|Location||Wayville, South Australia|
|Owner||Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA|
|Operator||Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA (showground)
|Major events||Royal Adelaide Show
Australian Solo Championship
World Series Sprintcars
West End Speedway International
Castrol Sidecar Cup, Supanova Pop Culture Expo
|Main Arena Speedway|
|Surface||dirt and sand mix|
|Length||0.316 mi (0.510 km)|
The Royal Adelaide Showgrounds colloquially known as the Wayville Showgrounds and now operating under the trade name 'Adelaide Showground' holds many of Adelaide's most popular events, including the Royal Adelaide Show.
The Showgrounds are located in the inner-southern Adelaide suburb of Wayville, just south of Greenhill Road. They are bordered by Goodwood Road (east), Leader Street (south), the railway line (west) and Rose Terrace (north). The Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia (RAHS) has controlled the site since the 1920s, the land having been purchased by the South Australian government prior to the First World War. The Royal Show moved to the present site in 1925.
The showgrounds has one of the largest under-cover exhibition spaces in the Southern Hemisphere, and hosts over 140 exhibitions and conferences each year, as well as University of Adelaide and University of South Australia examinations. The RAHS also leases the former Investigator Science and Technology Centre to the Edge Church.
The main arena of the showgrounds, which at its peak in the 1920s and 30s held 35,000 people but now can hold approximately 14,000, was known as the Speedway Royale during its heyday from 1926 until 1934, and is sometimes referred to as "The birthplace of Australian Speedway", even though speedway in Australia actually started in Maitland, New South Wales in 1923, three years before it started at Wayville. Speedway has been held on the egg-shaped track that is the main arena since approximately 1926. The track itself has a dirt and sand mixture over a concrete base and is 510 metres (560 yd) in length. When used it is one of the fastest speedway's in Australia with wide open corners and both the front and back straights being over 90 metres (98 yd) in length.
While the arena only ever holds one or two speedway meetings per year, it has held may Australian championships including the Australian Solo Championship, as well as hosting such events as the Speedway 500 series and the once annual West End Speedway International (first held in 1986). Since the mid-1980s, World Champion riders to compete at Wayville have included Hans Nielsen and Tommy Knudsen from Denmark, six time World Champion Tony Rickardsson from Sweden, Simon Wigg and Michael Lee, Gary Havelock and Kelvin Tatum from England, Shawn Moran, Sam Ermolenko, Bobby Schwartz, Rick Miller and Billy Hamill of the USA, Egon Müller of West Germany, and Australia's own Jason Crump. Other top riders to have raced at Wayville include Adelaide's own Ryan Sullivan, Shane Parker and Shane Bowes (winner of the 1991 West End International), Mark Fiora and Steve Baker, as well as 10 time Australian champion Leigh Adams (who won his 5th Australian championship at Wayville in 2002), four time national champion Phil Crump, and twice Aussie champ Todd Wiltshire.
Riders who appeared at the showground in its early years included Vic Huxley, Alby Taylor, English star Jack Parker, and Frank Arthur, winner of the first ever Star Riders' Championship in 1929, the forerunner of the Speedway World Championship which started in 1936.
Australia's leading Sprintcar series, the World Series Sprintcars has also raced many times on the showgrounds track, although the sand base of the track isn't a favorite of the drivers, and the series generally runs at the Speedway City when in Adelaide. Sidecar speedway is also popular when run at the showground, with many high profile meetings held there including the now defunct "Castrol Cup", as well as exhibition races at the Royal Show.
Wayville holds the record in Australian speedway for the longest wait between hosting an Australian championship. Before the 2002 Australian Solo Championship, Wayville had not hosted the title since 1932, a gap of an incredible 70 years, only just eclipsing the former record of 69 years between championships held by the Newcastle Showground which hosted the title in 1927 and then again in 1996.
The main arena was also the home ground of the West Adelaide Football Club in the South Australian National Football League from 1927 until it was taken over by the Australian Army after the 1939 season due to the outbreak of World War II. West Adelaide were forced to play their home games at the Adelaide Oval until their current home, Richmond Oval, was opened in 1958.
Other than hosting various outdoor events during the Royal Adelaide Show, the main arena also hosts the Adelaide leg of the annual Big Day Out music festival, as well as Monster Trucks and Motocross events such as the Supercross Masters.
Centennial Hall, built to celebrate the centenary of the founding of the Colony (later State) of South Australia, and to house the 1936 Centennial Empire Exhibition, was opened on 20 March 1936. It was considered to be a significant historical landmark, and was one of the few remaining examples of 1930s Art Deco architecture in Adelaide.
In addition to the exams and the shows, some of the more notable events held in Centennial Hall were:
- Gilbert Racing
- Centennial exhibition, www.samemory.sa.gov.au
- Peter Goers (2006) Hall of fame shame, 9 Sept 2006, Sunday Mail, www.adelaidenow.com.au
- The floor from Centennial Hall is for sale!, 27 August 2007, www.woodworkforums.com
- Live: Centennial Hall, Adelaide, 12 June 1964, www.beatlesbible.com
- Live: Centennial Hall, Adelaide, 13 June 1964, www.beatlesbible.com
- New Official website homepage (Adelaide Event & Exhibition Centre)
- History of the Showgrounds
- History of the RA&HS of SA Inc.
- http://www.theshow.com.au "The Show"