From September, Etihad Stadium will become Marvel Stadium. So, who better to get all the details on the name change of one of the busiest and diverse stadiums in Melbourne than CEO, Michael Green. Peter caught up with Michael for our latest “White with one”.
Peter: How do you take your coffee?
Cappuccino with one sugar. I have no more than two a day and both in the morning.
Peter: A man close to my own heart. How long have you worked at Etihad Stadium and what is your background?
16 & ½ years – I’m one of the longest serving staff members. I actually worked here in the pre-construction days in the late ‘90’s, so I’ve literally seen it grow from nothing. Before that, I was at the Hawks and started my career in Tasmania working for Federal Hotels.
Peter: What makes Etihad one of the most unique venues in the world?
Definitely its versatility. Most people would not know that we are the busiest multi-purpose stadium in the world based on the number and variety of events we hold. We have between 75-85 a year and these are only the ones on the ground, let alone our function events.
Peter: What have been some of your highlights over the 16 years?
The first UFC event where we broke the world record for attendance at a UFC event. Also, Adele who now holds the record for the biggest crowd at the stadium – 78,000+. The International Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses was also fascinating to be part of – 200,000 people over 3 days. They even provided a team of volunteers to help clean the stadium both before and after the conference. Also, the 2010 AC/DC concerts were amazing and definitely the loudest crowd noise I’ve ever heard!
Peter: What are some of your proudest moments while being CEO at Etihad Stadium?
I’m most proud of the way we work as a team to give our patrons the best customer experience we possibly can. Whilst no venue is perfect, we have continued to improve.
Peter: If you could hold any event at the stadium, what would it be?
I’d love to have a major league baseball game. Hopefully it will happen one day.
Peter: What is your favourite event to attend in Melbourne?
I describe myself as being born with a racebook in one hand, so its thoroughbred horse racing for me. My Dad bred horses so I grew up visiting the farm most weekends, so it’s been in my blood since day dot. Derby Day at Flemington is the best day of the year for me – wouldn’t miss it for anything!
Peter: Why is Melbourne a great city to host major events?
We do it better than any other city in the world and we are unique in that there is something for everyone to follow, whether it be sport, arts, food or music – whatever. I love the multicultural aspects of Melbourne and whilst there are many bigger cities than us, none compare to what we can offer.
Peter: Who is your most admired Melburnian?
The late Ron Walker, he was instrumental in creating our “can do” attitude when it comes to major events.
Peter: Couldn’t agree with you more. Where is your favourite place to get a coffee?
I rarely drink coffee outside work, so it’s probably “In a Rush” on the Bourke St footbridge.
Peter: And finally, of course Etihad Stadium is about to become Marvel Stadium – tell us about that.
Yes, we’re really looking forward to our new partnership with the Disney Corporation. Like us, they’re all about creating great customer experiences and they’ll bring a new dimension to the life of the stadium.
Peter: So, will we be seeing you in a Captain America outfit soon?
Not likely, as this old body is not quite in shape….. but you never know!!!