Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon believes there is still a need for a stadium in Melbourne’s Docklands area.
The future of Etihad Stadium has been called into question after Collingwood president Eddie McGuire suggested it should be demolished, with a new ground to be built where Hisense Arena is currently located.
The ground would be similar to the one currently in place at Docklands, with a retractable roof and a capacity of up to 60,000.
However Gordon is adamant a stadium is still required in the west of the city where his club, along with Carlton, Essendon, North Melbourne and St Kilda currently call home.
“You need to remember that the western region of Melbourne is the fastest growing population base in Australia, and will be for the next 30 years,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“I still prefer the Docklands as a venue.
“It services the people in the west and north-western suburbs of Melbourne of which my club is one and its members.”
Instead, Gordon argued the ground should be renovated to create a hub for the Docklands precinct.
“It needs to be renovated,” he said.
“In the last 20 years there have been remarkable developments there, and I think in the next 100 years it’s going to be even greater.”
McGuire’s concept has even drawn the attention of Victorian premier Daniel Andrews, who is keen to further develop the MCG precinct to ensure Melbourne continues to attract world-class events.
The move would also see Hisense Arena relocated above underground railway lines near its current location at Melbourne Park, near the MCG.
However that could present problems for the Australian Open, which has an agreement with the Melbourne Olympic Park Trust that includes Hisense Arena until 2036.
Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, who was in power when Etihad Stadium was built, said he believed the proposal was not worth risking the Australian Open.
“(It) is the biggest sporting event in Australia over two weeks that gives us lots of promotion overseas,” the former Hawthorn president said.
“I’m not prepared to put at risk the Australian Open in Melbourne for a new stadium there fundamentally for football in all its various forms.”