AFL says concerts clash with NAB Cup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL says concerts clash with NAB Cup

By Roger Vaughan 12/06/2009 08:15:06 AM Comments (0)

It's a sure way to flop when you mess with rock `n roll.

The AFL risk a public relations disaster after going public with their concerns over the February AC/DC concerts at Etihad Stadium.

The legendary Australian rockers are scheduled to play three concerts at the ground between February 11-15, which the AFL says will clash with the first round of the NAB Cup pre-season competition.

It is the latest chapter in the fight between the AFL and the venue over stadium deals for clubs, a dispute that has prompted court action.

The AFL say they asked the stadium about the concerts several weeks ago, but are yet to receive a reply.

"I don't know if there is any PR grief - this has got nothing to do with AC/DC," said the AFL's chief broadcasting and commercial officer Gillon McLachlan.

"We've had a contract, it's a long-standing, very clear agreement.

"We want to be to have a discussion with the venue ... if we're being told we have to move, where are we going and on what basis?

"It's reasonable to expect to be able to have a dialogue."

The AFL's stance is they are the main tenant at Etihad Stadium and deserve to be told how the concerts will affect them.

They say the MCG and Geelong's Skilled Stadium are unavailable, while Princes Park is under construction and unsuitable as a NAB Cup venue.

The AFL add they are unsure how long the concerts will put the venue out of action for pre-season matches.

Etihad Stadium management are declining to comment over this latest issue involving the league.

The AFL are trying to force Etihad Stadium and the MCG to change their contracts with Melbourne clubs.

McLachlan said other Melbourne venues could host the concerts.

"There are a lot of venues where AC/DC could be played here (in Melbourne) - they could be at the Showgrounds, they could be at Flemington, they could be at any number of venues," he said.

"This is not about forcing this concert off ... it (Etihad Stadium) is the only one who can hold AFL (games) and we're a really important stakeholder.

"We've got an agreement and it's important that people respect that."

The AFL have been flexible with their NAB Cup fixturing, but McLachlan says they want to talk to Etihad Stadium first.

"Potentially, we could move it around, but we've got to be able to have a discussion about that, to see what's possible," he said.

"Being told where and when we're going to play is not acceptable and we are a priority tenant.

"I'm not going to say they're being disrespectful, but we certainly believe we've got a contractual right."

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