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AFL plans early purchase and upgrade of Etihad Stadium

AFL plans early purchase and upgrade of Etihad Stadium
April 29, 2016

Rejecting plans by influential Melburnians to demolish the Etihad Stadium, the AFL is reportedly set to seek Victorian Government support for an ambitious project that would redevelop Etihad Stadium and turn Melbourne’s Docklands precinct into a sports and entertainment hub.

The proposal – which would be contingent on the AFL’s early purchase of the stadium – would require the Victorian Government to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars towards transforming the Docklands precinct.

As reported by AFL.com.au, the AFL met with representatives from the Government last month to pitch for support to buy the stadium and regenerate the Docklands precinct.

The upgrade project would help secure the financial future of the stadium’s tenants, including those from non-AFL sports.

AFL clubs North Melbourne, Carlton, St Kilda, Essendon and the Western Bulldogs are tenants. Melbourne Victory (A-League) and Melbourne Renegades (T20 Big Bash League) also play at the venue.

The proposal would also include the creation of new community green space, open access to the arena for community-based health and lifestyle-focused activities and provide support for existing retailers and entertainment providers.

The AFL is set to take ownership of Etihad Stadium in 2025, but is believed to be in negotiations with stadium manager Melbourne Stadiums Limited to purchase the venue earlier.

The AFL’s proposal follows Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert having last year suggested that theStadium would be demolished and a bizarre plan by TV host and Collingwood FC President Eddie McGuire to level Etihad Stadium and Hisense Arena to build a new 60,000 seat stadium for the Magpies at Olympic Park.

Click here to view the article at AFL media.

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