Main content

AFL backflips on Etihad Stadium roof decision

Half of Etihad Stadium is in shade, while the other half is showered with sunshine during the Good Friday match between North Melbourne and St Kilda - AFL,Etihad Stadium,Western Bulldogs,Essendon Bombers
Half of Etihad Stadium is in shade, while the other half is showered with sunshine during the Good Friday match between North Melbourne and St Kilda

THE AFL has backflipped on its open-air roof stance from round two, deciding to close it for Sunday's clash at Etihad Stadium. 

The Western Bulldogs and Essendon match starting at 3.20pm will be played under a closed roof, despite two day matches at the venue last week in open air. 

It is forecast to reach 30 degrees in Melbourne on Sunday, with the Bureau of Meteorology recommending sun protection up until 2.40pm, 40 minutes before the first bounce.

The decision to leave the roof open for the Good Friday clash between North Melbourne and St Kilda and West Coast's win over Western Bulldogs caused mixed reactions last week. At times during those games half of the ground was in shade and the other in sun, proving difficult for TV viewers. 

An AFL spokesperson confirmed the roof would be closed for Sunday, with future matches to be judged on a case-by-case basis. 

The decision was made during the week in consultation between AFL and Etihad Stadium operations teams. 

The roof will be open for Saturday night's match between St Kilda and Adelaide, with a forecast of 18 degrees for the opening bounce.