Carrara Stadium

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Carrara Stadium
Metricon Stadium
Adelaide v Gold Coast - Carrara crowd.jpg
Former names Carrara Oval
Gold Coast Stadium
Location Carrara, Queensland
Coordinates 28°00′23″S 153°22′2″E / 28.00639°S 153.36722°E / -28.00639; 153.36722Coordinates: 28°00′23″S 153°22′2″E / 28.00639°S 153.36722°E / -28.00639; 153.36722
Owner Queensland Government
Operator Stadiums Queensland
Capacity

1987 – 2010: 18,000

2011 – present: 25,000 (23,500 seats)
Field size 161 x 134 metres
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground 1986
Opened 1987 (Redeveloped 2010 – 2011)
Architect Populous (2010)
Tenants

Gold Coast Suns, AFL (2011–)
2018 Commonwealth Games
Brisbane Bears, AFL (1987–1993)
Nerang Bulls, Rugby Union (1983–1986)
Gold Coast Clippers, ABL (1989–1990)
Daikyo Dolphins, ABL (1992–1993)
East Coast Cougars/Gold Coast Cougars, ABL (1993–1999)
Gold Coast Chargers, Rugby League (1996–1998)
Gold Coast Titans, NRL (2007)
East Coast Aces, ARU (2007)

North Melbourne Kangaroos, AFL (2007–2008)
Website
www.metriconstadium.com.au

Carrara Stadium (known commercially as Metricon Stadium) is a sporting venue on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, located in the suburb of Carrara.

It received substantial redevelopment work prior to the entry of the Brisbane Bears to the VFL/AFL in 1987, but since the Bears relocated to the Gabba in 1993, it has been used for other sports including rugby league, rugby union and even baseball. The stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as the athletics competitions.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

In 1983 the Nerang Bulls Rugby Union Club was formed and were located at Carrara oval. During 1983 the Bulls would field one senior team. In 1984 the Bulls would field two senior teams. The Bulls would spend two seasons at Carrara before moving to Glennon Park in Nerang in 1985.

Brisbane Bears[edit]

In 1986 it was announced the Brisbane Bears were granted a licence to enter the Victorian Football League for the 1987 VFL season and would use the Carrara oval as their home ground.[1] The financial backer of the Bears, Christopher Skase, redeveloped Carrara oval into a stadium at the beginning of 1987 with makeshift stands designed for night games intended to maximise the television audience. The Fitzroy Football Club defeated the Brisbane Bears in the first VFL game played at Carrara Oval before a crowd of 17,795 in 1987.[1][2] (The Brisbane Lions website records this crowd as unofficially 22,684.)[3]

In 1989 the Brisbane Bears and the Albert Shire Council signed off on a 30-year lease for the ground with an option for a further 10 years. Following this announcement Christpher Skase orchestrated the installment of $6 million flood lights which were never paid for;[4] upon the collapse of Skase's company Qintex, he would flee the country to Spain and the flood lights would continue to be unpaid. Liquidators would attempt to extract money from the Gold Coast City Council for the lights, but after an unsuccessful trial it was found cheaper to leave the flood lights at Carrara Stadium. On 15 July 1989 the Bears hosted the first ever night match at Carrara against the Geelong Cats in front of a then record crowd of 18,198.

Insufficient public transport to and from the stadium and the poor on-field performance of the Bears resulted in poor crowds at the Bears games and prompted the local media to refer to it as the Curse of Carrara.[4] The new owner of the Bears, Reuben Pelerman, would lose a further $10 million between the 1990–1992 AFL seasons, and the Bears would move permanently to The Gabba in 1993,[1] staving off media rumours of a merger with fellow cellar-dwellers Sydney to form a combined Queensland/New South Wales team, the Northern Swans, or relocation to either Tasmania or Port Adelaide.

Other Sports[edit]

In 1988, Carrara Stadium played host to the very first Touch Football World Cup[1] in which teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the USA competed in the Men's, Women's and Mixed Opens as well as Men's Over 35's divisions. Australia won all four division finals which were all played against New Zealand. The Gold Coast Clippers[1] played their 1989–1990 Australian Baseball League (1989-1999) season at Carrara before changing their name to the Daikyo Dolphins and moving to Palm Meadows. For the 1992–93 season they moved back to Carrara as the Gold Coast Cougars.[1] The Cougars stayed at Carrara until the abolition of the Australian Baseball League in 1999.

Change of ownership[edit]

The ground was owned by the Albert Shire Council and transferred to the Gold Coast City Council when the two local authorities amalgamated in 1995. The field is officially known as Laver Oval after long time Albert Shire Chairman Councillor Bill Laver.

