Stadium Australia

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ANZ Stadium
Olympic Stadium, Homebush Stadium
ANZ Stadium logo.svg
Australia Stadium..jpg
Former names Telstra Stadium (2002–2007)
Location Sydney, Australia
Coordinates 33°50′50″S 151°3′48″E / 33.84722°S 151.06333°E / -33.84722; 151.06333Coordinates: 33°50′50″S 151°3′48″E / 33.84722°S 151.06333°E / -33.84722; 151.06333
Broke ground September 1996
Opened 6 March 1999
Owner Stadium Australia Group
Operator Stadium Australia Group
Surface Grass
Construction cost A$ 690 million [1]
Capacity 82,500 (Oval)
84,000 (Rectangle)
110,000 (2000 Summer Olympics)
Field dimensions 170m x 128m (Oval)
Website www.anzstadium.com.au
Tenants
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (NRL) (1999–present)
New South Wales Blues (State of Origin) (1999–present)
Sydney Swans (AFL) (2001–present)
2000 Summer Olympics
South Sydney Rabbitohs (NRL) (2006–present)
New South Wales Waratahs (Super Rugby) (2009–present)
New South Wales Blues
Sydney Thunder (Big Bash League) (2012-present)
GWS Giants (AFL) (2012–present)
2015 AFC Asian Cup

Stadium Australia, known for sponsorship reasons as ANZ Stadium, formerly Telstra Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium located in the Sydney Olympic Park, in Sydney, Australia. The stadium, which in Australia is sometimes referred to simply as the "Olympic Stadium", was completed in March 1999 at a cost of A$690 million to host the 2000 Summer Olympics.[1] Every year since the stadium was built, the New South Wales rugby league team's home games in the State of Origin series have been played there. Also since then the stadium has since hosted the annual National Rugby League grand final. ANZ Stadium also hosted the 2003 Rugby World Cup finals and Bledisloe Cup matches as well as regular Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL matches.

The stadium was originally built to temporarily hold 110,000 spectators, making it the largest Olympic Stadium ever built as well as the largest stadium in Australia. In 2003 reconfiguration work was completed to shorten the north and south wings, and install movable seating. These changes reduced the capacity to 83,500 for a rectangular field and 82,500 for an oval field (making it the second largest stadium in Australia, after the Melbourne Cricket Ground). Awnings were also added over the north and south stands, which allows most of the seating to be undercover. The stadium was also engineered along sustainable lines for example with the low use of steel in the roof structure in comparison to the Olympic stadiums of Athens and Beijing.[2]

Naming rights[edit]

The stadium lacked a naming rights sponsor in its formative years, bearing the name Stadium Australia between its opening in 1999 and 2002. In 2002, telecommunications company Telstra acquired the naming rights, resulting in the stadium being known as Telstra Stadium. On 12 December 2007 it was announced by the Stadium Australia Group (SAG) that the stadium's name was to be changed to ANZ Stadium after concluding a deal with ANZ Bank worth around A$31.5 million over 7 years.[3] This change took effect on 1 January 2008.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Nighttime view of Sydney Olympic Park

In 1993, Stadium Australia was designed to host the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The first sporting event held at the stadium was on 6 March 1999 when a then-record rugby league football crowd of 104,583 watched the NRL first round double-header, featuring Newcastle v Manly and Parramatta v St George Illawarra Dragons. The attendance broke the old record of 102,569 set at the Odsal Stadium in Bradford, England for the 1954 Challenge Cup Final replay between Warrington and Halifax.

The first musical act held at the newly built stadium was the Bee Gees consisting of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb in March 1999. The band had embarked on what would be their final world tour as a group before the death of Maurice, the culmination of the tour ending in the newly built Olympic Stadium. The turnout crowd was 105,000+.

The stadium was not officially opened until June 1999 when the Australian National Soccer team played the FIFA All Stars. Australia won the match 3–2 in front of a crowd of 88,101. Stadium Australia also played host to the national side's historic playoff win over Uruguay in November 2005, a victory which granted Australia FIFA World Cup qualification for only the second time in the country's history. The event attracted a virtual capacity crowd of 82,698.

The 1999 Bledisloe Cup rugby union match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks attracted a then-world record rugby union crowd of 107,042. In 2000 this was bettered when an almost capacity crowd of 109,874 witnessed the "Greatest ever Rugby Match" when a Jonah Lomu try sealed an All Blacks win over the Wallabies 39–35. The All Blacks had led 24-nil after 11 minutes only to see Australia draw level at 24-all by halftime.

An exhibition soccer match between the Socceroos and Premier League team Manchester United was played on 18 July 1999. Manchester United defeated Australia 1-0 in front of 78,000 spectators.

On 7 August 1999, a National Football League (American Football) exhibition game called the American Bowl was played between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers, bringing home former Australian Football League player Darren Bennett, the Chargers' punter. The Broncos won the game 20–17 in front of 73,811 spectators. This was Australia's first, and currently only, American Bowl game.

