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SBD Global/March 13, 2013/Facilities

Melbourne's Etihad Stadium, AAMI Park Battle To Host 2015 Asian Cup

Melbourne's Etihad Stadium and AAMI Park "remain locked in a battle to host games at the 2015 Asian Cup," according to Matt Windley of the HERALD SUN. The Asian Football Confederation will decide this week "which five Australian stadiums will host games for the tournament." Melbourne is to host seven matches, including the opening game involving the Australian national team, but the semifinals and final "will be played in Sydney." If the AFC wants to maximize attendances at those two fixtures, then Etihad "will get the nod." However, it is feared the stadium's 56,000 capacity "may count against it," especially since the retractable stands are expected to be "brought in to create a rectangular feel." AAMI Park "has the front-running for this reason," despite its use likely to lead to "thousands of fans being locked out" of Australia's games (HERALD SUN, 3/13).
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