Following last Sundays Carlton v Essendon NAB Challenge game, the Blues reported that they were open to a return of AFL footy to the stadium, however the costs would be significant.
“Right now, there are two key impediments,”Trigg said. “One is a very significant cost to get it up to standard. If you look at it, standing at the middle of the ground, you would say it’s doable. But it’s all of the infrastructure at the back of house. I can’t put a number on it, but it’s beyond what people would think. It’s a very big number. The second thing is that the AFL has to have a will and a want to program games here. At the moment, I think there’s some continued strategising about what happens at Etihad before we get to whether or not we decentralise from the MCG and Etihad or not.”
Carltons master plan for Princes park is believed to not include an option to restore the ground to AFl standard.
Meanwhile, the Swans have announced that all their home games will be moved from ANZ Stadium to SCG with immediate effect. It should be noted this doesnt necessarily include finals, which are bound to ANZ Stadium for at least another year and are an AFL, not Swans, contract.
Finally, speculation from The Age that a decision on whether or not to buy Docklands early is coming at the end of the year.
A spokesman for the AFL said it would only consider purchasing Etihad Stadium early “if the price was right and the positives of doing so significantly outweighed waiting for the current deal to expire in 2025”.