What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name?”


“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet.”


So said Juliet in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on finding out Romeo was “on the other team”, a Collingwood member to Juliet’s “Carlton” or any other AFL team with tradition, long term hatreds, prejudices and long memories.

She wanted to forget the name and all the angst that came with it.  It didn’t do her much good, she and her bloke were doomed.  At least we hear of football couples who manage to stay alive with such conflicts in our sports mad nation.

Naming is the key.  We all get one at birth, some change through marriage or migration or pure will, like my daughter, whose surname is now an Anime’ Bird.  It was her statement on her 18th birthday, and she lives by it well.  She decided to choose her own identity.

My sister Denise, when proof-reading my Almanac report for the book two weeks ago, asked me not to call  the stadium currently known as “Etihad” , “Etihad” but instead “Docklands” .  She said that it locates it without using the current advertising name.   (She is so our mother!) So within the description of where and when, I wrote Etihad, it’s the proper official current name.  But in my piece, I listened to my baby sister.

How come the MCG has stayed the MCG, it isn’t the McDonalds Stadium or the Fosters Stadium or AFL Stadium, it’s the MCG.  It’s the G.  Grand Finals become the Fosters Grand Final or the Toyota Grand Final; advertising names the event, not the ground.

Denise and I decided it was a worthy subject for the Almanacker community.  My sister, who if anyone needs her in the future is a good thorough researcher, went straight to Wikipedia.  Trained as a library technician, she knows where to look for what.  She even searched to see if the topic has ever been covered on the Almanac site.  It hasn’t.

So I’ll give you an outline courtesy of Wiki and we’ll go from there:

Docklands has been the Colonial Stadium, Telstra Dome and now Etihad.  Denise called it Phone Dome but now usually Dogsland after her beloved Western Bulldogs. Or the Dome, which cuts out all advertising.  But we all know where we mean when we say the Docklands Stadium.  Like the “G”.  We just know. (Well, Melbournians know).

Football Park in Adelaide is called AAMI Stadium, but Sydney Cricket Ground is the SCG.  No mucking about with our cricket homelands.

Subiaco Oval is Patersons Stadium from last year.

The Gabba is, you guessed it, Brisbane Cricket Ground, and Adelaide Oval is just that.  No fancy shmancy stuff.

Now for Kardinia Park.  I’ve always know it as Kardinia, but it was renamed Shell Stadium  in 1999-2001, then  Baytec Stadium only in 2002 pre-season, and Skilled Stadium  (2002-2011).  It is now Simonds Stadium.  How do those Catters out there like that?

Carrara Stadium is the Metricon Stadium.  Our home of Tassie Test Cricket, Bellerive Oval, this year has become Blundstone Arena (or as Denise likes to call it “Blunnie” Arena), Manuka in Canberra is still that but Marrara Stadium in Darwin has been TIO Stadium since 2006.

So if we weren’t tied to the advertising dollar for these stadiums, what would we call them?  What are our pet names, our pet hates of our particular stadiums?

At the MCG on Saturday night, I still have a hard time not thinking of our recent Grand Final desolation, and it is the Misery Cricket Ground for me, or the Missed (opportunity) Cricket Ground, or the Miserable (Weather) Cricket Ground. We get rained on pretty much every time we go there.  St.Kilda face  Hawthorn at the G on Saturday night, and it may well be wet and miserable again.  Both the weather and the game.  One can always hope, but we are so Etihaders and not MCG’ers at St.Kilda that it’s a shock every time we play there.  Hello, we were almost run over by Melbourne last weekend.

I only managed to spell Etihad correctly last year, because I used it so much to write about St.Kilda. I still think of it as the Dome, our Home.  I miss Moorabbin, it was called Moorabbin. How simple were those times?  Before that we were at Waverly Park.  It’s still called Waverly Park.  And before that it was Junction Oval.

Back in the day, Princes Park was that and not Visy. Glenferrie Oval was that, Punt Road Oval, Victoria Park.  Western Oval, gotta love the Doggies, is STILL Western Oval but their club changed from Footscray to Western Bulldogs. [From Denise … it’s now called Whitten Oval, so that page on Wikipedia is wrong ! (although if you click on the link it takes you to Whitten Oval] We all know whose ground Windy Hill was.

When I was young(er) ovals were locations, now they are advertisements of who puts money in.  And in the modern game, that’s just part of life.

But what if the Almanackers got naming rights? It’s over to the cyber world and what you can come up with.  Perhaps one day we’ll get naming rights for something?  Dream big…..


Yvette Wroby

(with research assistance and ideas of Denise Hilton).




About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Yvette – as I understand it the Geelong football ground itself is still called Kardinia Park, but the surrounding complex, including all the other facilities is called Simonds Stadium. So Kardinia Park is located within Simonds Stadium………………….I think.

    But essentially I couldn’t care less.

  2. Andrew Fithall says

    Dips – I think it is the other way around. Simmonds statium is in Kardinia Park. I preferred it when it was Unskilled stadium.

    Yvette – I am off to Docklands tonight. I have never attended it under any other name. This type of refusal to accept change is making it impossible to attend any event at the new rectangular ground near what used to be Olympic Park. Because it never had a “non-commercial” name, I don’t have a name for it. Therefore I cannot say where I am going. So I can’t go.

