Melbourne Victory exit Marvel Stadium
Melbourne Victory has ended its 15-year association with Marvel Stadium, opting to play all future home games at AAMI Park.
The A-League club had played a number of home games in the domestic league each season and ACL fixtures at the Docklands venue since 2006, after outgrowing the old Olympic Park.
Victory averaged attendances of 26,102 for A-League matches at the stadium, including 39,730 for their first game, and a record crowd of 55,436 for the 2007 A-League Grand Final win over Adelaide United – one of two championships won by the club at the ground.
However, crowds had plummeted in recent seasons, accelerated by the pandemic, with just 3235 fans attending the home game against the Wanderers on April 23 earlier this year – the lowest for the Victory at the venue.
While in past seasons, Marvel Stadium’s retractable seating had been moved in to configure it as a rectangular stadium, this hadn’t been the case in recent seasons, and fans fell out of love with the venue which is now owned by the AFL.
As of the 2021/22 A-League season, the Melbourne Victory will play all home games at AAMI Park. They’ll be one of three clubs based at the rectangular venue for the upcoming season, with Western United also revealing they plan to play the majority of their home games at the ground, with construction of their future home still yet to commence.
Melbourne City is the other tenant, although with recent news of a potential new stadium in Dandenong, the reigning champions may eventually play some or all of their home games in Melbourne’s south-east.
In a letter to club members, Victory managing director Caroline Carnegie said they had taken supporters’ feedback on board with the decision to ditch the Docklands venue.
“Football is coming home!” the letter said.
“For some time, we have heard you say that AAMI Park should be our only home. I am pleased to announce that from season 21/22, every Melbourne Victory A-League home match will be hosted at AAMI Park.
“This is a watershed moment for the club. We have played home games at AAMI Park since day one of its inception. We have our offices, training and other facilities all located out of this purpose-built football stadium and now we are truly excited to be bringing ALL our match’s home!
“We have worked hard with both Marvel Stadium, who we thank for their years of support, and AAMI Park for helping us deliver this outcome, and to secure the best result for our members and fans as well as the best match day experience for you.”