Melbourne's rectangular stadium new jewel in sports crown

Austadiums   |  Monday 11th May 2009

Melbourne's state-of-the-art rectangular stadium could be expanded to seat up to 50,000 people if Australia lures the soccer World Cup.

With only months before soccer, rugby league and rugby union action kicks off at the $267.5 million stadium, about 60 per cent of the work has been done.

The finishing touches are expected to be applied this year before the stadium opens next year.

A battle of the codes is likely to erupt as tenants Melbourne Victory and Melbourne Storm go head-to-head for the right to play the first match before 31,000 fans.

But Major Events Minister Tim Pallas said the stadium could be revamped to seat 50,000 if Melbourne played a part in future major events such as a soccer World Cup.

"If Melbourne were to play a part in hosting a World Cup we could go to 50,000," he said.

Mr Pallas said the stadium would be to Melbourne sport what the Opera House was to Sydney culture.

"But hopefully we're better at sport than they are at culture," he said.

Victory captain Kevin Muscat said the stadium would rival any rectangular stadium in the world, including the English Premier League grounds he once starred on.

"The atmosphere in this place is going to be amazing," he said.

"There will be nothing like this anywhere else in Australia."

Executive project manager Steven Richardson said carpet was being rolled out, tiles layed and glass hung in the dining room as work on the stadium continued.

"From a construction point of view, this is technically as good as anything, including the Olympic stadium, the Bird's Nest, in Beijing," he said.

Peter Rolfe
Herald Sun

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Melbourne's state-of-the-art rectangular stadium could be expanded to seat up to 50,000 people if Australia lures the soccer World Cup.
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