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Etihad Stadium roof keeps the Foo Fighters dry

Etihad Stadium roof keeps the Foo Fighters dry
March 6, 2015

While wild weather disrupted live music events in Sydney last weekend, storms in Melbourne on Saturday night (28th February) failed to disrupt the Foo Fighters’ concert at the Etihad Stadium.

Etihad Stadium’s roof is a regular topic of conversation and conjecture – media, participants, sports, coaches and fans all have opinions on its status. Even prior to last Saturday’s concert, social media was in a frenzy as to whether the famous retractable should be left open or shut.

Prior to events, the first piece of data stadium personnel obtain is a forecast from the Bureau of Meteorology, and if there’s ample evidence that there’ll be rain, then the roof will be shut.

Prior to the Foo Fighters show, intelligence from the Bureau was clear cut that a storm was brewing and that it would strike Melbourne – which it did, with intensity!

Looking at other events, Etihad Stadium’s Director of Operations Michael Green reckoned there was also evidence after the Foo Fighters’ concert to demonstrate that the show would have been a wipe out if the venue didn’t possess a roof.

While the show business adage still applies that ‘the show must always go on’, apart from the discomfort it would have created for fans and performers, a combination of heavy rain and electronics would have made for an unsafe combination – fortunately due to the roof such a scenario was never a consideration.

With patrons entering the Stadium around 7pm when conditions were calm and sunny, and then leaving around 11am, most were blissfully unaware that a fierce storm had hit the city. And while the rain thundered down, it didn’t quite have the volume to match the decibels of the Foo Fighters.

Image shows the storm that his Melbourne last Saturday. Courtesy of Bureau of Meteorology.

Etihad Stadium, Communications Manager, Bill Lane explains explains “it’s not the first time our retractable roof has saved the day.

“In February 2010, amid much anticipation Etihad Stadium hosted the Melbourne leg of an international AC/DC tour with more than 180,000 fans having eagerly purchased tickets for three nights of events.

“Just an hour or so prior to the first show, Melbourne copped the brunt of a dangerous electrical storm which caused flooding across the city, bringing roads and the city’s transport network to a standstill.

“While fans traipsed into the venue in some cases water logged, for the next three or four hours, they were oblivious to the conditions outside.”

Green says that after 15 years of operation, the value of the roof, at times, could be under-valued but Saturday was an occasion where its use proved vital for the thousands of fans who attended the event.

He explains “it provides great surety for many of our sports and entertainment events in a city that has unpredictable weather.

“While often, outsiders can be quick to express an opinion, the stadium in conjunction with the code or hirer of an event almost always come up with the right decision, when it comes to the roof status.”

In operation the retractable roof takes eight minutes to open or shut and it weighs just over two thousand tonnes.

Opened in 2000, Etihad Stadium still remains the only football stadium in the Southern Hemisphere with a retractable roof.

4th March 2015 - SPEEDWAY LEGENDS SET TO TRANSFORM ETIHAD STADIUM

2nd March 2015 - SYDNEY STORM DISRUPTS GOOD LIFE AND SOUNDWAVE FESTIVALS

18th December 2014 - ETIHAD STADIUM GETS GLOBAL RECOGNITION AS AN ENTERTAINMENT VENUE 

20th November 2014 - MAJOR OUTDOOR CONCERTS DELIVER ECONOMIC BOOST FOR AUCKLAND

19th December 2012 - ETIHAD STADIUM LAUNCHES SMARTPHONE APP FOR F&B PURCHASE 

4th September 2009 - AFL RECOGNISES ETIHAD STADIUM NAMING

29th June 2009 - ETIHAD STADIUM SET FOR END OF YEAR TRANSFORMATION

5th March 2009 - IT’S ETIHAD STADIUM, BUT NOT FOR THE AFL

17th October 2008 - TELSTRA DOME TO BECOME ETIHAD STADIUM 


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