Eddie's gripe as 'extraordinary' stadium issue laid bare

Caroline Wilson says Marvel Stadium has become a serious "problem" for the AFL, as Victorian clubs continue their push to move more home games to the MCG.

And former Collingwood president Eddie McGuire says Essendon must forfeit the benefits of a Marvel Stadium deal if the Bombers plan on migrating more games to the much larger Melbourne venue.

Essendon, Carlton and St Kilda have begun exploring their options to host more home games at the MCG in the coming years.

It comes as the deals between the Blues, Bombers, Saints, Bulldogs and North Melbourne come to an end in 2024.

It means bigger clubs like Carlton and Essendon, whose large fan bases continue to grow, will eventually require the MCG for all or most home games.

But McGuire says they can't expect to have their cake and eat it too.

"Don't forget they were here, at the MCG, and they all ran," McGuire told Nine's Eddie and Jimmy Podcast.

"The Bombers have got a favoured nations contract at Marvel because they were the anchor tenant.

"Do you know in the shops down there (at Marvel Stadium) if you buy a Geelong jumper, Essendon get a cut of it? The Bombers get a cut of the food and beverage and just about everything that's going on there.

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"And so they should, they did the deal - a bit like (Collingwood's) great deal here at the MCG - so they went that way, we went this way.

"So if Essendon want to come here - which makes sense, because all the big clubs should be playing here - then they have to get rid of their favoured nation (deal) down at Marvel, then that would allow for some of the smaller clubs to get a better deal.

"You can't have it both ways, Bombers - I know the Bombers like to get their bread buttered on both sides."

eddie's gripe as 'extraordinary' stadium issue laid bare

Carlton already has 95,000 members.

McGuire suggested clubs like St Kilda and North Melbourne need to remain largely at Marvel Stadium to keep a relatively even spread of usage.

"Your job's to play down there (and) keep that going," he said.

The Magpies, Bombers, Blues, and Tigers - however - should be playing most home games at the MCG, McGuire says.

Carlton CEO Brian Cook opened up on the disadvantage of playing Marvel Stadium games from a financial perspective, considering the Blues have already gained over 95,000 members.

Marvel Stadium can hold 53,359, while the MCG's total capacity is 100,024.

"No matter what crowd you're comparing, MCG and Marvel - I'm talking from a Carlton point of view - we will make more dollars out of the MCG," Cook said on 3AW radio recently.

Now, Wilson fears the AFL has failed to prepare for the growth of the biggest Victorian clubs, meaning they have no way to allow them to move more, if not all of their home games to the MCG.

https://omny.fm/shows/eddie-and-jimmy/if-we-invented-the-game-today-what-would-we-take-o/embed

"Essendon and Carlton are big clubs, St Kilda is potentially a big club," Wilson said on Nine's Footy Classified on Monday night.

"Extraordinary that now that the AFL owns the (Marvel) stadium, that the deals are as bad, or not quite as bad, but still nowhere near what they can earn at the MCG."

Wilson says the reason behind the eagerness to move is simple.

"Clubs just want to play at the MCG. They want to play where they're going to be playing finals," she said.

"There are no finals at Marvel anymore.

"Is that a problem for the AFL? I would have thought it was."

Wilson is calling on the league to re-evaluate how to make Marvel Stadium a bigger and more impressive football hub, that will allow free-standing clubs to profit off a game day, instead of locking members out.

"The deals are all up at the end of the year," Wilson said.

"I still think it's a problem for the competition. They can't make the money there (at Marvel), that they make elsewhere."

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