The West

Freo rivals could share home
Freo rivals could share home

Two of the WAFL's most bitter rivals will investigate a history-making move to become co- tenants at Fremantle Oval for the first time in more than six decades.

East Fremantle and South Fremantle will fund a business case for the Sharks shifting their base to the port's traditional home of football.

The move would mean they would play their home matches at the same ground for the first time since 1952. Fremantle Oval would host a WAFL match almost every weekend of the season.

The bold plan can be revealed by _The Weekend West _just 48 hours ahead of one of the biggest WA Day derbies between the two rivals in years. The game will also be South Fremantle premiership hero Kris Miller's last.

A potential decision to become co-tenants will hinge on support from the Dockers, City of Fremantle and the WA Football Commission.

Fremantle are due to move their headquarters to Cockburn in time for the start of the 2017 season. The two WAFL clubs both used the venue for 52 years, starting from 1900.

Any move by the Sharks away from East Fremantle Oval would not happen until after Fremantle shifted from their existing base.

Bulldogs chief executive Stuart Kemp believed it was a good time to make the announcement.

"The members and supporters feel the need to ensure the long-term future of the club," he said.

"The members are one of our key stakeholders and they'll be part of this whole process."

East Fremantle have put previous ambitions to upgrade their home at Moss Street on hold to explore the move after a decade-long battle to overhaul facilities at the ageing venue. It is understood the State Government supports the clubs becoming co-tenants at Fremantle Oval.

The results of the business case are expected to be released before Christmas.

The final report will also set out costs for the Sharks staying at East Fremantle Oval.

Sharks chief executive Adam Kelly said having full access to the oval was a key to the club agreeing to move. The Dockers hold the lease for Fremantle Oval, which has 40 years to run.

"We've got to a point in time where we don't know whether we can secure what we need at East Fremantle Oval," Kelly said.

"Because of that, we just had to say we need to look elsewhere to see if there is another opportunity to secure our future."

The West Australian

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