Etihad Stadium ready for BBL record crowd

Etihad Stadium organisers are preparing for a record BBL crowd at the venue when Melbourne Renegades host Melbourne Stars on Saturday night.

Melbourne Renegades and Melbourne Stars are set to attract another record Big Bash League crowd on Saturday night and this time the venue won't be caught by surprise.

Last weekend's local derby at the MCG drew a crowd of 80,883 that smashed the previous BBL record but also caused widespread frustration as the new anti-terrorism fence and understaffed checkpoints caused long waits to get into the ground.

Hospitality outlets inside the venue also struggled to cope with the unexpected demand, driven by walk-up ticket sales on the day of the game, that pushed the final crowd figure well beyond the approximately 50,000 that was budgeted for.

Renegades home ground Etihad Stadium hosts the rematch, with organisers expecting to break the venue's previous record cricket mark of 42,837, set in the local derby in BBL03.

To be fair, the smaller stadium doesn't have the same issues that caught MCG organisers on the hop but management have made sure they're ready for a big turn out regardless.

"We definitely won't be caught short," stadium communications manager Bill Lane told AAP.

"We know that it's going to be a big crowd, so we're fully prepared.

"All our ticketing windows, all of our aisles and all of our gates are going to be fully staffed. In terms of staffing we'll be at full capacity in preparation for a really big night.

"There are no more general admission tickets available but the critical component is that there are about 8,000 seats reserved for members of the two teams, as well as stadium members, so it's important for them to come along for us to break the record."

Fans who have already purchased tickets online are urged to print them out beforehand to ease their entry into the ground.

The record AFL crowd at the venue is 54,444, set in the 2009 season when unbeaten St Kilda and Geelong clashed in round 14.

In its cricket configuration, capacity drops to about 47,000, which venue management and Renegades are hopeful of achieving.

"We're really looking forward to a huge day on Saturday," a Renegades spokesperson said. "Our WBBL team begins at 2.40pm and we're encouraging all our fans to get in early and support them as well.

"We're expecting a stadium record crowd for a BBL match for what should be a fantastic atmosphere as we go head-to-head with our cross-town rivals."

Gates open at 2:15pm, with Renegades WBBL clash against Sydney Thunder starting at 2:40pm.

Source AAP

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