Sport is such a huge part of the cultural landscape in Melbourne, so it makes sense that one of the city’s top attractions is a sporting ground home to numerous different games as well as other festivals and events throughout the year.
Etihad Stadium, which is also known as the Docklands Stadium thanks to its location, and its previous sponsored names of the Colonial Stadium and Telstra Dome, is set in the bustling and vibrant Docklands precinct in the heart of Melbourne.
Work began on the stadium in 1997 when it was given its working name, “Victoria Stadium”. It was completed three years later in 2000 after a spend of $460 million in Australian dollars.
The stadium was first built as a replacement for Waverley Park, and was intended to be used predominantly for Australian rules football. Today, it remains a key sporting venue in the city, but is also the headquarters of the Australian Football League, which has exclusively owned the arena since 2016.
As well as Australian rules football, Etihad Stadium is also home to a number of other events, both sporting and otherwise, including Twenty20 cricket matches, Melbourne Victory Association football matches, rugby league and rugby union matches, and special cultural events and concerts.
The History of Etihad Stadium
The first conceptualisation of the stadium was on the 31st October 1996 when it was planned to replace the larger venue of Waverley Park as the headquarters of the Australian Football League.
The first match ever played on the ground was a momentous occasion and saw Essendon take on Port Adelaide. Crowd numbers reached more than 43,000 at that game and marked the start of the 2000 Australian Football League season.
What to See and Do at Etihad Stadium
As well as seeing one of the city’s most beloved venues that plays host Australia’s most beloved teams, the stadium is also home to a number of other cultural and sporting events throughout the year.
Huge football games are played at the stadium throughout the season, and you can buy tickets to watch one of them while visiting the city. You can also watch events like the Australian Speedway Grand Prix and attend festivals like the Transmission festival and other concerts by big names in the entertainment industry.
Etihad Stadium forms a large part of the cultural happenings in Melbourne, and a visit not only uncovers its interesting history and key sporting fixtures, but gives you an insight into the burgeoning entertainment industry.