TV personality and Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has advocated demolishing Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium and redeveloping the Hisense Arena towards a 60,000-seat venue.
The Guardian (via AAP) has furthered the intrigue today by reporting Victoria’s Labor premier Daniel Andrews’ new-found interest in the proposal.
Alongside hosting musical acts and other entertainment shows, both venues host sport (mainly Australian football at the Etihad, and basketball and tennis at the Hisense), hence McGuire’s interest. As with 90% of conversations in Melbourne, much of the subsequent talk has been AFL-focussed.
While Etihad is based to the west of Melbourne’s CBD, Hisense is to the east, located in the Melbourne sporting precinct which hosts the MCG, the old Olympic Park and the various stadiums (including the Rod Laver Arena) that host the Australian Tennis Open.
The president of the Western Bulldogs, Peter Gordon, has come out against the proposal, arguing that the Etihad’s location serves the western and north-western residents of Melbourne. Jeff Kennett, former Liberal premier and Hawthorn president, is also wary of the idea stating that it jeopardises the continuing Melbourne stay of “the biggest sporting event in Australia”, the Australian Open.