East Fremantle Oval

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ATOM Stadium
East Fremantle Oval
East Fremantle Oval – stands (cropped – 1).jpg
Full name East Fremantle Oval
Location East Fremantle, Western Australia
Coordinates 32°2′45″S 115°46′7″E / 32.04583°S 115.76861°E / -32.04583; 115.76861Coordinates: 32°2′45″S 115°46′7″E / 32.04583°S 115.76861°E / -32.04583; 115.76861
Owner Town of East Fremantle
Operator East Fremantle Football Club
Capacity 20,000
Record attendance 21,317 (1979)
Surface grass
Construction
Built 1904–06
Opened 1906
Expanded 1953
Tenants
East Fremantle Football Club (1906; 1953–)
East Fremantle Lacrosse Club

East Fremantle Oval (known under a sponsorship agreement as Atom Stadium[1] and nicknamed "Shark Park",[2]) is an Australian rules football ground located in East Fremantle, Western Australia. The ground was opened in 1906, and underwent a large redevelopment in 1953. It current serves as the home ground of the East Fremantle Football Club in the West Australian Football League (WAFL). East Fremantle Oval has a capacity of around 20,000 people, but has hosted in excess of this number previously, with a record crowd of 21,317 for a match between East Fremantle and South Fremantle in 1979.

History[edit]

In 1903, the East Fremantle Municipal Council received two grants of land, totalling 15 acres, for the establishment of a recreation reserve near the Canning Road. A sum of £3,579 over three years was expended on improvements to the reserve, which including the establishment of a bowling green, bandstand, croquet lawn, tennis courts and cricket pitch.[3] The football ground was completed in 1906, and opened by the Governor of Western Australia, Sir Frederick Bedford, on 2 June 1906.[4] The Western Mail reported: "The ground had been laid out in good taste, and with a view to the requirements of the public." The first WAFA game at the ground was held the following weekend on Saturday, 9 June 1906, with East Fremantle defeating East Perth by 18 points, 7.7 (49) to 4.7 (31).

The ground was also utilised by the East Fremantle Lacrosse Club as one of its home venues,[5] and hosted a "Test match" between two Fremantle and Perth sides in 1908.

In 1924, the ground hosted what was to be the final edition of the West Australian State Championship with Subiaco defeating Goldfields Football League side Boulder City 12.12 (84) to 8.13 (61). Pat Rodriguez kicked seven goals for the Maroons.[6]

Shirley de la Hunty running at the oval in 1960.

Supported by the East Fremantle Town Council, the ground underwent extensive redevelopment from 1949 to 1953. The redeveloped ground was opened by William Wauhop, the Mayor of East Fremantle, on 25 April 1953, with the president, Pat Rodriguez, and secretary, Billy Orr, of the WANFL in attendance.[7] The first match on the new ground was played on the same date, with East Fremantle defeating Claremont by two points.

The ground had a reputation, particularly before the construction of the public stand in 1971, as one of the windiest grounds in the competition. The West Australian said after the first game in 1953: "Visiting teams are certain to be worried by the wind factor at East Fremantle Oval, which is comparatively high and unsheltered from sea breezes."

Pink Floyd played a concert at the ground on 24 February 1988 as part of their A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour.[8]

In 1995, the ground hosted the Fremantle Football Club’s first-ever game against another Australian Football League club – a practice match against Essendon on 11 February, with the Dockers winning 14.11 (95) to 6.9 (45) in front of a crowd of 15,921 people.[9] The ground also hosted a match in the 1995 Ansett Cup, with St Kilda defeating Fremantle 19.7 (121) to 13.8 (86) with a crowd of 10,028 people. Stewart Loewe kicked nine goals.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hope, Shayne (31 July 2014). "Sharks will now lurk at ATOM Stadium". The West Australian. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  2. ^ Balmain Dockers players delighted with their experience at Shark Park – East Fremantle Football Club. Posted 21 December 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  3. ^ East Fremantle Oval history – effc.com.au. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  4. ^ "OPENING OF THE EAST FRE-MANTLE OVAL" – The Western Mail. Published Saturday, 2 June 1906. Retrieved from Trove, 28 October 2011.
  5. ^ History – eastfremantlelacrosse.com. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  6. ^ "THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. SUBIACO DEFEAT BOULDER." – Western Argus. Published Tuesday, 14 October 1924. Retrieved from Trove, 7 September 2011.
  7. ^ "League Football Season To Open Today"} – The West Australian. Published Saturday, 25 April 1953. Retrieved from Trove, 28 October 2011.
  8. ^ Pink Floyd Concert Setlist at East Fremantle Oval on 24 February 1988 – setlist.fm. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  9. ^ 1995 review – footystats.freeserves.com. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  10. ^ Fremantle pre-season games – AFL Historical Stats. Retrieved 28 October 2011.

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • (1996) East Fremantle Oval feasibility study / Town of East Fremantle, East Fremantle Sharks. East Fremantle, W.A.: The Town,.