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Nov 29, 2023   |  7:02PM AET

A message from the CEO

A message from the CEO

Concerts, construction, and VAR: Navigating venue availability this December.

Dear City fans, 

I wanted to personally update you on two important changes we’ve been forced to make across our upcoming A-League Women’s and Men’s AFC Champions League schedules this December, and to provide you with some context into our decision-making process.

A-League Women – City v Perth Glory, December 9
To be played at Genis Steel Stadium (B.T. Connor Reserve)

Whilst we’ve loved taking our game to all corners of greater Melbourne and meeting our fans in their own communities over the past few seasons, it’s our belief that to truly thrive, our Women’s Team need a home ground to call their own.

That’s why we made the decision earlier this year to host all standalone A-League Women’s home matches on a dedicated football pitch at the soon to be completed City Football Academy at Casey Fields. A permanent home for our City Women, with all the benefits that come with it.

Our upcoming home match against Perth Glory on December 9 was originally slated as the inaugural game to be played at our new facility, however we’ve decided to press pause on this idea for now and instead move this match to Genis Steel Stadium (B.T. Connor Reserve) in Reservoir.

Why? Simply put, we want your first experience at Casey Fields to be nothing short of amazing, and with construction ongoing at the City Football Academy due to COVID related building delays, we believe a bit more time is needed before we’re ready to welcome members and fans.

Secondly, it was important for us to select a venue that met the highest standards in terms of playing surface and fan experience, and we know that Genis Steel Stadium (B.T. Connor Reserve) offers both. We’d like to thank our friends at Preston Lions FC for accommodating the City family this December.

With works continuing at Casey Fields at breakneck pace, we hope to welcome fans to an A-League Women’s match very soon.

Membership and ticketing information to follow.

AFC Champions League – City v Zhejiang Professional FC, December 12
To be played at Princes Park (Ikon Park)
 
When looking at venues to host our AFC Champions League home games, AAMI Park was understandably our first choice.  And why wouldn’t it be, AAMI Park is our home.

However, the venue also plays host to many major events throughout the year, with many booked months or even years in advance.

With the AFC Champions League group stage draw only conducted in late August, there were already a series of major concerts scheduled for late November and early December.

Subsequent restoration works to the playing surface at AAMI Park following the concerts meant AAMI Park was unable to accommodate our fixture on December 12. Requests submitted to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to move this fixture to a later date were denied, forcing us to explore alternative venues for our final group match.

AFC requirements for broadcast and VAR compliance, as well as minimum standards for both pitch quality and lighting, meant Princes Park in Carlton North was the best available venue within Victoria that met all criteria.

Whilst it’s not AAMI Park, we’re confident the City family will make it feel like home and get behind the boys as they look to make it through to the knockout stages of the AFC Champions League for the first time.

Membership and ticketing information to follow.

The decisions weren’t made lightly, but circumstances out of our control meant we must work with the hand that we’re dealt.

No matter where we play, I hope you will continue to get behind our Men’s and Women’s teams as we head into a very busy December. 

C’mon City!
 
Brad Rowse
CEO, Melbourne City FC