The 1999 National Rugby League Grand Final, played on 26 September between the Melbourne Storm and the St George Illawarra Dragons, broke the rugby league world-record crowd previously set earlier in the season when 107,999 came to watch the Storm defeat the Dragons 20–18 to win their first NRL Premiership. Storm captain Glenn Lazarus, who had previously won Grand Finals with Canberra (1989 and 1990), and Brisbane (1992 and 1993) retired after the game having played 254 games.

Track and Field events at Stadium Australia during the 2000 Summer Olympics

During the 2000 Olympics, the evening track and field sessions on day 11 attracted 112,524 spectators on the night that Cathy Freeman won the Olympic Gold Medal for the Women's 400 metres.[4] Also during the Olympics, the association football (soccer) final attracted 104,098 to witness Cameroon defeat Spain for its first-ever Olympic gold medal.

The opening ceremony for the 2000 Summer Olympics at the stadium completely sold out all 110,000 seats, while the highest attendance ever recorded was 114,714 during the closing ceremony of the same Games.

Australian rock band AC/DC played 3 shows in February 2010 (18th, 20th & 22nd) as part of their Black Ice World Tour, supported by Wolfmother. Respectively the shows had an attendance of 70,282, 75,867 and 66,896.[5]

Irish rock band U2 performed at ANZ stadium on 13 and 14 December 2010 as part of their U2 360 tour. They may have set a new attendance record for the reconfigured stadium with over 90,000 people expected at each show. ANZ stadium claimed that it would be the biggest event since the 2000 Olympic Games.

On 6 July 2013 a new rectangle configuration crowd record of 83,702 watched the British and Irish Lions defeat the Wallabies to win the Tom Richards Cup by 2-1. However just 10 days later this record was surpassed when 83,813 fans gathered to watch the 2013 State of Origin series' third and deciding match between New South Wales and Queensland.

US rock band Bon Jovi performed at the stadium on 14 December 2013. The show was sold out and it was the biggest concert there since U2 in 2010.[citation needed]

Post Reconfiguration[edit]

Stadium Australia in 2011 after the reconfiguration

The Sydney Swans v Collingwood Australian Football League (AFL) match at the Stadium on Saturday, 23 August 2003 set an attendance record for the largest crowd to watch an Australian rules football match outside of Victoria with 72,393 spectators (near capacity) attending and was the largest home-and-away AFL crowd at any Australian stadium for 2003. The attendance broke the record of 66,897 set at Football Park in Adelaide, South Australia on 28 September 1976 for the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) Grand Final between Sturt and Port Adelaide Football Clubs.

Oval configuration with Rugby goal posts. As a guide, the Rugby goal posts are 100 metres apart (approx. 110 yards)

2 October 2005 saw 82,453 attend the NRL grand final in which the Wests Tigers defeated the North Queensland Cowboys 30–16.

16 November 2005 saw 82,698 attend the second leg of the Oceania-South America Qualification Playoff game for qualification to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Australia defeated Uruguay 1–0, which led to a penalty shootout as Uruguay had won the first leg of the playoff 1–0. Australia won the shootout 4–2 and secured a spot in the World Cup for the first time since 1974. The penalty spot where John Aloisi's spot kick secured victory has been permanently preserved and is on public display at the stadium.[6]

In February 2009, the stadium replaced its existing two television screens with new Panasonic HD LED video screens that measure 23x10m – 70% larger than the original screens, and 50% larger than the screens in the Beijing National Stadium, whilst consuming less power than the old screens. Additionally, an LED perimeter screen showcasing ANZ advertising has been installed on the second level from the 30m line to the 30m line.[7]

30 September 2012 saw the largest ever NRL Grand Final crowd since reconfiguration when 82,976 attended the 2012 NRL Grand Final to see the Melbourne Storm defeat the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 14–4. This number was nearly reached in the 2009 NRL Grand Final between the Storm and the Parramatta Eels, with 82,538 in attendance. On 13 and 14 December 2010, a U2 concert, one of the biggest in history, was held at the ANZ Stadium.

On 6 July 2013, the third Wallabies vs the British and Irish Lions rugby union Test attracted the then largest ever crowd since the stadiums reconfiguration when 83,702 saw the Lions smash The Wallabies 41-16 in the deciding test of the series.

The record set by the Wallabies test was broken just 10 days later on 17 July when 83,813 attended Game 3 of the 2013 State of Origin series. Queensland defeated NSW 12-10 to win their 8th straight Origin series. With 80,380 attending Game 1 at the stadium, the attendances also broke the Origin attendance records for the first and third game of a series.

Development[edit]

In October 2001, major reconfiguration work on the stadium was commenced to allow for sports that require an oval field, such as cricket and Australian rules football, to be played at the ground. The two wing stands were removed as well as the athletics track and a movable seating section was introduced in its place. New roofs were built over the two ends and seats that had a poor view of the field were removed. The reconfiguration reduced the capacity to 84,000 for the rectangular field and 82,500 for the oval field at a total cost of $80 million. The construction work was carried out by Multiplex.[8]

The reconfiguration work was completed in October 2003 in time for the 2003 Rugby World Cup where the then Telstra Stadium hosted the opening game, two other groups games, both semi-finals, the third-place play-off and final matches of the competition. In the first semi-final on 15 November 2003, Australia beat New Zealand 22–10 and then in the second semi-final the following day England beat France 24–7. In the final, on 22 November, England beat Australia 20–17 in extra time.

