|Suncorp Stadium or Brisbane Stadium|
John Brown Oval
Lang ParkSuncorp-Metway Stadium
|Location||40 Castlemaine St, Milton, Queensland|
|Operator||AEG Ogden (Brisbane) Pty Ltd|
|Construction cost||A$ 280 miliion (redevelopment)|
|Architect||Populous (formerly HOK Sport) and PDT Architects|
|Structural engineer||Ove Arup & Partners|
|Record attendance||52,499 (Australia v British and Irish Lions, 22 June 2013)|
|Queensland (State of Origin) (1980–present)
Brisbane Broncos (NRL) (1988–1992, 2003–present)
Queensland Reds (Super Rugby) (2005–present)
Brisbane Roar(A-League) (2005–present)
South Queensland Crushers (ARL) (1995–1997)
Brisbane Strikers (NSL) (1994–1999)
Lang Park is the original name of the site located in the Brisbane suburb of Milton, Queensland, Australia, now occupied by the major sports facility known by its sponsorship name, Suncorp Stadium (formerly Suncorp-Metway Stadium). Lang Park is also known as Brisbane Stadium when in use during AFC competitions due to conflicting sponsorship reasons.
The current facility comprises a three tiered rectangular sporting stadium with a capacity of 52,500 people. Some[who?] suggest the enclosed stands situated on the sidelines make it arguably the best rectangular stadium in Australia for spectator viewing and atmosphere for rugby league, rugby union and association football (soccer). The top tier is closed for events less than 30,000 enhancing the intimacy.
Lang Park was established in 1914, on the site of a former cemetery, and in its early days was home to a number of different sports, including cycling, athletics and football (soccer). The lease of the park was taken over by rugby league and it became the home of the game in Queensland in 1957 (and remains so to this day). It has also been the home ground of major rugby union and football (soccer) matches in Queensland since its modern redevelopment, including the Queensland Reds and the Brisbane Roar, and some Wallabies and Socceroos matches. It hosted the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Final.
The site of Lang Park was originally the North Brisbane Burial Grounds, and until 1875 was Brisbane's primary cemetery. By 1911 the area was heavily populated, so the Paddington Cemeteries Act (1911) was introduced and the site was redeveloped as a recreational site. In 1914 it was fenced off and named Lang Park after John Dunmore Lang.
The ground was leased by the Queensland Amateur Athletics Association (QAAA) in the 1920s. In 1935, the Queensland Soccer Council (QSC) became a sub-tenant of the QAAA, with a view to using it as the home ground for Brisbane soccer fixtures (leaving its former home, the Brisbane Cricket Ground). The Latrobe Soccer Club, in turn, became a sub-tenant of the QSC, using the ground for its home games (see image below).
However, by 1937, the QSC was considering sub-leasing Lang Park to "another code of football" (most likely Western Suburbs Rugby League) as it "was not satisfied with the financial returns ... under the sub-lease to the Latrobe-Milton club". Latrobe in turn responded that "'If no action Is taken to introduce the Ipswich clubs into the Brisbane competition this' season ... the Latrobe-Milton Club cannot accept an increase in rental for Lang Park. Give us competition play with Ipswich and my club will hold the ground as headquarters for the code." On 11 February 1950, the official opening of the Lang Park Police Citizens Youth Club took place and youth activities commenced because of the concerns with the increase of juvenile delinquency. Activities such as boxing, wrestling, basketball and gymnastics all occur at these premises to this day. Contemporaneous records are scant, but it appears the QSC did not renew the lease the ground after the intervening World War II. In 1953 the Brisbane Rugby League (BRL) amalgamated with the Queensland Rugby League (QRL). QRL secretary Ron McAullife negotiated a 21 year lease of Lang Park from the Brisbane City Council in order to give the QRL a financially viable base of operations. The park had only the most basic facilities, and the QRL contributed £17,000 to its development. Lang Park hosted its first game of first grade rugby league during the 1930s, with regular BRL games commencing there in 1955. In 1958 it hosted its first Brisbane rugby league grand final in which Brothers defeated Valleys 22 points to 7. A record crowd of 19,824 saw Northern Suburbs defeat Fortitude Valley at Lang Park in the BRL grand final in September 1961. Fonda Metassa became a part of Lang Park folklore when he famously burst from the back of an ambulance to return to the field after being carted off injured in a match for Norths against Redcliffe in 1960s. As the ground was used increasingly by the QRL, it became no longer viable for use as a public recreation facility. In 1962 the Lang Park Trust was created under an act of Parliament. This allowed for the construction of the Frank Burke Stand (1962), Ron McAuliffe Stand (1975) and the Western Grandstand (1994). The Trust had on its board one member from the Queensland Government, one member from the Brisbane City Council, two members from the Queensland Rugby League and one member from the Brisbane Rugby League.
