Collingwood FC President Eddie McGuire has proposed the construction of a new stadium next to the MCG, replacing Etihad Stadium, to “bulletproof” AFL footy.
On his morning radio show on Triple M, the outspoken McGuire suggested the centrally-located Etihad Stadium be demolished and a range of new infrastructure projects in the Richmond area with a new 60,000-seat ‘Victoria Stadium’ the centrepiece.
The Docklands venue hasn’t always been popular since it opened 16 years ago, however things have improved. The quality of the playing surface is now up to standard, there are more surrounding facilities for fans, food & beverage prices have decreased and tenant clubs have better deals than they once did. The situation will only improve when the AFL takes over the stadium – either in 2025 for just $30, or prior if they come to an arrangement with Melbourne Stadiums Limited to purchase the venue.
McGuire’s plan means there would be no centrally-located stadiums in Melbourne, with all sporting infrastructure in Richmond, which is just a short distance from the CBD, but still inconvenient for those who live on the western/northern suburbs and regional areas. Currently they can catch a train to Southern Cross Station and make the short walk to Etihad Stadium.
It would mean two large oval stadiums would be situated next to each other and an existing venue, such as Hisense Arena, would need to make way. Not to mention the crowds in the precinct if 90,000 were at the MCG, 60,000 at the new venue and 30,000 at AAMI Park.