The newly christened $19.6 million Lavington Sportground will help secure Albury's reputation as a regional sporting capital, says mayor Kevin Mack.
The construction of Lavington Sportsground was plagued by controversy, running $3.2 million over budget after an unsuitable soil base was found and contractor Depan Group went into liquidation without paying some sub-contractors.
But all that was forgotten when the Lavington Panthers and Wangaratta Rovers went head-to-head on Sunday in the league's first match at the ground since 2019.
Cr Mack said the ground was in fantastic condition ahead of the game.
He said the ground had already been locked in to host a Big Bash match and the Albury Wodonga Football Association's grand final, with more announcements likely in the future.
"We're working hard to attract carnivals, tournaments and finals fixtures to the ground and we're thrilled to have locked in four AFL carnivals this year, which will attract thousands of visitors and provide a valuable boost to our local tourism businesses," Cr Mack said. "Positive discussions continue with a number of sporting organisation across several codes for other events."
Cr Mack said hosting high-level events at the 12,000 capacity sportsground would "further grow Albury's reputation as a regional sporting capital".
"AFL, NRL and Super League administrators and officials have toured the facilities in recent months and offered positive feedback," he said.
"We're working closely with those groups and hope to have some exciting news to announce in the future."
In February, Albury Council presented Melbourne Storm with a proposal for a long-term partnership.
At the time Cr Mack said a key aim of the partnership was to see the Storm play more games - including a premiership match - at Lavington.
Storm chief executive Justin Rodski said a Lavington premiership was "certainly an option for the future we are happy to explore".
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