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AFL 2022: Eddie McGuire’s bold proposal to put ‘a roof on the MCG’ in $1 billion plan, Great Southern Stand

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Eddie McGuire has proposed a huge change to the MCG as part of a billion-dollar redevlopment of Australia’s biggest stadium.

In a bold proposition, former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has called for a roof to be put on top of the Melbourne Cricket Ground as part of a $1 billion rebuild of the stadium’s Great Southern Stand.

The Age reports a Victorian government feasibility study will decide the future of the 45,000 grandstand, which holds nearly half of the MCG’s 100,000 capacity.

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The study is expected to recommend an entire rebuild of the Great Southern Stand to bring it up to the standard of other Australian sporting arenas such as Perth’s Optus Stadium and the redeveloped Sydney Football Stadium.

The upgrade would come at a cost of more than $1 billion and it’s hoped construction would begin by 2027 or by 2032 at the latest.

AFL and cricket matches would continue to be played at the MCG during construction, which would last at least two to three years.

McGuire, who attended last week’s Super Bowl at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, was inspired by the mammoth $7.7 billion arena.

He wants the MCG development to include increased seating capacity in the Great Southern Stand, a vibrant precinct around the ground, as well as a roof over the top of Australia’s biggest stadium.

“It’s got to be a knock-over, because the stand itself is just structurally not the right shape for where we need to go with what we need to build at the MCG,” McGuire told SEN.

“To be perfectly honest, we should be looking at even putting a roof on the MCG or at least a sliding roof over the top of it.

“The difference between the stadium and what we saw the other day (at the Super Bowl) was the unbelievable audiovisual opportunities with that screen that was right around the stadium perimeter inside hanging down.

“It’s not that long ago that we used to get excited about maybe having a video screen at your seat.

“It has to be a better experience than what you have at home and we’ve had two years to be at home.”

The Victorian government has an agreement to hold the AFL Grand Final at the MCG until 2057 and would be required to pay the majority of the bill for a redevelopment.

“Before we say we should be spending money on hospitals, there are buckets of cash,” McGuire said.

“There are ways of doing it. One of those things is to look at the Southern Stand. At the moment it’s a stand for sport when it’s on. But if we do it properly, these can become many sorts of things.

“Let’s use this precinct and turn it into something sensational. Not just the footy game itself.

“The MCG is our beating heart of the city and the citadel of all sports.

“If we’re going to continue to get big sports in, we need to have 100,000 or maybe even get up to 105,000 or 110,000.

“There is an opportunity for us to build the best stand for the general public of any facility in the world.”

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