Gold Coast Chargers[edit]

Following the folding of the Gold Coast Seagulls in 1995[1] a newly formed Gold Coast Rugby League team named the Gold Coast Chargers were created and began competing out of Carrara Stadium in 1996. They continued to use the ground until the end of the 1998 NRL season when they were excluded from the competition as a part of the rationalisation of the National Rugby League. Rugby league matches continued to be played at the stadium, with pre-season trials being played there annually from 2002 to 2005,[5] and NRL premiership matches played in 2001 and 2005. The ground's capacity was increased slightly during this time.

Gold Coast Titans[edit]

In 2005 the NRL announced that a licence would be awarded to the Gold Coast Titans, and that the stadium would be their home ground in 2007[1] until the completion of the Robina Stadium, which was opened in 2008.[6] In response to the NRL move, the AFL scheduled three AFL 'home games' for the North Melbourne Football Club and a NAB Cup match for Carrara in 2007, and the Queensland State League began hosting Grand Finals there. The Titans would play ten games at Carrara in 2007 and miss the finals. Following the conclusion of the 2007 NRL season, Titans managing director Michael Searle warned the AFL that if a team were to be started on the Gold Coast it would disappear into the Carrara 'black hole' with in five years.[7]

Kangaroos[edit]

In 2006 it was announced the North Melbourne Football Club would play nine home games at Carrara between the 2007–2009 seasons. Following the 2007 AFL season the AFL offered the Kangaroos a $100 million package to relocate from Melbourne to the Gold Coast and be based out of Carrara. On 7 December 2007 the newly appointed Kangaroos chairman James Brayshaw announced the club would not be moving to the Gold Coast permanently and would continue to be based out of Melbourne. Subsequently, the Kangaroos games played at Carrara after the announcement would suffer poor crowds. The AFL released North Melbourne from the final year of a three-year contract after the Kangaroos drew just 6,354 spectators to their final home match at Carrara.[8]

Redevelopment[edit]

The videoboard.

On 7 May 2009, it was confirmed that the Carrara Stadium would receive a $126 million redevelopment.[9] The last event at the old ground was Richmond vs Adelaide in front of 11,174 fans. On 30 October 2009, demolition of the old stadium began.[10] By January 2010, demolition works were complete.[11] Foundations for the grandstands as well as construction for the player and corporate facilities began in May 2010.[11] By October 2010, the eastern grandstand was nearing completion.[11] Just three months later in January 2011 the whole horseshoe-shaped grandstand was completed.[11] By April 2011, the turf had been laid and the 23-by-8.5-metre (75 ft × 28 ft), LED-powered high-definition video board had been installed.[11][12]

The redeveloped stadium cost $144.2 million to build and seats 25,000 spectators (with the ability to house an additional 15,000 temporary seats).[13][14][15] The stadium features an AFL oval capable of accommodating an ICC-compliant cricket oval, an IAAF Athletics field and a FIFA World Cup football field, facilities for 2,000 corporate patrons, AFL team and officials’ changing facilities, AFL media facilities, and team and officials’ suites.[16] Watpac were contracted for the construction, which was scheduled for completion in mid-2011.The Stadium then played host to an International Rules match in November 2011, with 12,595 watching Ireland beat Australia 50 points to 29.[16] MakMax Australia has been contracted to complete the fabric roof of the stadium.[17][18] The stadium was opened for an open day on 22 May 2011, before the first match on 28 May 2011.[19][20] The ground recorded its biggest ever crowd when 24,032 people watched the Suns play Collingwood in Round 16 of the 2014 AFL season, a game the suns won by 5 points.The Gold Coast's successful bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games will see the venue further upgraded to a 40,000 seat venue, and will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the athletics.

Current[edit]

Carrara is the home ground for the Gold Coast Football Club, and also hosts events such as the junior representative championships and QAFL games.

Gold Coast Football Club[edit]

Media facilities at Carrara Stadium.

The Gold Coast Football Club have played their home games at Carrara from mid-2011. The Queensland Government has promised to contribute $60 million towards the redevelopment of the stadium which would increase the capacity to around 25,000 with 23,500 seated.[21] The Gold Coast City Council also will contribute $20 million[22] and the AFL has promised $10 million.[23]

On 15 March 2011, the Gold Coast Football Club announced that home builder group Metricon signed a $3 million, 5-year deal for naming rights of Carrara Stadium, to be known as Metricon Stadium.[24]

The Gold Coast Suns played their first game at the reconstructed stadium on Saturday, 28 May 2011, Round 10 of the 2011 AFL season.[15][20][25] The Suns lost the match against Geelong by 66 points. A round 18 game against 2010 AFL Grand Finalists Collingwood attracted a record crowd of 23,302, which was broken in 2014 when 24,032 attended the Suns round 16 game against Collingwood. The game was sold out two months before game day.[26]

On Saturday 11 August 2012, the Suns won their first game at the venue, defeating Greater Western Sydney by 30 points.

