THE MCC faces a race against time to have a central plank of the AFL's plans to improve the match day experience at the game's premier venue ready ahead of round one.
Under the plan, the host club at Melbourne's two venues – the MCG and Etihad Stadium – will have control of one kilometre of internal LED signage plus the big screens at key periods on match day.
Etihad Stadium will have a number of fan-friendly initiatives locked in ahead of its season opener, which is the Western Bulldogs versus West Coast on April 4.
But the MCC, with the MCG currently hosting the Cricket World Cup, is not yet in a position to confirm when the ground's own LED signage will be ready.
"While we are making every effort to install the signage for round one, there are some logistical hurdles we are working through before we can commit to a timeframe," MCC communications manager Shane Brown told AFL.com.au.
The Cricket World Cup culminates with the final at the MCG on March 29.
The ground's management staff is also facing a huge task to prepare the surface for the AFL season opener between Carlton and Richmond on Thursday, April 2, but remain confident they'll get it done in less than four full days.
Use of the internal LED signage is a big part of the AFL's focus on fan engagement this season, with the home clubs to be granted access to it two hours before the first bounce and at key moments throughout the game.
It will feature at both the MCG and Etihad Stadium at ground level and on level one.
AFL general manager of clubs and operations, Travis Auld, said this week the introduction of LED signage to this extent was "a bit of a game changer" the first of its kind in Australia.
He also said it was the enhancement as part of the AFL and clubs' aim to improve fan engagement that would likely make the biggest impression on the spectator.
"It's probably the one that's going to have the biggest impact," Auld told AFL.com.au this week.
"We just don't have it anywhere else in the country.
"We don't have a stadium in the country right now that has this quality of equipment in it, and at this extent."
The AFL said it remained hopeful the signage would be fully operational in time for round one, with the MCG to host three games across the season opening Easter weekend.
"We're working closely with the MCC to try and ensure this will be ready to go in round one," an AFL spokesperson said.
Adelaide Oval's LED fencing, which spreads across the non-broadcast wing of the ground, was a popular feature of the ground's match-day experience for Adelaide and Port Adelaide fans last season.
The Crows and Power also used the big screens during their home matches to highlight key moments.
The MCG is also planning to install a high density WiFi network, exterior LED lighting that will allow clubs to theme the stadium, and a IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) network system featuring 800 screens during 2015.
Etihad Stadium is in the process of installing 1600 high-definition screens for its IPTV network around the venue that will allow clubs to "own" it.
"When you arrive at St Kilda's home game, you'll be able to tell it's St Kilda's home game because each of the TVs will have St Kilda theming on them," Auld said.
"The home side will have the opportunity to use them during the game for certain periods but they can theme them for the entire game."
Etihad Stadium has already received positive feedback for its in-stadium wireless system from attendees at the recent One Direction concert.
It's another move, along with lifting a ban on bringing commercially prepared food into the venue, designed to make Etihad Stadium more fan-friendly.
All ten Melbourne-based clubs have contracted media companies to run their digital match-day experiences.
Collingwood announced this week it would introduce fireworks and a pre-game footy hub at the Westpac Centre as part of their match-day enhancement strategy.