Plans revealed for Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium show it’ll be more than just a name change, however the actual launch date of the new name remains a mystery.
UPDATE: Etihad Stadium officially became Marvel Stadium on October 1 - one month past the original date.
A slice of Disneyland will come to Docklands with Hollywood-style lights to shine into the Melbourne sky while a Marvel megastore will be built within the stadium.
New Marvel Stadium exterior signs measuring 5 metres high by 36 metres long with state-of-the-art lighting will replace the existing Etihad Stadium signs on the roof, while giant Hulk and Iron Man busts will tower 4 metres over the two scoreboards.
A Spider-Man-themed climbing wall, obstacle courses and ziplines are also among the proposals.
Stadium management hope to bring more people to the stadium on non-event days with movies screened around the venue and film nights.
Event rooms at the stadium will be renamed after Marvel characters, under the naming rights deal. Etihad Stadium chief executive Michael Green told the Herald Sun that fans could expect new artwork, staff uniforms and signage from day one.
“From then on, I think you will see a gradual change as we become more interactive with the fan experience over the coming months,’’ he said. “Fans will notice from day one a discernible difference and that will only get better.’’
However, confusion surrounds the actual date of the Marvel Stadium name-change, with the eight-year agreement originally meant to commence on September 1, 2018. That date has come and gone, with no signs of Marvel Stadium at the Docklands venue, while its website and social media channels are all still branded Etihad Stadium. It's believed the new name will now launch on October 1st.
Upcoming events including the VFL Grand Final on September 23 still refer to the venue as Etihad Stadium while the Melbourne Victory lists their first home game against Melbourne City on October 20 as Marvel Stadium, while the ticket agency lists the event at Etihad. Questions about the name change date to the venue’s social media accounts seem to have been ignored, deepening the mystery.
That hasn’t stopped some road signs near the venue being updated to reflect the new name and the original launch date.