Strong push to keep a permanent lid on Marvel for all footy

There are five more day games scheduled at Marvel Stadium for the rest of the home and away season, with the next one a Sunday clash in round 15 between St Kilda and Richmond starting at 1.10pm.

If the sun is out on that late June day and the roof is closed, then it’s all but certain the roof will remain closed permanently for AFL games.

The retractable roof at the Docklands stadium has long been a bugbear for players, fans and broadcasters.

Who has power over whether it’s open or shut has chopped and changed, with most parties pointing the finger at someone else.

Under a previous administration, Etihad Stadium would argue that it was up to the home team to pick their preference, but now the AFL owns Marvel Stadium, the decision ultimately rests with league boss Gillon McLachlan and new head of football Steve Hocking.

Traditionally, the roof has only ever been opened for the early 1pm match, pending good weather.
A 3.20pm fixture, such as the Sunday game at Marvel Stadium in round 14 between Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs, will start with the roof closed because the match will end at night once the sun is fully down.

The AFL has previously believed the roof should remain open for day games during sunny and dry conditions to improve the fan experience.

But senior figures now concede the cons; being the strong negative reaction from players and broadcasters, far outweigh the pros.


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