Princes Park is an Australian rules football ground located at Princes Park in the inner Melbourne suburb of Carlton North, Victoria. Two stands were removed and replaced with a training facility. Austadiums lists the capacity of the stadium at around 22,000 and it is a historic venue, having been the home ground of the Carlton Football Club since the formation of the VFL/AFL in 1897. It has the second oldest grandstand associated with the VFL/AFL competition, the inaugural AFL Womens season opening match between Carlton Football Club and Collingwood Football Club was hosted at Princes Park on February 3,2017, with a sell-out crowd of 24,568. Princes Park was first used in 1897 by the Carlton Football Club, the club went on to win 673 of its 962 VFL/AFL games at the venue. The Alderman Gardiner Stand was designed in 1903 and completed in stages between 1909 and 1913, the mostly iron stand with original cast iron columns remains the second oldest to be associated with the VFL/AFL competition. The Robert Heatley Stand was officially opened by Alderman Sir William Brunton on Saturday,7 May 1932, Princes Park was the venue for the second Ashes test of the 1992 Great Britain Lions tour, in which the visitors defeated Australia 33 -10. The ground became known as Optus Oval in November 1993 due to a rights deal with telecommunications company Optus. In 1994, the Balmain Tigers played two New South Wales Rugby League premiership games at Princes Park, work on the Legends Stand began in 1995 and was completed for opening on 25 April 1997. The roof, with its modern structure, ensured that the oval was now enclosed with a roof all the way around its circumference. The first naming rights deal lapsed at the end of the 2005 season, in April 2006, it was announced that the naming rights for the stadium had once again been awarded, this time for a two-year term, during which the stadium was known as MC Labour Park. In 2005, it was decided to discontinue the use of the ground for AFL home, a farewell AFL game was played at Princes Park on Saturday 21 May 2005. The game was contested between Carlton and Melbourne and it was the last of the suburban grounds in Melbourne to be used in the AFL. The result was an 18-point win to Melbourne, also in the same year, the ground hosted matches from the Australian Football Multicultural Cup as well as finals for the 2005 Australian Football International Cup. On 7 June 2006 it was announced that Visy Park would receive a A$15. 7m redevelopment to provide the Carlton Football Club with elite training, a single farewell match was also staged at the venue in 2005. The ground has been Carltons training, social and administrative base continuously since 1897, South Melbourne, used the ground as its home during 1942 and 1943, owing to its usual home ground at Lake Oval being used for military purposes during World War II. Fitzroy, shared the ground with Carlton from 1967 until 1969 following its departure from the Brunswick Street Oval, Hawthorn, following its departure from Glenferrie Oval, Hawthorn used the ground as its primary home ground for sixteen years from 1974 until 1989. Then from 1990 until 1991, the split its home games approximately evenly between Princes Park and Waverley Park, before moving permanently to Waverley Park in 1992
Image: Princes park from air
Players contest the first Ball-Up at the inaugural AFLW match in February 2017.