Saturday, October 21, 2006

Melbourne Victory eyes 100,000-capacity stadium

Leading A-League club Melbourne Victory has moved another home game from the sports-mad city's 19,000-capacity Olympic Park to its 57,00 seat Telstra Dome as club chairman Geoff Lord started eyeing the 100,000-seat MCG as a possible venue for A-League finals. Melbourne switched its 26 November clash against Newcastle Jets to the Dome, leaving just one more home fixture (versus New Zealand Knights on 17 December) to be played at Olympic Park for this season. "The fans have responded overwhelmingly to Telstra Dome," Victory chief executive Geoff Miles said. "We simply can't ignore the demand."

Football Federation Australia has also provisionally booked the Dome for finals matches from 26 January to 18 February, but Geoff Lord is exploring the possibility of hiring the MCG. "If we had the grand final happening tomorrow, we would attract between 50,000 and 60,000. It would be enormous to have it at the 'G," Lord said. "The (Melbourne Victory) board met this week and discussed different options and the MCG is an option if we wanted to play finals in Melbourne."

According to Peter Desira of the Herald Sun, Melbourne Victory has set new attendance records for domestic club soccer. Its past three matches at Telstra Dome are the top three attendance figures in the A-League (and far surpasses the old National Soccer League). But the NZ game can't be moved from Olympic Park because Telstra Dome has a Robbie Williams concert that day.

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