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Free WiFi part of massive upgrade to the MCG

Matt Thompson  February 4, 2015 12:00 PM

Coloured lights, free WiFi coming to MCG See how the MCG will be transformed
FANS will finally get access to free WiFi at the MCG but the wait is likely to continue until the end of the year.
 
The stadium is also in talks with telephone carriers to improve reception at the stadium during blockbuster matches.
 
And, by the end of April, AFL clubs will have access to a brand new lighting system outside the stadium that will allow them to transform the look of the venue and create a home team atmosphere.
 
Wednesday's announcement came with an admission from MCC chief executive Stephen Gough that the venue had fallen behind other Australian stadiums.
 
"There are elements to adding to that fan experience that certainly we're behind on and WiFi is one those areas, I think the branding of the stadium is another," Gough said.  
 
At a stretch the WiFi and phone upgrades could be available to large crowds at this year's finals series, but Gough insisted the project wouldn't be rushed.
 
"Let's get the work done properly, and if we miss the finals then so be it, but it's an investment for the future," he said.  

The exterior lighting at the MCG. Picture: Courtesy of MCC 


The MCC and AFL have been in talks throughout the off-season about improving the so-called 'fan experience' at the home of footy, and more announcements are expected before the season opener in April.
 
However a push from new AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan to cut the cost of a bucket of chips or a pie for fans in the outer remains a sticking point with venue operators, including the MCG.
 
"All of those discussions are ongoing," Gough said.  
 
"Food and beverage is part of that, so they're ongoing discussions, I can't give you anything yet to say all of these are done and dusted as will be resolved.
 
The WiFi project is part of a $45 million upgrade to the stadium's technology infrastructure.
 
World famous venues like Dallas Stadium, Yankee Stadium, Staples Centre and Wembley are just some of the examples the MCC has looked at before embarking on its own project.
 
The upgrade also includes an additional 800 HD televisions throughout the stadium to provide fans with better access to game related stats and match-day information.
 
Some of the additional HD TVs around the ground. Picture: Courtesy of MCC