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Etihad Stadium's surface will be 'ready for round one'

Matt Thompson, AFL Media  March 14, 2018 1:02 PM

Ed Sheeran may have wowed a quarter of a million Melburnians last week, but his four mega concerts have done no favours for the surface at Etihad Stadium.

Ground staff are in a race to replace 4000 square metres of turf to have the oval ready for the season's first premiership game on Friday week between Essendon and Adelaide.

Most of the work is being done at the Coventry end of the venue, where the stage was in place for the concert series which ran for four consecutive nights, ending last Sunday.

"Following Ed Sheeran’s incredible record-breaking series of four concerts at Etihad Stadium, we will be replacing approximately 4000 sq m of turf, with works already underway," Etihad Stadium chief executive Michael Green confirmed to AFL.com.au.  

The AFL-owned Docklands venue will host two games in the opening round of the season, beginning with the Bombers-Crows Friday night clash followed by a Saturday twilight contest between St Kilda and Brisbane.

Stadium management has assured clubs the arena will be ready to go.

"The turf will be in great shape and ready for round one," Green said.