When the final siren sounded in the Round 22 clash between Hawthorn and Sydney in August 1999, fans from all corners of the ground stormed the field.

Not because Tony “Plugger” Lockett had broken another goal-kicking record, or because Dermott Brereton had flattened someone in an all-in brawl. 

But because it was their last chance to do so.

The grand old Waverley Park stadium, once destined to become one of the world’s largest sporting arenas, emptied its multi-coloured timber stands for the last time as people flocked to the sodden, muddy turf.

This year marks a quarter of a century since that final siren, but in many ways the lessons of yesteryear remain at the fore in the sporting media landscape.

The AFL is yet again on a mission to build a brand new stadium, this time in Tasmania. 

So has the league learned its lesson from the demise of the much lauded “VFL Park”?