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Marvel Stadium is looking to develop the western and northern sides of the stadium before focusing on the city-facing redevelopment. The AFL has plans for a multibillion-dollar development on the waterfront side of the stadium, including accommodation, retail, food and beverage developments, and a hotel similar to the one at Adelaide Oval. Scott Fitzgerald, the CEO of Marvel Stadium, envisions creating a public realm that offers living, entertainment, socializing, and working opportunities.

The recent P!nk concerts at Marvel Stadium showcased the potential for the space beyond Taylor Swift’s MCG shows. Government funding may be necessary for a development of this scale, and the AFL has entered a joint venture partnership with the Allan government to explore redevelopment opportunities at two Docklands sites on Harbour Esplanade. However, the joint venture has raised concerns, particularly from Hatem Saleh, CEO of the Atlantic Group, who operated hospitality venues at Docklands Central Pier.

Moon Dog, a brewer, is taking on a new venture at Docklands next to Marvel Stadium with Doglands, a venue that will seat up to 1500 people and feature unique elements like palm trees, a volcano, and a hidden karaoke room. Despite recent closures of hospitality venues in Docklands, Moon Dog’s co-founder, Josh Uljan, is confident in the success of Doglands and views it as an opportunity to bring something unexpected to the area. Doglands plans to be open seven days a week and cater to both stadium-goers and private events.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp emphasizes the importance of activating vacant shopfronts and increasing day-to-day activation in Docklands through hospitality offerings. She points to the success of cafes and shops around the Docklands library as positive examples of this activation, including long-standing venues like Saluministi. Peter Mastro, the owner of Saluministi, views their cafe as a “lighthouse” in the area, always open and serving the community. Despite the challenges of attracting consistent foot traffic in Docklands, Saluministi has built a loyal customer base and plans to open a new shop in Collins Quarter.

Overall, there is a push towards revitalizing Docklands through hospitality offerings and activating the area to attract residents, workers, and visitors. With plans for major developments around Marvel Stadium and new venues like Doglands entering the scene, there is hope for a vibrant and thriving precinct in the future. However, challenges such as government funding, past closures, and changing consumer behaviors will need to be navigated to ensure the success and sustainability of these initiatives.

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