From the 1960s Lang Park hosted interstate and international rugby league, including the inaugural State of Origin match. Up until 1972, it was the home ground of the Western Suburbs Panthers and from 1988 to 1992 it was also the home ground of the Brisbane Broncos.
In 1994, the stadium's name was changed to Suncorp Stadium, when naming sponshorship was attained by Queensland financial institution, Suncorp-Metway Limited. On 25 May 1997 the 1996/1997 National Soccer League Grand final was played in front of then a capacity crowd of 40,446, where the Brisbane Strikers F.C. defeated Sydney United FC 2–0.
In the late 1990s, it was decided that Brisbane needed a state of the art rectangular stadium. Suncorp Stadium was chosen as the site. The $280 million redevelopment commenced in July 2001 after Game One of the 2001 State of Origin series. The redevelopment was completed in time for the match between the Brisbane Broncos and Newcastle Knights on June 1, 2003; Brisbane's first game at Suncorp Stadium for more than a decade.
The stadium is now a 52,500 state of the art all-seater rectangular stadium, a far cry from the former Lang Park oval with two grandstands set back from a perimeter road. The only remaining stand from before the redevelopment is the Western Grandstand. The extension of the facility resulted in the demolition of a number of buildings along Milton Road, including the former Brisbane City Council trolley-bus depot.
During their relocating year, the Broncos only recorded one win at the venue, against the Sydney Roosters in Round 16, 2003, unlike one loss at their previous home, ANZ Stadium in Round 5, 2003, against the New Zealand Warriors.
Following its redevelopment, questions were raised about the standard of the surface, which was soft underfoot and sandy and was blamed for a spate of injuries to rugby league players using it (temporarily earning the stadium the nickname "Sandcorp Stadium" ). Prior to the redevelopment, the stadium was known as "The Cauldron", and Queensland fans developed a reputation for vocal support of their teams, adding to this mythology.
Suncorp Stadium suffered major damage as a result of the 2010–2011 Queensland floods with the entire playing field being covered by flood water. As a result, an electrical fire started in a transformer room, however there was no major damage from the fire. Brisbane Roar's match with Wellington Phoenix, originally scheduled for the weekend of 14–16 January, was postponed until January 26, and the remaining Brisbane Roar home matches were relocated to Skilled Park on the Gold Coast. Suncorp Stadium was out of action until late February, but restored just in time for the NRL season kick-off. However, temporary change rooms have been set up as the original change rooms were damaged as a result of the floods. The original change room was restored in time for the 2012 NRL season kick-off.
Although the stadium has been the traditional home of rugby league in Queensland, it has also become the state's premier venue for association football, as well as rugby union. The re-developed Suncorp Stadium first hosted rugby union games at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and in 2005, the stadium became the new home of the Queensland Reds Super Rugby team when they moved from their former home at Ballymore Stadium. This move caused some disquiet amongst rugby traditionalists, however was accepted by Queensland Rugby Union CEO Theo Psaros, who said that "our hearts may be at Ballymore but our heads say it's time to move.". The year before the Reds' move, the newly established football team Queensland Roar of the A-League also elected to play their home games at Suncorp Stadium.