Cricket[edit]

The stadium has hosted Cricket in the past with the Queensland and England facing off in an encounter. Controversy fell over the stadium in 1991 when touring English players David Gower and John Morris chose to go for a joy-ride in two Tiger moth biplanes without telling the England team management.[27] Gower was fined £1000, a penalty that could have been steeper had he released the water bombs he had also prepared. Gower also posed for press photographs with the plane the next day.

A push for Cricket to return to Carrara has been put on the agenda in more recent years. A Brisbane Heat Twenty20 clash has been mooted as the next Cricket match to be played at the ground, along with possible Sheffield Shield and One Day and T20 Internationals, although test matches in Queensland would most likely remain at The Gabba. The stadium has the infrastructure in place for a drop-in cricket pitch.[28]

Musical Acts[edit]

Not since 2001 when KISS performed has Carrara Stadium hosted an international act of that stature prior to the redevelopment. On 10 December 2011 the Foo Fighters performed at Carrara and set the all time attendance record for any event ever held at Carrara Stadium, 37,000 people attended the concert. The Stadium is also featured in the Foo Fighters film clip of "These Days". Filming took place during the concert on 10 December 2011.

On 19 January 2014, the venue will host the Gold Coast leg of Big Day Out for the first time. Its former home, Gold Coast Parklands, is beig re-designed as an athletes village for 2018 Commonwealth Games. Pearl Jam, Blur & Arcade Fire are the headline acts.

Commonwealth Games[edit]

Carrara Stadium will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as hosting the athletics events. The Commonwealth Village was originally going to be located next to Carrara Stadium but is now planned to be built at Parklands. The stadium will be upgraded to hold 40,000 people prior to the start of the opening ceremony.

Tenants[edit]

Transport Access[edit]

Public transport access
Service Station/Stop Line/Route Walking Distance
from Carrara Stadium
Surfside Buslines Aiga bus trans.svg Carrara Stadium 745 50 m (1 min)
Queensland Rail BSicon BAHN.svg Nerang Gold Coast 2.0 km (25 mins)
Future access
Gold Coast Ferries Ferry icon.png Carrara Stadium South 50 m (1 min)
GoldLinQ Trams BSicon TRAM.svg Carrara Stadium West 100 m (2 mins)

The nearest railway station is Nerang, a 25-minute walk from the stadium. On match and event days, special shuttle bus services from Nerang station and Broadbeach serve the stadium. The shuttle buses travel along Route 745, a route that usually passes the stadium. Future transport plans include a ferry service that will stop at the stadium.[29]

A western extension of the GoldLinQ tram line has been mooted as a possibility in the lead up to the 2018 Commonwealth Games with one of the suggested stations being located outside the stadium.[30]

VFL/AFL Records[edit]

Last updated: 2 September 2013

  • Longest Undefeated Streak:
    • 8 games – Adelaide, 1992–
    • 6 games – Essendon, 1988–
    • 6 games – Collingwood, 1987–2011
    • 5 games – Brisbane Bears, 1989–1990
    • 5 games – West Coast, 1987–1992

Attendance records[edit]

Last updated: 5 July 2014

Top 10 Sports Attendance Records

Date Teams Sport Competition Crowd
1 5 July 2014 Gold Coast Suns v. Collingwood Magpies Australian rules football AFL 24,032[31]
2 23 July 2011 Gold Coast Suns v. Collingwood Magpies Australian rules football AFL 23,302[32]
3 18 March 1994 Gold Coast Seagulls v. Brisbane Broncos Rugby League NSWRL 22,688[33]
4 28 May 2011 Gold Coast Suns v. Geelong Cats Australian rules football AFL 21,485[34]
5 8 June 2014 Gold Coast Suns v. Sydney Swans Australian rules football AFL 21,354[35]
6 27 May 2005 North Queensland Cowboys v. Canterbury Bulldogs Rugby League NRL 21,012[36]
7 20 July 2013 Gold Coast Suns v. Collingwood Magpies Australian rules football AFL 19,721[37]
8 27 July 2013 Gold Coast Suns v. Carlton Blues Australian rules football AFL 19,460[38]
9 15 March 2014 Gold Coast Suns v. Richmond Tigers Australian rules football AFL 19,425[39]
10 3 September 2011 Gold Coast Suns v. Hawthorn Hawks Australian rules football AFL 19,314[39]

Top 5 Musical Acts/Events Attendance Records

Date Name Of Tour/Event Band/Singer Crowd
1 10 December 2011 Foo Fighters Australian Stadium Tour 2011 Foo Fighters 37,000[40]
2 19 January 2014 Big Day Out 2014 Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire etc. 35,000[41]
3 13 April 2001 Kiss Farewell Tour Kiss 20,457[42]
4 14 April 2001 Brutal Planet Tour Alice Cooper
5

