Hindmarsh, South Australia 5007
|Opened||1960 (Redeveloped February 2000)|
|Owner||South Australian Government|
|Operator||Office of Recreation & Sport|
|Capacity||17,000 (15,500 seated, 1,500 standing)|
|Field dimensions||120 x 80 metres|
|Adelaide United (A-League) (2005-present)
Adelaide City (NSL) (1986-2004)
West Adelaide SC (NSL) (1977-1999)
Adelaide Rams (NRL) (1998)
Hindmarsh Stadium (currently known as Coopers Stadium due to sponsorship from the Adelaide based Coopers Brewery) is a multi-purpose stadium located in Adelaide, South Australia. It is the home of the Australian A-League team, Adelaide United.
The stadium now has a capacity of 17,000, of which 15,500 is seated. Home team, Adelaide United regularly fill this capacity, and averaged crowds of over 12,000 to its matches during the 2006/2007 Season and 2007/2008 Season. United used the stadium for its home matches in the 2008 AFC Asian Champions League, the 2010 AFC Asian Champions League, and the 2012 AFC Asian Champions League.
The Soccer Association of South Australia owned land on a former brick pit on Torrens Road at Brompton named Rowley Park which was located only 5 km from the city and the original plan was for the land to be the home of Soccer in SA. However, the Soccer Association had received press regarding its failure to grow grass on the site. Rowley Park also had a tendency to flood during winter as the bottom of "The Brick Pit" was below the level of the water table which made playing soccer virtually impossible. The land was eventually leased to a group of speedway drivers and eventually became Rowley Park Speedway.
When it became obvious to the Soccer Association that Rowley Park would be unsuitable as a soccer venue they obtained a lease on Hindmarsh Oval from the Hindmarsh Council. The old Hindmarsh Oval was developed over the years into a rectangular stadium capable of holding 15,000 with a grandstand built during the 1960s that held approximately 2,000 while lighting for night games was installed during the mid-1970s. Other than the grandstand, the ground was all terracing surrounding the playing surface. This changed in 1996 when seats were installed on the eastern side of the ground.
Along with the Olympic Sports Field, Hindmarsh became one of two Adelaide venues in the then new but now-defunct National Soccer League in 1977 and the home ground of the Adelaide City Zebras and later the home ground for West Adelaide Hellas. Hindmarsh would eventually became the sole Adelaide NSL venue during the 1980s.
In 1986 Hindmarsh stadium hosted the first leg of the NSL Grand Final between Adelaide City and Sydney Olympic. Unfortunately for Adelaide fans Olympic won 1-0. Adelaide would go on to win the 2nd leg in Sydney 3-1 and become NSL Champions. Hindmarsh again hosted the NSL Grand Final (this time a single game) in 1994-95 when Adelaide City faced the Mark Viduka led Melbourne Knights. In front of a packed house of over 16,000 the Knights defeated the Zebras 2-0.
As soccer was generally played to smaller crowds during the 1970s and 80s, Hindmarsh became a regular host of the Socceroos in some of their international matches.
Hindmarsh Stadium not only hosted soccer matches but also hosted Rugby Union and Rugby League. In 1992 the New Zealand All Blacks played an exhibition game against a South Australian 'Select' team which included former Wallabies Lock and current day author/media personality Peter FitzSimons. The All Blacks, including goal kicking wizard Grant Fox, ran out easy winners while FitzSimons (rather humorously claiming innocence) was sent off after numerous infringements.
In 1998 the short lived National Rugby League team the Adelaide Rams used Hindmarsh for their last 4 home games of the 1998 NRL season. The Rams debut at the venue was a success when they thumped the Balmain Tigers 52-0 in front of 7,351 fans. The Rams would end up 2-2 at Hindmarsh after defeating the Auckland Warriors but losing to Manly and North Sydney. The Rams were to continue using Hindmarsh as their home ground in the 1999 NRL season, however the team was wound up by owners News Ltd only weeks before the start of the 1999 season.
Other soccer played in the stadium in the past include several international matches, including most of the games played in the 2004 OFC Nations Cup - an event where the Socceroos began their qualifying campaign for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. In 2007 the venue hosted the first two rounds of the Olyroos campaign as they qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics.
On 15 April 2006 on a Saturday night the stadium hosted its first NRL match since 1998 when the Sydney based Penrith Panthers played that year's NRL Grand Finalist the Melbourne Storm. With 7,017 fans in attendance the Storm ran out easy 40-18 winners with emerging rugby league superstar Greg Inglis scoring 3 tries for Melbourne.
On 3 October 2008 it was announced by the SA Government Minister for Recreation and Sport Michael Wright and Cronulla Sharks coach Ricky Stuart that the Sharks would play three NRL home games at Hindmarsh over 3 years starting from 2009. The first of those was against the North Queensland Cowboys on 19 April 2009. On a sunny autumn day the Cowboys defeated the Sharks 34-10 in front of 8,547 fans, the record crowd for a rugby league match at Hindmarsh.
Unfortunately for NRL fans in Adelaide it was announced early in the 2010 season that Cronulla had been allowed by the SA Government to pull out of their contract. Cronulla's official reasons were wanting to concentrate on their home fans by not taking home games away from Toyota Stadium. When the NRL returned to Adelaide in 2010 the Canterbury Bulldogs played at the Adelaide Oval instead of Hindmarsh against the Melbourne Storm. The Bulldogs have since made the Adelaide Oval their 'other' home, returning in 2011, again against the Storm.
The Stadium underwent a major upgrade in time for the 2000 Summer Olympics, an event where it hosted several football group games as well as a quarter final. During the games the stadium had temporary seating installed in the open corners of the venue to increase the capacity of the stadium to approximately 20,000. Even with the capacity increase, Hindmarsh was the smallest of the venues used for the 2000 Olympics, some 5,011 less than the Bruce Stadium in Canberra. Its capacity also paled in comparison to the venue for the Final of the 2000 Olympic football tournament, the main venue of the games, the 110,000 seat Sydney Olympic Stadium.
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