S A Coventry Pavilion
Built 1959 and major upgrades 1981 and 1989
Architects: Robert H McIntyre & Associates
Capacity: Minimal viewing capacity within the building
Built on the old tennis courts, the new three-storey Social Club Stand (known as the S A Coventry Pavilion), was opened in 1959 and was the first of the structures completed under the new 40 year major improvements lease. The S A Coventry Pavilion was another first for the Collingwood Football Club as the Magpies lead the league in all facets of the game. At a cost of over £200,000 the Club was well on its way to satisfying its part of the lease arrangement which was to spend at least £250,000 on improvements over the 40 years. The Collingwood Football Club had done this in less than 4.
The new building, named after then Collingwood president and former Club Captain and premiership player Syd Coventry, consisted of administration spaces, a viewing area, bars and function rooms with press, radio, television and timekeepers accommodated on the roof area. The entrance foyer was named as the J F McHale Hall of Fame (below). The structure incorporated a sloping concrete stand with seating for 1250 members.
The J F McHale Hall of Fame - From the movie 'The Club' (1980)
Several upgardes and renovations have taken place over the decades as the Social Club has grown with the Magpie army and the building has suffered greatly from porr construction.
In 1964 Dunlop rubber negotiated a deal that saw the erection of their sign on top of the S A Coventry Pavilion as pictured below, in return for funding a new scoreboard.
The building had several issues in its early years with leaks and lose panels and in 1975 the entire roof was replaced and major works were carried out internally.
In 1980, the Social Club featured heavily in the Bruce Beresford film The Club, based on the David Williamson play. The play was actually set in the Boardroom on Level 1, but the film took the cameras to all parts of Victoria Park and captured the turmoil and politics of a great football club.
In 1981 Collingwood President Jack Hickey had a fourth level built and a partial fifth level with a small viewing area. Collingwood was growing into a big business and employees were rapidly running out of space.
Finally in 1989 the last major change took place when the Level 2 auditorium had a 300 seat cantilevered concrete grand stand suspended from it, hanging over the members standing room. It was named in honour of arguably Collingwood's greatest player, Bob Rose. It was opened with much fanfare with the Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Victoria Premier John Cain on hand to assist the ceremonies. Bob was truly touched by this and to this day the building is known as the Bob Rose Stand.
The view from the Bob Rose Stand