Etihad Stadium is ideally located on the fringe of Melbourne’s CBD, in the heart of the Docklands. Apart from providing excellent seating, amenities and retail food outlets for more than 52,000 fans, the stadium also comprises restaurants, function rooms and bars for patrons to enjoy on both event and non event days. The stadium has been a catalyst for the development of the Docklands precinct and remains a major contributor to the viability of many small businesses because of the customer traffic it brings to the area.
Etihad Stadium’s famous retractable roof ensures that events proceed in perfect conditions, no matter what the weather conditions outside. The roof, the only one of its kind in the Southern hemisphere used for any football code, can open or close in eight minutes.
The venue also has retractable seating, enabling a modification of the stadium’s seating configuration for certain events such as soccer and rugby (Union or League), to bring the fans even closer to the action. The Level 1 seating bays on all four sides of the arena can be moved closer to the field of play to give fans the ultimate viewing experience. The seating bays on the Eastern and Western sides of the arena will be moved in by 18 metres, while the bays on the Southern and Northern sides will move in 15 metres. At its closest point spectators will be within 10 metres of the field of play.
Underground Car Park
Etihad Stadium is serviced by an excellent transport network and a unique underground car park, which provides up to 2,500 parking positions in a secured, undercover facility. The underground car park enables a patron to drive inside the venue, take a lift to their seat unhindered by the weather.
Water saving initiatives
An initiative was undertaken by Etihad Stadium in 2008, which ultimately has reduced the venue’s water usage by close to 25 per cent. This was achieved by installing 17 rainwater tanks, with a combined capacity to store up to one million litres of rainwater collected from the 40,000 square metre stadium roof. Ten pneumatic water diversion valves and a further 10 motorised water transfer valves were used, along with insulation of 1.5 kilometres of pipe work. The rainwater captured is used for flushing the venue’s network of toilets and irrigation of the venue’s playing surface. The project is fully automated through a building management system (BMS) to ensure the capability to both capture and distribute rainwater is maximised. The BMS allows stadium management to electronically control the diversion of harvested water through the pneumatic valves.
In 2014, Etihad Stadium installed two new state of the art video screens/scoreboards , giving fans a greater experience at events. The new screens are 30 per cent larger than the previous screens and provide capabilities for enhanced replays, animations and information during matches. The screen replacement is a part of the first phase of a technology upgrade of the stadium which also includes 180 new flat screens for the Level 1 seating bowl.
Etihad Stadium provides a natural turf playing surface with a total area of 19,000m2. Currently the arena is made up of 17,600m2 of natural turf and 1,400m2 of synthetic turf, which runs the entire perimeter of the arena. For an AFL match the boundary line is 5 metres from the fence line and the synthetic turf is 3 metres wide and is situated outside the playing area. From fence to fence the arena dimensions are 169.5m from north to south and 140m from east to west. For an AFL event, the distance between the north to south goal lines is 159.5m and from the east to west boundary lines is 128.8m.