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Leigh Matthews disagrees with Jimmy Bartel’s claim that Marvel Stadium is “dumbest stadium ever”

Macquarie Sports Radio

Geelong legend Jimmy Bartel has slammed Marvel Stadium’s turf after a controversial opening weekend.

The newly-named stadium’s surface crumbled on the opening weekend of the AFL season during both matches it hosted, with an emergency umpire forced into repairing it during Sunday’s clash between St Kilda and Gold Coast.

Bartel told Macquarie Sports Radio it was another in a long line of surface-related incidents the ground has endured since it opened in 2000.

“This has been going on since the stadium was built,” he said.

“Nothing ever happens (to change the surface), they don’t care about it. There’s been issues where the fake turf goes so close to the ground there’s been players do their ACL on it.

“The AFL paid boffins millions of dollars to design the stadium and they built it the wrong way. Half the crowd sits there looking in the sun.

“It’s one of the dumbest stadiums ever built.”

However, AFL legend and 3-time Premiership winning coach Leigh Matthews has a different take on the surface debacle at Marvel Stadium.

“I disagree with Jimmy,” Matthews tells David Morrow and Mat Thompson.

He points out that while the surface has been poor at Marvel Stadium on a number of occasions in the oval’s lifetime, current turf technology allows bad patches of grass to be easily replaced.

“If you have bad patch, it’s not hard to replace the surface in part of the ground virtually in a day and I’d be positive that would be happening at Marvel Stadium this week.”

“The SCG did that only a couple of weeks ago, that technology exists.”

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