Uses[edit]

Various sporting codes have used this ground on a regular basis. The National Rugby League is the most regular tenant of the ground, while Rugby Union internationals, Association Football internationals and Australian Rules Football are all played at the ground. ANZ Stadium hosts the following:

Rugby league football[edit]

Rugby union[edit]

Association football (soccer)[edit]

2015 AFC Asian Cup[edit]

Date Time (UTC+10) Team #1 Res. Team #2 Round Attendance
January 10, 2015 TBD  Uzbekistan Match 3  North Korea Group B
January 13, 2015 TBD  Oman Match 10  Australia Group A
January 15, 2015 TBD  Qatar Match 14  Iran Group C
January 19, 2015 TBD  Qatar Match 22  Bahrain Group C
January 23, 2015 TBD Winner Group C Match 27 Runner-up Group D Quarter-finals
January 26, 2015 TBD Winner March 25 Match 29 Winner Match 27 Semi-finals
January 31, 2015 TBD Winner March 29 Match 32 Winner Match 30 Final

Australian rules football[edit]

  • The Sydney Swans play up to four "blockbuster" games at the venue each season, with their remaining home games played at the Sydney Cricket Ground. From 2010, only three games will be played at ANZ Stadium by the Swans. All 'home' finals hosted by the Swans (except for one in 2005 due to the stadium being unavailable) and Giants are also played at this stadium.
  • The Greater Western Sydney Football Club has ANZ Stadium as an option for home games when the Main Arena in Sydney Showground, their competition home ground, is otherwise unavailable after they enter the AFL in 2012.
  • All Sydney Derbies are played at this ground, regardless of the home team. (no longer the case in 2013 as the Swans will take their home game to their regular ground the SCG)

Cricket[edit]

Other sports[edit]

The stadium has also hosted Speedway Grand Prix of Australia on one occasion in 2002. The SGP drew a crowd of approximately 30,000 fans.

Attendance records[edit]

  Before reconfiguration After reconfiguration
Oval shape Rectangular shape
Stadium capacity 110,000 82,500 84,000
Overall 114,714
Closing ceremony
(Sydney 2000 Olympics)
1 October 2000
72,393
Sydney v Collingwood
(2003 AFL season)
23 August 2003
83,813

New South Wales vs Queensland
(2013 State of Origin series)
17 July 2013

Athletics 112,524
Sydney 2000 Olympics
23 September 2000
Rugby League
(State Of Origin)
88,336
New South Wales vs Queensland
(1999 State of Origin series)
9 June 1999
83,813
New South Wales vs Queensland
(2013 State of Origin series)
17 July 2013
Rugby league
(all matches)
107,999
St. George Illawarra v Melbourne
1999 NRL Grand Final
26 September 1999
83,813
New South Wales vs Queensland
(2013 State of Origin series)
17 July 2013
Rugby league
(finals)
107,999
St George Illawarra v Melbourne
1999 NRL Grand Final
26 September 1999
82,976
Canterbury-Bankstown v Melbourne
2012 NRL Grand Final
30 September 2012
International association football (soccer)
104,098
Spain vs Cameroon
(Sydney 2000 Olympics)
30 September 2000
82,698
Australia v Uruguay
16 November 2005
Club association football (soccer)
83,127
A-League All Stars v Manchester United
20 July 2013
International Cricket 59,569
Australia v India
T20 International
1 February 2012
Domestic Cricket 31,262
Sydney Thunder v Sydney Sixers
(2011-12 Big Bash League)
8 January 2012
Rugby union 109,874
Australia v New Zealand
(2000 Rugby Union Tri-Nations)
15 July 2000
83,702
Australia v British and Irish Lions
(2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia)
6 July 2013
Australian rules football
(all matches)
72,393
Sydney v Collingwood
(2003 AFL season)
23 August 2003
Australian rules football
(finals)
71,019
Sydney v Brisbane
2003 AFL Preliminary Final
20 September 2003

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Sydney Football Stadium
Moore Park
National Rugby League
Grand Final Venue

1999–present
Succeeded by
incumbent
Preceded by
Centennial Olympic Stadium
Atlanta
Summer Olympics
Opening and Closing Ceremonies (Sydney Olympic Stadium)

2000
Succeeded by
Olympic Stadium
Athens
Preceded by
Sanford Stadium
Athens, Georgia
Summer Olympics
Football Men's Finals (Sydney Olympic Stadium)

2000
Succeeded by
Olympic Stadium
Athens
Preceded by
Centennial Olympic Stadium
Atlanta
Olympic Athletics competitions
Main Venue

2000
Succeeded by
Olympic Stadium
Athens
Preceded by
Millennium Stadium
Cardiff
Rugby World Cup
Final Venue

2003
Succeeded by
Stade de France
Saint-Denis
Preceded by
Khalifa International Stadium
Doha
AFC Asian Cup
Final Venue

2015
Succeeded by
To be
announced