Docklands Stadium (also known by its former sponsored names of Colonial Stadium and Telstra Dome and its current sponsorship name of Etihad Stadium) is a multi-purpose sports and entertainment stadium in the Docklands precinct of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Construction started in October 1997 under the working name, "Victoria Stadium" and was completed in 2000 at a cost of A$460 million. Originally built as a replacement for Waverley Park, the stadium is primarily used for Australian rules football and is the headquarters of the Australian Football League (AFL) who, as part of the construction deal, assume ownership of the ground in 2025. Also headquartered at the stadium is Seven Network's digital broadcast centre.
The stadium has been host to other sporting events, including Melbourne Victory soccer matches, one-off matches for sports including cricket, rugby league and rugby union, and several specialised events and concerts. The stadium has been controversial since its first construction and there has been a significant amount of criticism directed toward the facility, particularly from its major tenant, the AFL. The AFL have increasingly regarded the stadium owner as a hostile landlord, engaging in numerous lawsuits against the current owners and threatening to build a rival stadium as close as a kilometre away in the short-term.
In Popular Culture:
The venue appeared in the 2007 film Ghost Rider. Its name, wherever visible, has been digitally changed to the SoBe Dome. It can also be seen in the video for Jessica Mauboy's single Running Back, as well as some high rating television shows, such as the Seven Network's City Homicide and Network Ten's Rush. The stadium was also visible in the background during broadcasts of Seven News Melbourne. It was also visible in broadcasts of Nine News Melbourne for a period up until 2006 when it was replaced with a shot overlooking the city's east.
- Retractable roof 38 metres (125 ft) above the playing surface, opens east-west, and takes eight minutes to fully open or close.
- Movable seating
- Two large internal replay screens which display scores and advertisements.
- External super screen
- 1000 video seats
- 13 function rooms
- 66 corporate boxes
- Premium Club membership area, The Medallion Club
- 500 car parking spaces below the ground
- Oval shaped, turf playing surface of 19,053 square metres (205,080 sq ft) or 170 by 140 m (560 by 460 ft)
- Over 700 2000-watt lights for arena illumination
- A varying capacity of between 12,000 and 74,000, depending on the event. For example seats can be laid on the ground.
- An AFL capacity of 53,359
- Dimensions of playing area are 159.5 metres by 128.5 metres (174.4 yards by 140.5 yards)
- Surface: Grass
- Capacity: 56,347 (Venue Capacity)