A-League Melbourne derby semi-final to be played at Etihad

By Jason Phelan, Jason Phelan is a Roar Guru

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13 Have your say

    Melbourne Victory will host a home A-League semi-final at Etihad Stadium – instead of the smaller AAMI Park – if a dream local derby against Melbourne City becomes a reality.

    City face Perth Glory in an elimination final at AAMI Park on Sunday and will go on to meet the Victory in the next week of the finals should they win.

    The A-League has butted heads with the AFL in the past over access to Etihad Stadium for big-drawing finals.

    But chief executive Greg O’Rourke told reporters on Tuesday there would be no such issues this year.

    “We wouldn’t play a derby at AAMI Park, we will definitely play it at Etihad,” O’Rourke said.

    “We have (booked it). We have availability of all the venues that we’re looking for that weekend so it won’t be an issue this year.

    “The good thing about Etihad for a Melbourne derby is that both clubs really want to be there if it’s a derby.”

    Etihad Stadium holds approximately 53,000 fans compared to AAMI Park’s capacity of 30,000.

    The last meeting at Etihad Stadium between the arch-rivals, won 2-1 by Victory, attracted a crowd of 35,426.

    Another local derby is a possibility if Western Sydney Wanderers defeat Brisbane Roar in the other elimination final

    But Sydney FC’s preference is to host a semi-final at Allianz Stadium instead of the larger ANZ Stadium.

    “The decision hasn’t been made yet but we’re leaning towards having it at Allianz,” O’Rourke said.

    “Sydney will host and there’s a certain amount of push back from Sydney FC … they’ve been on this big run all year and then when they come to the semi-final the potential to move it to ANZ Stadium is completely at odds with them.

    “And we think it would probably be better to have a ‘sold out’ sign at Allianz and the real atmosphere that that ground can bring.”

    As the league’s chief administrator, O’Rourke is at pains to remain impartial but he admitted having two semi-finals also be heated local derbies was an attractive prospect.

    “There’s definitely a significant kick between having a derby versus a non-derby with regard to ticket prices, crowd sizes and the overall atmosphere of a filled stadium,” he said.

    “So the thought of potentially having a derby in Melbourne and Sydney is fairly exciting but there’s a round that has to be played out before we start to think about that.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • April 19th 2017 @ 7:24am
      Nemesis said | April 19th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

      Well, let’s hope Perth Glory wins on Sunday.

      The surface of Docklands stadium is rubbish since recent concerts. AAMI Park looks like a carpet and is rated near perfect by ALeague players this season.

    • April 19th 2017 @ 8:19am
      Franko said | April 19th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

      would have thought Fox preference would be to have it at AAMI park.
      Looks better on TV, has a better atmosphere and for those who miss out on tickets, they’ll want to watch it somewhere.

      • April 19th 2017 @ 9:00am
        AR said | April 19th 2017 @ 9:00am | ! Report

        Fox certainly choose the schedule/timing of ALeague finals matches, but the FFA retains control of the venue choice, subject to availability of course.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 19th 2017 @ 10:46am
        At work said | April 19th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report

        I don’t think games at Etihad look too bad on TV as the stands are darker than other grounds and their rise higher than AAMI.

        My concern is that if it does pan out, it will be the 5th Melbourne derby this season, even though a semi I can sense some fan but out of the fixture.
        I personally hope Perth get through

    • April 19th 2017 @ 8:51am
      AGO74 said | April 19th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

      If the Sydney derby (assuming it occurs) is held at anz that would be the 2nd slap in the face to Sydney FC after arbitrarily selecting city as host for FFA cup final.

      Having been to the first derby at anz stadium this year I can categorically say that the atmosphere there compared to Allianz is pathetic (you could barely hear the rbb – and that’s not a shot at rbb, just a reflection of how far away they are and that the noise escapes).

      • Roar Guru

        April 19th 2017 @ 9:05am
        Kaks said | April 19th 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        Although I agree with you, not only due to the ferocious atmosphere at SFS but because the SFS is Sydney’s actual home stadium – there is no denying that a semi-final between the two teams would draw 70-80k fans to the game, almost double what the SFS can cater for.

        I can see why the FFA would want the game at ANZ for that reason.

    • April 19th 2017 @ 9:02am
      Ian said | April 19th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

      If, and when…;-), Brisbane win, we play Victory.

      sorry for Brisbane and Perth being in the finals to spoil these dream Sydney and Melbourne derbies in week 2.

      • April 19th 2017 @ 9:17am
        Waz said | April 19th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        It’s almost like some clubs can’t draw a decent crowd outside of a derby isn’t it …

        • April 19th 2017 @ 12:17pm
          Chris said | April 19th 2017 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

          Makes sense though…2 teams from the same city would obviously attract more of a crowd.

      • April 19th 2017 @ 9:22am
        TK said | April 19th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        Yeah lets hope the pesky colonial outpost teams in brisbane and perth do the job for ‘regional A league’ clubs!!!

    • April 19th 2017 @ 9:54am
      Waz said | April 19th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

      It’s easy to see why the FFA are hanging out for two derby semi-finals. This is from Joffa’s post on 442:

      “…. there are underlying concerns, the overall trend is down, even MV must be slightly concerned.

      Seasonal aberrations based on performance will always occu,r and whilst derbies are a great sugar hit, they are clearly not answer to all of the ills facing the league.

      Games drawing above 20k have dropped for the last two seasons from a high of 17 to14.

      Games drawing in the 15 to 20k range have dropped from a high of 27 to 16.

      Games drawing between 10-15k have dropped from 54 matches to 47.

      Whilst games between 5k. & 10k have increased from 46 to 59.

      Plenty of reasons and excuses to be found, but the underlying trend is one of softening attendance and apparently waning interest …..action needs to be taken, now!”

    • April 19th 2017 @ 10:58am
      Sydneysider said | April 19th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

      All I am going to say is this, Brisbane and Perth need to be prepared for decisions to go against them.

      The FFA (Gallop, O’Rourke & co) know what they want – a Sydney derby and a Melbourne derby semi final weekend.


      • April 19th 2017 @ 1:44pm
        Waz said | April 19th 2017 @ 1:44pm | ! Report


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