Awards[edit]

Won[edit]

  • 2011 AFL Fans Favourite Venue
  • 2012 ASI Steel Design Awards for Queensland – Best Large Project Building
  • 2012 ASI Steel Design Awards for Queensland – Best Engineering Project Building
  • 2012 ASI Steel Design Awards for Queensland – Best Use of Sustainability
  • 2012 ASI Steel Design Awards for Queensland – Best Sporting and Community Facility over $20 million

Nominated[edit]

  • 2012 ASI Steel Design Awards for Queensland – Project of the Year
  • 2012 Stadium Business Awards – Project of the Year

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Smart, Nick (27 May 2011). "No longer a white elephant". Gold Coast Bulletin. 
  2. ^ "AFL Tables – Crowds – Carrara". rleague. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  3. ^ 1965–1996: The Spirit Burns Brightly
  4. ^ a b Houghton, Des (2 August 2010). "Breaking the curse of Carrara". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "From Chargers to Titans, the story since 1998". Archived from the original on 4 January 2007. 
  6. ^ "Carrara, Gold Coast Stadium". Archived from the original on 10 March 2007. 
  7. ^ "Carrara a `black hole', says Searle". 
  8. ^ Barrett, Damian (21 May 2008). "Empty seats force AFL to pull plug". Herald Sun. Retrieved 28 May 2009. 
  9. ^ Rogers, Jenny (7 May 2009). "Canberra kicks in $36m for Coast AFL stadium". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "Carrara Stadium redevelopment gets underway". Austadiums. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Timeline to birth of an AFL jewel". Gold Coast Bulletin. 27 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Smart, Nick (27 May 2011). "Room to a unique view". Gold Coast Bulletin. 
  13. ^ Smart, Nick (8 May 2011). "Coast scores AFL stadium". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "Games bid vital to Gold Coast's health". Gold Coast Bulletin. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  15. ^ a b "Welcome to Metricon Stadium". Gold Coast Bulletin. 28 May 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Battenbough, Gemma (7 August 2009). "Watpac wins Carrara Stadium work". Architecture & Design. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "MakMax to top off Gold Coast stadium". Building Products News. 1 July 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Smart, Nick (27 May 2011). "Final piece of puzzle exceeds expectations". Gold Coast Bulletin. 
  19. ^ Rugari, Vince (17 May 2011). "Suns' stadium set to go". Sportal. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Whiting, Michael (19 May 2011). "Gold Coast's first Carrara match set for sell-out". AFL. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  21. ^ "Gold Coast SUNS | AFL – Home". Gold Coast Suns. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  22. ^ GCCC to commit $20M to Carrara stadium
  23. ^ Walsh, Gary (31 March 2009). "Green light for Gold Coast". AFL. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  24. ^ Smart, Nick (15 March 2011). "Metricon lands Suns stadium naming rights". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  25. ^ Wilson, Caroline (10 May 2011). "Suns want Irish game at Carrara". The Age. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  26. ^ Gold Coast ticketing update – Official AFL Website of the Collingwood Football Club
  27. ^ Williamson, Martin (14 January 2006). "When Gower's tour took off". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 5 March 2009. 
  28. ^ Killoran, Matthew (11 March 2013). "Push for a top-class cricket at Metricon". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  29. ^ Potts, Andrew (14 August 2013). "Ferry plan floated for city". Goldcoast.com.au. 
  30. ^ "Western light rail link connecting Nerang and Broadbeach is back on track". Gold Coast Bulletin. 27 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  31. ^ http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2014/16/gcfc-v-coll
  32. ^ Stafford, Andrew (24 July 2011). "A 'stragedy' for defeat". The Age. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  33. ^ Unknown, Unknown (15 August 2007). "Fairytale wish for a field of dreams". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 15 August 2007. 
  34. ^ Greenwood, Emma (29 May 2011). "Fireworks, Special K light up Metricon". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  35. ^ Whiting, Michael (8 June 2014). "Swans eclipse Suns". Australian Football League. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  36. ^ Mascord, Steve (28 May 2005). "Bowen's spark the origin of Cowboys' stampede". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  37. ^ http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2013/17/gcfc-v-coll
  38. ^ http://www.afl.com.au/match-centre/2013/18/gcfc-v-carl
  39. ^ a b "Gold Coast Suns eclipse Richmond Tigers". The Australian. 15 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  40. ^ Simonot, Suzanne (12 December 2011). "Coast can host the superstars now". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  41. ^ Cronin, Seanna (19 January 2014). "Thousands show up for Big Day Out 2014". My Daily News. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  42. ^ Metcalfe, Luke (1 December 2010). "Kiss Farewell Tour". The Full Wiki. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 

External links[edit]