New Zealand rugby journalist Wynne Gray called Suncorp Stadium perhaps the best rugby stadium in the world. "It is so intimate you can hear the smack of bodies, the boot on leather, you feel the power and rhythm of the games."
On 29 July 2006 the Bledisloe Cup clash between Australia and the All Blacks returned to Brisbane for the first time in over a decade for the 2006 Tri Nations Series. Though Australia narrowly lost the match, the game saw a new ground record set.
A month later on the 7th of October the stadium hosted a 1–1 friendly football game between Australia and Paraguay in which Tony Vidmar, Stan Lazaridis, Zeljko Kalac and goal scorer Tony Popovic all retired from international football.
On Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 December, Suncorp Stadium hosted its first music concert since the 1980s and the stadium's redevelopment when Robbie Williams performed in front of two 52,413 sell-out crowds during his "Close Encounters" tour of Australia, and was the venue for the U2 360 tour in December 2010. That same month the stadium hosted Bon Jovi as part of The Circle Tour.
Suncorp Stadium was also the site of the 2011 A-League Grand Final, drawing a crowd of over 50,000 for the climactic football event. The match was one of the dramatic in A-League history, with the Brisbane Roar scoring two goals in the last five minutes to level the scores with the Central Coast Mariners after several hundred home supporters had left the stadium early, many returning after hearing the stadium erupt while waiting for the train. The Roar went on to win 4–2 in the penalty shootout, making for an incredible victory.
The stadium is also home to the Lang Park Police Citizens Youth Club.
|Queensland (State of Origin)||Rugby League||52,498||2011|
|Wallabies||Rugby Union||47,444||2012 International Rugby Union Tests|
|Queensland Reds||Rugby Union||34,217||2012 Super Rugby season|
|Brisbane Broncos||Rugby League||33,337||2012|
In the 1980s Brisbane rugby league icon Wally Lewis became known as The Emperor of Lang Park after his performances in State of Origin matches played at the ground. Brisbane-based beer XXXX, which is brewed at the nearby Castlemaine Brewery, ran a television advertisement celebrating this title in song.
- Here's to Wally Lewis for lacing on a boot
- Sometimes he plays it rugged, sometimes he plays it cute
- He slices through a backline like a Stradbroke Island shark
- There's glue on all his fingers, he's the Emperor of Lang Park
It is also known colloquially in rugby league circles as "the Cauldron", especially by visiting teams. This is due to how difficult it is for visiting teams to escape with a win under their belt, and the fact that when large crowds are present verbal communication is almost non-existent between players as their voices are inevitably lost beneath the roar of the crowd. This is also due to Suncorp Stadiums perfect rectangular stadium design, where patrons are almost sitting on top of the players: the roar has been indicated to develop a noise higher than the Melbourne Cricket Ground and ANZ Stadium many high class players have also indicated the atmosphere value of Suncorp Stadium.
In 2006, Queensland Minister for Sport, Tom Barton introduced the Stadium'd Sports Media Hall of Fame which honours the achievements of media representatives who have covered the two major football codes (Rugby League and Rugby Union) played at this historic ground over the past 40 years. So far there are three inductees: rugby league commentator George Lovejoy, rugby league journalist Jack Reardon and Frank O'Callaghan.