    And I still listen to 3LO

  3. Skip of Skipton says

    Kardinia Park is the name of the whole precinct not just ‘Simonds Stadium’. It also includes the Premier Cricket oval, the Netball facilities, swimming pool, and the KP West oval (St. Mary’s FC ground). The Geelong Football umpires clubhouse is also there.

  4. Phantom says

    I think those who named the WACA Ground were geniuses.

    Care to comment PB?

  5. AF and Skip – thanks for the clarification. You can see how much attention I pay to this crap.

    We’ve renamed our offices – now called Chappy’s Chambers.

  6. Phantom says

    Just imagine how many flags we would have won if it had been Skilled, Andrew.

  7. Don’t forget Glenferrie was for a time Ausdoc Oval.
    Bob Jane Stadium just got renamed the Lakeside Oval this year now that it is round again. And I think even if the G was to be sponsored by someone, the term the ‘G is just too ingrained upon us to change. I always refer to the Docklands stadium…in years to come and 20 sponsors later we’ll get a bit confused, so to me it’s Docklands.

    Enjoyed the piece.

  8. Peter_B says

    Phantom – the ladies of the Wynyard Amateur Crouquet Association will be around shortly to beat you to a pulp with their mallets. How dare you mock the noble WACA.

  9. Phantom says

    The WACA mocks itself PB.

  10. Phantom says

    I thought Football Park in Adelaide was called ‘Spit Stadium’.

  11. Skip of Skipton says

    Top retort there, PeterB.

    I hadn’t heard ‘Spit Stadium’ before. Certainly ‘Moron Park’ as christened by Sam, or was it Rex?

    White Elephant Park once the Adelaide Oval is ready. I Can see it going the same way as Cheltenham and Victoria Park racecourses. I used to love the Straight 5 furlong track.

  12. Jamie Simmons says

    I’ve noted of late that some sporting encounters are being endorsed, not just by companies but by the specific products they produce on occasion : “This game is proudly brought to you by the new Ford Laser” etc. I fear this could lead to far worse names for grounds in the future:
    Bruce: “The Saints are away next week Dennis, and they haven’t beaten the Crows at Hungry Hungry Hippos Stadium for quite some time now.”
    Dennis: “That’s right Bruce, they’ll be keen to get back home to KY Jelly Park where they are as yet, undefeated.”

  13. Dave Nadel says

    I have always called the Docklands Stadium, the Docklands Stadium. Your sister is right, Yvette. Apart from the ideological objections to naming grounds after products, such naming is always ephemeral. Even the greediest club in competition eventually terminated their naming agreement with Optus. But the indoor stadium (alternative name) will always be at the Docklands.

    I mostly call Melbourne’s best sports ground the MCG although in winter I like to think of it as Victoria Park South. Andrew F, Red Symons refers to the rectangular stadium near Olympic Park as the Not Round Ground which I rather like. He also calls the stadium named after a Chinese brand of television – The Tina Arena Arena. On the same logic, the Margaret Court Arena should be called The Margaret Court Court.

    Like many others I always called VFL Park, Waverley – Arctic Park. I remember going to a match at Arctic Park that was so cold that I couldn’t speak because my teeth were chattering. I went with a mate who had grown up in Leeds in the UK. He said he had never been as cold at the soccer in Leeds as he was that day at Waverley.

    Waverley had a twin stadium across town. The very poorly sited Baseball/Softball Stadium in Altona was clearly Arctic Park West. The home plate was in the North West Corner which meant that the batter and the fans both faced the South West from which the cold weather and the prevailing winds came. Twenty years ago, Melbourne Monarchs played their in the first season of the National Baseball League. They had an American import named Randy Knorr who won the Home Run hitting aggregate that year. He hit ALL his home runs while playing away.

    While I don’t approve of Subiaco Oval being renamed I like the fact that it allows me to refer to the ground as Paterson’s Curse.

  14. Kelsey Smith says

    I do not quite remember Docklands being named Colonial Stadium, but I remember when Telstra Dome was renamed Etihad, and I said back then that I will never call it Etihad and I have stuck by my word, minus a few slips of the tongue!

    Some people that I know who are new to the game (from NSW) always question where I am talking about when I mention Telstra Dome.

    And Yvette, I agree 100% with you about the Saints and the MCG…we do not mix. I find Saturday nights at Telstra Dome (or Docklands) much more comfortable for the mighty Sainters! I think our performances against Melbourne and the Hawks reflect that, not to mention the Grand finals of past.

  15. Great, lots of comments fellow Knackers. The MCG continues to haunt the Saints, we all hate commercial naming, but I don’t mind naming after legends like Whitten Oval. Playing Carlton next Monday at Docklands will still likely lead to misery!


  16. Richard Naco says

    I have a fairly strong inkling that Sydneysiders are going to refer to Skoda Stadium as “The Showgrounds”, regardless of its sponsorship name.

    One question: will all of us fathers who wiil, for years to come, make our footballing patch of choice the future home of the Orange Crush be able to assume the honorarium of Skoda Pop?

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