A catalyst for positive change

Etihad Stadium

  • Melbourne
  • 2000

CHALLENGE. Etihad Stadium, situated on the edge of Melbourne’s CBD, is a landmark stadium for the city of Melbourne and a catalyst for the regeneration of the Docklands area to the city’s west.

Like many of today’s modern stadia, Etihad Stadium was privately financed, which placed great priority on generating a high commercial return. Through our design, Populous introduced a multi-entertainment zone  featuring restaurants, bars, gaming rooms, a nightclub, radio station and television studio – all of which can be accessed from inside or outside the stadium – creating an event experience 7 days a week.

The tight site on which the stadium sits provided a range of design challenges. Limited space meant that 2,500 car parks had to be built underneath the stadium, and the connection of a sophisticated public transport system was able to link the stadium to a wide range of shops, restaurants and hotels.

INNOVATION. The 53,000 stadium boasts the first retractable roof and moving tier technology in a large stadium in the Southern Hemisphere, combined with a natural turf playing surface. The moving tier technology means multi-functionality, intimacy and flexibility for both sport and entertainment, maximizing the experiences of all spectators, no matter what the event.

Smart seats have been installed in the Medallion Club, where every seat has a video replay monitor fitted into the extended arm of the seats, and feature 8 channels capable of showing instant replays, player profiles, movies and news.

IMPACT. Etihad Stadium was a keystone development for the regeneration of the Docklands precinct and has provided a landmark venue for the city of Melbourne. The closing roof fundamentally affected the nature of the live spectator experience. Its impact on providing spectator comfort, creating atmosphere and containing light and noise breakout, cannot be underestimated.

Etihad Stadium was designed by an Populous joint venture, Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture and Daryl Jackson Pty Ltd.