blight sat his players on the turf for a post-game bake.

There’s been many memories at Marvel Stadium, and no doubt many more to come.

Michal Gardiner Mark vs Geelong Cats 2009 AFL Premiership Season
Marvels at Marvel
292 games; 160 wins, 6 draws, 126 losses
St Kilda 31.10 (196) def. Carlton 13.10 (88), Round 10, 2004
*Highest score recorded by St Kilda at the venue
Michael Gardiner Celebrating Vs Geelong 2009 AFL Season
54,444 spectators
Round 14, 2009 v Geelong
*The biggest crowd of all-time at the venue
Nick Riewoldt's 300th Game
184 games, Nick Riewoldt
*The most of any player at the venue
St Kilda Football Club's Nick Riewoldt
452 goals, Nick Riewoldt
*The most goals of any player at the venue
Linen House Centre

The red, white and black were on the move again at the beginning of the 2010s, moving away from the then-rundown Moorabbin into its new facility at Seaford.

While the Linen House Centre never saw any on-field action for Premiership Points, the venue became the new training and administration centre for the club for several years.

St Kilda returned to Moorabbin – now redeveloped into RSEA Park – in 2018, with the Linen House Centre planned to be remodelled by the Saints and Frankston City Council into the Healthy Futures Hub for community as of 2023.

Homes away from home

St Kilda has called many places home over the journey, both within Australia and abroad. The Saints were the first club to play a game for Premiership Points overseas, crossing the ditch to Wellington, New Zealand in 2013. A further two matches in the ensuing years brought the Anzac Day expedition to a close, before the Saints packed their bags and jetted across to China’s Jiangwan Stadium in 2019.

Closer to home, St Kilda played home games at Metricon Stadium and the Gabba after COVID-19 forced the entire competition to be relocated to Queensland. Cairns’ Cazaly’s Stadium, Tasmania’s Bellerive Oval and York Park, the SCG, MCG and even Princes Park have also hosted St Kilda home games across the years.

Carlton Football Club's Michal Jamison & St Kilda Football Club's Sean Dempster NZ ANZAC Day Game
Around the world
1988-present, 15 home games
Site of the club's 150th Anniversary Game in 2023
St Kilda Football Club's 2006 Heritage Round Guernsey
York Park,
2003-2006, 8 home games
2020, 5 home games
2013-2015, 3 home games
2009, 2020, 2 home games
2021-2022, 2 home games
2021, 1 home game
2002, 1 home game
1980, 1 home game
2019, 1 home game
Celebrating the real legends of St Kilda
Be part of history and become a member as we celebrate our 150th year.
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