|13-14 December 2006||Robbie Williams||104,992|
|22 January 2008||The Police||25,391|
|3-4 December 2008||André Rieu||46,835|
|8-9 December 2010||U2||84,011|
|14 December 2010||Bon Jovi||40,520|
|21 November 2012||Coldplay||52,497|
|7 December 2013||Taylor Swift||40,000|
|17 December 2013||Bon Jovi||-|
|20 February 2014||Eminem||-|
Controversially, the redevelopment was the first major sporting facility in Australia with no car parking, primarily due to concerns with traffic congestion in the surrounding residential neighborhood. The stadium's proximity to pubs, restaurants, cafes, bars and the XXXX brewery, together with dedicated pedestrian links to Milton railway station and Brisbane CBD adds to the match day experience and is seen as a model for new stadiums and large entertainment venues. The stadium redevelopment has been the catalyst for the Barracks urban renewal development at Petrie Terrace midway along the dedicated pedestrian link to the CBD.
|Car||There is no public parking at the Stadium. However, paid parking stations are available within 10 minute walking distance in the CBD.|
|Record crowd||52,499 – Rugby Union, 22 June 2013
Australia vs British & Irish Lions
2013 British and Irish Lions tour to Australia
|Video screen||Yes (x2)|
|Sports played||Rugby League, Rugby Union, Football|
|Annual events||State of Origin series, Queensland Cup Grand Final|
|Historic events||1968 Rugby League World Cup
1975 Rugby League World Cup
1977 Rugby League World Cup
1980 State of Origin game
2003 Rugby Union World Cup
2008 Rugby League World Cup (plus the Final)
2011 Super Rugby Final
2011 A-League Grand Final
1993 FIFA World Youth Championship*
* The first golden goal since the 1993 rule change by FIFA was in March 1993 by Australia against Uruguay in a quarterfinal match at the FIFA World Youth Championships at Suncorp Stadium, Qld, Australia
2015 AFC Asian Cup.
On Saturday, June 16, 2011, The Weekend Australian revealed that Suncorp Stadium was in danger of either losing the hosting rights to all Queensland based NRL finals matches to Sydney, or having its capacity limited to 25,000 seats, due to a condition included in the legislation regarding the Stadium's redevelopment that only 24 'special events' (i.e. with attendance in excess of 25,000) a year can hosted at the venue. This number of special events was reached when the Brisbane Broncos faced the Manly Sea Eagles in Round 26 of the 2011 NRL Telstra Premiership Season. On September 6, 2011, legislation was passed to lift the crowd capacity limit to 35,000 for those 24 events, enabling the Broncos to host finals matches should they progress that far. 
- Brisbane Courier Mail - 30 March 1935
- Brisbane Courier Mail - 21 January 1937
- Brisbane Courier Mail - 29 January 1937
- "Norths thrash Valleys 29–5". The Sun-Herald (Australia). 24 September 1961. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
- "Suncorp Stadium ravaged by floods". The Herald Sun. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "Suncorp Stadium sunk amid devastation and fears worse to come". The Australian. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "SPORTS MEDIA HALL OF FAME OPENS AT SUNCORP STADIUM". suncorpstadium.com.au. 28 July 2006.
- Daniel Hurst (2011-09-06). "Suncorp Stadium gets big-game green light". brisbanetimes.com.au. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
- ^ Gallaway, Jack Origin: Rugby League's Greatest Contest 1980–2002 University of Queensland Press, 2003 ISBN 0-7022-3383-8
- ^ McGregor, Adrian King Wally University of Queensland Press, 1986 ISBN 0-7022-2037-X
- ^ Mallory, Greg "Key 'Milestones' Affecting Community and Administration in the Brisbane Rugby League: 1922 -1987" retrieved 7 December 2005
- ^ Suncorp Stadium History retrieved 5 December 2005
- Suncorp Stadium by the Queensland Government Major Sports Facilities Authority, retrieved 6 December 2005
- Suncorp Stadium Redevelopment retrieved 6 December 2005
- ^ Intimate Suncorp best in world. Wynne Gray, New Zealand Herald, 4:00AM Saturday 13 Sep 2008 retrieved 14 September 2008.
- ^ Time to deliver accessed 19 July 2006.
- ^ Is the optimism in English rugby justified? Garth Hamilton, www.theroar.com.au accessed 19 November 2010.
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