Close the Etihad Stadium roof


TWITTER – @jclark182

Enough is enough, it is time to close the roof at Etihad Stadium during day games.

It would be inaccurate to say that the open roof is what caused the debacle of a game between Brisbane and Melbourne last Sunday, but it can certainly take some of the blame.

The players hate the roof being open and regularly struggle to see the football when they are facing the sun, just ask James Frawley.

Essendon champion Matthew Lloyd voiced his opinions on Monday night on Footy Classified and was another advocate of closing the roof.

Justin Leppitsch and Paul Roos both oppose the roof being opened and journalists are too afraid to ask Brad Scott on his opinion these days.

So we know that the coaches hate it, but what about the umpires? You bet.

It is a hard enough job as it is to umpire a game of AFL without having to contend with the sun and shadows.

It is a terrible spectacle to watch on television and Channel Seven’s Melbourne managing director Lewis Martin has voiced his concerns.

“You only have to watch your TV screen to know the preferred option and that’s clearly to close the roof”.

Although admittedly it is a rare occurrence, with Melbourne’s unpredictable weather there have been occasions of rain at Etihad which is ludicrous when you consider why the stadium was built in the first place.

It just does not make sense to have these issues at what is supposed to be an indoor stadium.

As Paul Roos said, “It’s bizarre, I don’t understand why it is open because it’s an indoor stadium”.

So what is the big issue? Just close the roof.


About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.



  2. Um, but it’s not an indoor stadium, is it.

    Sure, it would become one of the roof were always closed; but I don’t see why it should always be closed when the weather doesn’t always demand it.

    Players play elsewhere with the ‘hazard’ of the sun. Why not here?

    (And I have to say for mine, on both the telly and live, there’s something about the light quality with the closed roof that just subtracts from the spectacle somewhat.)

  3. Sorry, Jackson, but when the AFL asked me in a survey if I want it open or closed, I said open. Fans at the ground first, TV viewers second, I say. I love the sun beating down on the grass and the seats.

    Having said that, some people have mentioned that the sun is worse at Etihad for the players than at other grounds because the stand creates an aperture that magnifies it or some such. If that’s actually true, then I can accept that as a legitimate reason to close the roof.

    But having said THAT, I’ve seen many games at the venue that were played with the roof open and there have not been issues at all.

  4. I say close the roof, cover it with soil, and turn it into a new civic parkland. A rooftop park!!

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Every player I no of is united ( a unusual occurrence ) close the roof

  6. Skip of Skipton says

    Should have been built on a big turn-table.

    The players can wear ski-goggles. There’s an extra sponsorship revenue stream laying idle.

  7. Dave Brown says

    Yep, close it. Having played a couple of different ball sports with that sort of contrast (complete shade to complete sun) it is nigh on impossible to track a ball moving from shade to sun. You basically don’t start to pick it up until it enters the light – doesn’t make for good footy. Although it does increase the possibility of falcons, so it has got something going for it.

  8. I hate the idea of football being played under a roof. It is artificial, weird and just plain wrong.

    Having said that, the configuration of the stadium and the issues it creates means that it probably should be shut, which is a great shame.

    There will come a time in the near future that a team plays there at the same time as a game at Geelong or the G, one in pristine, calm, wind-less and dry conditions whilst outside, howling winds,, pouring rain and a muddy and wet surface impacts the final result or winning margin. And this will impact unfairly one team’s final ladder position, I guarantee it.

    So no level playing field.

    On the list of useless and pointless activities, add tossing the coin to choose ends at Etihad when the roof is shut.

    However, even if the sun is a factor, why can’t they open the roof on a beautiful evening when there’s no chance of rain?


  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Why wasn’t it built East-West rather than North-South ?

  10. cause it was built by irish architects !!!!!!

  11. Nik Stace says

    They built the stadium to wrong way around! Subiaco has the same problem …. They never learn …. The new stadium at Burswood will be the wrong way around as well. Try being a goal umpire having to watch the ball coming out of the sun … It’s an absolute nightmare.

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