Recently in Melbourne, there has been considerable controversy with regards to the turf of Etihad Stadium, a major Australian Rules football venue. This has included talk of reducing the number of concerts held at the venue, or ceasing to host them altogether.
Etihad Stadium tends to be the first choice for stadium concerts in Melbourne, and it is where U2 performed two concerts on the Vertigo Tour, on 18
and 19 November 2006
, back when the venue was still the Telstra Dome. Concerts are a major money-spinner for Etihad Stadium, and it should come as no surprise that U2's name has been mentioned in relation to the future of live music at the venue.
today in Melbourne broadsheet The Age on the topic mentions that negotiations are taking place between the venue and U2's tour promoters. It specifically states that these negotiations are with regards to a U2 concert "later this year". The article also says the concert is "likely to be held before Christmas", as if there is much of 2010 left after that.
The stadium's chief executive has a strong preference for concerts in the final quarter of the year, and clashes with the Australian Rules pre-season tournament make it unlikely that Etihad will be available for U2 in early 2011. Melbourne is not without alternative venues to Etihad for U2 if they come later than this year, but the November/December 2010 timeframe is definitely the stronger subject of current rumours.