Hotel Docklands-ifornia


by Anthony Thomas


MYSTERY surrounds the discovery of a woman in the toilets at Etihad Stadium suffering from cold, two days after the Melbourne venue was last used.

It’s believed the 57-year-old woman had spent two days locked inside the ground in central Melbourne following the AFL match between Geelong and Richmond on Sunday.

She was in a confused state and was taken to Sunshine Hospital in a stable condition.

– from the Herald Sun website, July 27, 2011


I wrote the song parody below a couple of years ago. Greg Champion sang an adaptation of it on the Coodabeen Champions ABC Radio show song segment on May 30, 2009. After yesterday’s events, it appears I’m not alone in my confusion whenever I go to the Stadium. Maybe other Almanackers share the same feelings too.



(to the tune of Hotel California, by The Eagles)


Above the Wurundjeri Highway, sea breeze in my hair

Stale smell of cigarette smoke, rising up through the air

Up ahead on the concourse, I saw the big-screen light

It said “Welcome to the Stadium”; hope I get a seat for the night


Among the crowds at Gate 3, I heard the first-quarter bell

I walked ‘round and ‘round – couldn’t find the stairwell

I asked Customer Service, to show me the way

A voice boomed down the corridor, thought I heard it say…


Welcome to whatever they call the Docklands

Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)

With Wi-Fi interface

Plenty of room on Level 2 down at the Docklands

Any time of year (any time of year), no grass grows here


I’m not ASX-listed, I’ve got no Mercedes Benz

I have to sit way up on Level 3, with all the plebs

Wish I had an MBA, but when I work I sweat

I’ll never be a member here, much to my regret


So I called the bartender: “Please bring me my wine”

He said, “We can’t serve that spirit here on a Friday night”

So I ordered a light beer on a soggy tray

Again a voice boomed in the night, thought I heard it say…


Welcome to whatever they call the Docklands

Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)

For corporate tête-à-têtes

Living it up at the ground down at the Docklands

Not a nice surprise (not a nice surprise), eating four dollar pies


At least it’s Friday. I’m glad it’s not twilight

Don’t want to ever come back here on a Monday night

I wish my team didn’t play here, but we’re stuck in the lease

We’ve pleaded with the AFL, but we just can’t be released


Last thing I remember, it was a pretty close score

I had to ease my nerves with a fag outside the door

“Stop”, said security, “Give me your ticket please.

“You can get a pass-out any time you like, but you can never leave.”


  1. Oh dear what can the matter be
    One old lady got locked in the lavatory
    She was there from the Sunday matinee
    nobody knew she was there

  2. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Really clever Anthony. Love a good parody and this is so apt. Great stuff.

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