Eddie Had Stadium Knocked out for Collingwood Conspiracy

The recent proposal by Eddie McGuire to build a new Stadium in the Jolimont precinct is a Collingwood conspiracy and the politicians have missed the bleeding obvious.

Aside from the enormous cost in building a new Stadium, creating an underground train station and re-channelling the road, also underground, the proposal calls for the removal of HiSense Arena. As a central component of Tennis and the Australian Open and one of the World’s best Velodromes, HiSense Arena should remain. This author also has fond memories of watching The Who in this arena.

Sitting back and reading the respective claims from McGuire and protests from the respective dial-a-quotes, I wondered where this proposal came from; out of the blue we have Eddie pitching a new Stadium on the basis that it needs to sit in the Sporting precinct.

And then the light bulb flashed into action, Eddie is pushing for Magpie domination of the Melbourne Sporting precinct, this proposal sits in the heart of the Collingwood Football Club precinct.

This is a plan for Collingwood, not directly benefiting financially from developing the Stadium but indirectly in the myriad prospect of cross deals that could be created under the Magpie banner.

It would by cynical of me to suggest that McGuire and his powerful Melbourne Corporate connections would be establishing an entity to feather their nest, but remember the Magpie blood and connections run thick in this town and south of the Yarra.

Remember, Melbourne is the sporting capital of the world, and Collingwood no doubt wants to be part of this action.

So how does the proposed Stadium resemble a Collingwood blueprint for sporting and global domination?

Firstly, the name, Victoria Stadium. Eddie suggested the name because it is in Victoria, fair call but the former home of the Magpies was…Victoria Park. Coincidence I think not. Imagine if he came out and suggested Emirate Stadium, everyone would get onto it straight away and see that its a Collingwood centric strategy. But by naming it Victoria Stadium it appears a conciliatory acknowledgement that this Stadium is good for Victoria. Victoria Stadium, Victoria Park you know it makes sense.

Secondly, the plan for the new Stadium involves ripping down the old Stadium in Docklands currently called Etihad, major competitor of Magpie sponsor Emirates.

Thirdly, there has been a major development by Magpie Management in the Olympic Park precinct, a public facility shared with Melbourne Football Club, Melbourne Storm, Melbourne Rebels, AAMI Stadium and Collingwood.

Collingwood Football Club have established a new Community Centre and Glasshouse entertainment facility.

Please note the phrase entertainment facility which actually refers to The Glasshouse Function Centre.

In a recent article on the website of EDGE Architectural and Glazing, discussing the development it states;

“a state-of-the-art reception facility. This venue will be used frequently by Collingwood Football Club, and also be available for private functions. With impressive views across the Magpie’s training oval and AAMI Park, this space will be in high demand. In addition to exciting design and panoramic views, The Big Group are official event managers and caterers for The Glasshouse, providing impressive event street cred.”

The Big Group is a major catering and event organisation, as followers of Real Housewives of Melbourne will attest, Housewife Chyka Keebaugh and husband Bruce are The Big Group, possibly Australia’s largest privately owned catering and event Management Company. I remember seeing an episode of the Housewives where Eddie, Chyka and Bruce stood on the construction site marvelling at the endless opportunities and events they could create with this space. Who said watching reality TV was mindless?

And where is this new Glasshouse Function Centre? A gentle stroll from the proposed Victoria Stadium.

So you can see it all starts to make sense.

Push for a new Stadium across the road from Collingwood Central; protect sponsors, develop Hospitality packages where the money can be made for the club and then push for Home games against smaller teams to be played here and at the MCG for the Blockbusters in a Stadium with a name associated with Collingwood’s spiritual HQ.

Of course the new Stadium will have Corporate Hospitality facilities and no doubt tendered by *Spotless and The Big Group and maybe others, but the benefit of having your own Club facilities and hospitality centre so close can only be a positive for the Football Club.

With the AFL taxing the big clubs and minimising their earning potential, the McGuire plan is several steps ahead of the pack.

The grand vision for Collingwood when it moved from the industrial and decaying Victoria Park facility was to create a sporting mecca. With almost total domination of the Olympic precinct complete, there remains one final tick off the bucket list, Victoria Park, oops Stadium.

The McGuire grand plan is total magpie domination on Melbourne’s sporting landscape and for this very reason I oppose it.

Are you with me?


In the spirit of disclosure, the author is a Swans supporter and holds no conflict of interest against McGuire or Collingwood Football Club.

* The author makes no intent of collusion and conflict of interest with corporate suppliers and tender processes and is aware that while Collingwood FC has catering contracts with The Big Group, a long serving Magpie board member and former player Ian McMullin holds significant connection with competing Spotless, his father Ian was founder of the business with Uncle Bruce.

About David Parker

A keen observer of all things sport and a Swans tragic, David likes to dabble in sporting documentaries including the Max Bailey doco for Fox Footy. David is currently filming a documentary on the Australian Cycling Men's Team Pursuit squad as they prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics.


  1. Dave Brown says

    I reckon if I thought I had a chance of convincing a government of unnecessarily parting with $1 billion of public money solely for the financial benefit of private organisations, I might have a crack

  2. Eddie was on board of Athletics Victoria if I am remembering correctly, when the decision was made to close Olympic Park and build new running track at South Melbourne. Next minute Collingwood have a practise oval where the running track was.

  3. I believe the Premier of Vic referred to McGuire’s plan as “bold.” I’m pretty sure that means “not going to happen.” One can only hope we don’t go down the American path, rather neatly outlined by John Oliver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcwJt4bcnXs

    I also can’t resist the urge for some pedantry. ‘in the myriad of cross deals that can be created.’ No, sorry, the ‘of’ is redundant here. I’m not sure how this barbarism became so prominent in media, but it’s all over the place now.

  4. And, if I can stir this pot as a C’wood supporter, don’t forget that John Brumby, black-&-white to his boot-straps, was Premier when C’wood acquired the old Athletics site from the Govt for a token minimal sum.

    Who needs Wren & Mannix ….

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