Gold Coast Sports and Entertainment Precinct
The Carrara Sports Precinct is a series of sports facilities and venues, located on the Gold Coast, Queensland, in Australia.
The precinct has hosted professional sports such as Australian rules football, Baseball, Basketball, Cricket, Rugby League and Rugby Union. The area has also been used as a training facility for Soccer teams. The precinct will host the Athletics and Badminton events in the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.
In 1983 the Nerang Bulls Rugby Union Club began using Carrara Oval but relocated to Nerang a year later. In 1986 it was announced the Brisbane Bears were granted a licence to enter the Victorian Football League and Billionaire owner Christopher Skase decided to base the team at Carrara Oval. Skase redeveloped the oval into a stadium with makeshift stands intended to maximize television viewership. By the beginning of the 1987 VFL season, the newly created Carrara Stadium would hold a maximum seated capacity of 16,500.
In 1989, Skase orchestrated the instalment of $6 million flood lights which were never paid for. 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.
The Gold Coast Rollers basketball team were announced to join the National Basketball League in 1990 and the Carrara Indoor Stadium was built to house the team. A newly formed Baseball team named the Gold Coast Clippers also began using Carrara Stadium in 1990 during the summer months. The Bears would relocate to the Gabba permanently in 1992 after years of financial hardship at Carrara. After several name changes and a relocation, the Baseball team now known as the Gold Coast Cougars returned to Carrara Stadium in 1993. The indoor stadium underwent major upgrades in 1996 to the tune of $800,000 in an attempt attract a bigger audience to Rollers' basketball games. The Rollers would fold later that year due to financial struggles.
A newly created National Rugby League team known as the Gold Coast Chargers would take up tenancy at Carrara Stadium in 1996. The Chargers would only last three seasons before folding in 1998. Now the only team still remaining at Carrara, the Cougars won the 1998-99 ABL Championship. The ABL would be disbanded following the season and the Cougars were no more.
- Gold Coast Football Club, nicknamed the Suns, the team competes in the Australian Football League and play out of Metricon Stadium.
|Brisbane Bears||Australian rules football||Carrara Stadium||Australian Football League||1987–92|
|Gold Coast Clippers||Baseball||Carrara Stadium||Australian Baseball League||1989–90|
|Gold Coast Rollers||Basketball||Carrara Indoor Stadium||National Basketball League||1990–96|
|Daikyo Dolphins||Baseball||Carrara Stadium||Australian Baseball League||1992–93|
|Gold Coast Cougars||Baseball||Carrara Stadium||Australian Baseball League||1993–99|
|Gold Coast Chargers||Rugby League||Carrara Stadium||National Rugby League||1996–98|
|Gold Coast Titans||Rugby League||Carrara Stadium||National Rugby League||2007|
|East Coast Aces||Rugby Union||Carrara Stadium||Australian Rugby Championship||2007|
|Gold Coast Blaze||Basketball||Carrara Indoor Stadium (training)||National Basketball League||2007–12|
|Gold Coast United||Soccer||Western Fields (training)||A-League||2011–12|
- Carrara Stadium (capacity: 25,000; outdoor), the premier venue for cricket and Australian rules football, and occasionally other entertainment events. The Gold Coast Football Club hold management rights over the stadium and are currently the only tenants of the venue. Prior to the 2010 redevelopment, the ground played host to a number of Rugby League teams such as the Gold Coast Chargers and the Gold Coast Titans while defunct AFL side the Brisbane Bears were also former tenants of the stadium.
- Carrara Southern Oval (outdoor), an Australian rules football oval that is used primarily as a training ground for the Gold Coast Suns.
- Carrara Indoor Stadium (capacity: 2,992; indoor), a basketball training venue that is located next door to Metricon Stadium. Previous tenants of the venue include NBL teams the Gold Coast Cougars and the Gold Coast Rollers while the Gold Coast Blaze trained at the venue until 2012 when the team folded.
- Carrara Western Fields (outdoor), two international standard football (soccer) fields that are used by Gold Coast Soccer. Former A-League team Gold Coast United used the field for training until the team folded in 2012. The Australian men's and women's national football (soccer) teams have used field for training in the past. The Qatar national football team has also trained at the field.
- Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre (capacity: 2,500; indoor), an indoor sports facility that will be used to host the badminton competition during the Commonwealth Games. The venue will become the Gold Coast Football Club's training and administration facility at the completion of the Commonwealth Games.
- Carrara Athletics Track (capacity: 2,000; outdoor), the premier athletics facility that will be constructed as a warm up track and throwing field for the athletes of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. It will be located on the northern side of Metricon Stadium behind the Carrara Sport and Leisure Centre.
- Carrara Northern Fields (outdoor), four rectangular fields that will be constructed at the northern side of the precinct. The fields will be used as training grounds by travelling Soccer and Rugby teams.
- Smart, Nick (27 May 2011). "No longer a white elephant". Gold Coast Bulletin.
- Houghton, Des (2 August 2010). "Breaking the curse of Carrara". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 18 September 2012.