Fans will see big changes at Etihad Stadium this year following the Melbourne venue’s multi-million dollar investment which will make the stadium the most connected and technologically advanced in Australia.

Etihad Stadium announced in 2014 its decision to partner with Telstra, PMY and OAMM to create a connected environment that provides fan engagement and a match-day experience that is unmatched in Australia.

From Round 1 of the 2015 AFL Premiership season, fans on all levels of Etihad Stadium will be presented with relevant and exciting content displayed on the more than 1500 IPTV High Definition screens. The venue welcomes an average of 1.7 million footy fans to Etihad Stadium annually and every one of those supporters is in for a treat when they head to the stadium this year.

Furthermore, the match day experience for visitors to Etihad Stadium will be improved due to 704 high density WiFi access points that have been installed to provide attendees with fast and free internet connections when they are at the ground.

The high definition screens will provide Etihad Stadium visitors with key information including directions, special offers, upcoming events and match-day details. Etihad Stadium’s tenant clubs – Essendon, Western Bulldogs, St Kilda, North Melbourne and Carlton – will also be able to utilise the screens to theme the venue in club colours for home matches.

Covering the venue in club colours for game day is a return to the old days of football and will provide fans with a real sense of a home ground advantage.

Etihad Stadium CEO Paul Sergeant launched the new initiatives on March 19. He said the stadium’s developments were in line with international trends.

“Some of our key people made a number of international fact-finding missions and felt that venues in Australia were losing ground,” Mr Sergeant said.

“As we know communications have moved at a head-spinning rate in the past decade and sports and entertainment venues, like all sectors of community, need to keep pace.”

AFL General Manager – Clubs & AFL Operations, Travis Auld congratulated Etihad Stadium on the steps it had taken to improve fan engagement.

“From an AFL view point, our CEO Gillon McLachlan has determined that 2015 must be the ‘Year of the Fan’ and the team at Etihad Stadium, under Paul Sergeant’s stewardship, understands that. The venue will be transformed by these initiatives,” Mr Auld said.

The new initiatives complement Etihad Stadium’s prior updates to the venue which included the replacement of the two scoreboards at the venue at the beginning of the 2014 season. The next and final step for Etihad Stadium will be the introduction of a stadium app and a new external screen outside Gate 3 that can be seen when walking across the footbridge that connects the stadium to the city and Southern Cross train station.

The investment Etihad Stadium has initiated highlights the venue’s commitment to providing footy fans with the best match-day experience and positive fan engagement. Fans can expect to see a very impressive set up when they next attend a game at Etihad Stadium.

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