Sydney Entertainment Centre

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Sydney Entertainment Centre
Sydney Entertinment Centre.jpg
Address Harbour Street
Location Haymarket, Sydney
Coordinates 33°52′42″S 151°12′10″E / 33.87833°S 151.20278°E / -33.87833; 151.20278Coordinates: 33°52′42″S 151°12′10″E / 33.87833°S 151.20278°E / -33.87833; 151.20278
Public transit Sydney Light Rail
Owner Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority
Operator AEG Ogden
Capacity Total: 13,250[1]
Basketball: 10,517[2]
Acreage 15,150 m2
Broke ground July 1979
Opened 1 May 1983
Demolished 1 January 2016
Construction cost $42 million
Main contractors John Holland Group
Sydney Kings (NBL) (1990–1999, 2002–2008, 2010–2015)
Sydney Uni Flames (WNBL)

Sydney Entertainment Centre (later known as Qantas Credit Union Arena)[3] is a multi-purpose arena located in Haymarket, Sydney, Australia. It opened in May 1983, to replace Sydney Stadium, which had been demolished in 1970 to make way for the Eastern Suburbs railway line. The centre is currently owned by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, which administers the neighbouring Darling Harbour area, and managed under a lease.

It is one of Sydney's larger concert venues, licenced to accommodate over 13,000 people as a conventional theatre or 8,000 as a theatre-in-the-round. It was the largest permanent concert venue in Sydney until 1999, when the Sydney Super Dome opened at Sydney Olympic Park. The centre's only regular tenant is the Sydney Kings National Basketball League team. The SEC, known as the "Kingdome" during Kings home games has a capacity of 10,517 for basketball.[4]

The venue averages attendances of 1 million people each year and hosts concerts, family shows, sporting events and corporate events. It will be demolished on 1 January 2016.

Notable events[edit]

In December 1983, Cold Chisel played its final Last Stand concert.[5]

Elton John has played numerous concerts there over the years, including eight dates in 1986 with an orchestra. The latter shows were some of the last he performed prior to throat surgery. He has played 45 shows at the venue and will be the final artist to perform at the venue before its demolition.[6][7]

In 1986, Dire Straits finished its 1985–86 world tour by playing 21 consecutive shows at the venue.

Genesis played nine dates at the 1986 leg of the Invisible Touch Tour (25–27 November and 15–20 December). Some of the songs were performed with an Australian string section. Archives 2 – disc 2 holds a version of "Your Own Special Way" recorded at SEC.

David Bowie recorded his performances on 7 and 9 November 1987 from his worldwide Glass Spider Tour for release on video and CD at the Entertainment Centre.

On November 16 and 17, 1990 Eric Clapton two sold-out concerts in front of 26,500 people during is Journeyman World Tour.

American rock band Pearl Jam played two nights in 1995 (10–11 March) during the Vitalogy Tour, three nights (9, 11, 12 March 1998) during the Yield Tour and another three nights (11, 13, 14 February 2003) at the venue during the Riot Act Tour.

Two of The Beatles have performed at the venue, Paul McCartney for three sellout shows in March 1993, and George Harrison made a surprise appearance at a Deep Purple concert in 1984.

Gloria Estefan performed on 10, 12 and 13 April 1997 for her Evolution World Tour.

Mariah Carey performed on 2 and 6 February 1998, for her Butterfly World Tour, a one off concert in January 2013, and again on 10 November 2014 for The Elusive Chanteuse Show.

The cream of Australian music, almost every major music act of the time, including INXS, The Angels, The Divinyls, Dragon, The Saints, Men At Work, and many others, performed at the Oz for Africa concert on 11 July 1985, broadcast live across Australia, and segments were broadcast to the world as part of Bob Geldof's Live Aid.

Cher performed three shows during her Living Proof: The Farewell Tour on 3, 4 and 7 March 2005.

Kylie Minogue has played 25 concerts there, she finished her On A Night Like This Tour, after playing 11 nights there and kicked off her Showgirl: The Homecoming Tour in November 2006. In 20 March 2015, Minogue performed as part of her Kiss Me Once Tour.

Pop rock superstar P!nk performed (a then record-breaking) seven shows there during her 2007 I'm Not Dead Tour. In 2009, with her Funhouse Tour, in support of the number one album, she played a record 12 shows. She recorded her current live DVD at the SEC. P!nk has also announced she will play 8 shows at the SEC in late 2013 on her The Truth About Love Tour.

It also hosts international circuses and shows, such as Disney on Ice and Hugh Jackman's The Boy from Oz.

It is used annually for the Schools Spectacular, which features over 3,000 young performers from across NSW as well as the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge.

Asian pop legend, "God of Songs" Jacky Cheung on 1 October 2011, as part of his Jacky Cheung 1/2 Century World Tour.

In 2011 and 2012, it played host to the Sydney judges' audition stages of the Seven Network singer search programme The X Factor.

Series Number Date
3 Thursday 3 June and Friday 3 June 2011[clarification needed]
4 17–19 May 2012

In June 2013, the venue was host to four sold out performances of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.

In December 2013, the Centre was to host a Bon Jovi concert. It was the band's first show in the Sydney Entertainment Centre after many stadium concerts across Australia.

In January 2014, Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire performed the second headline show of its Reflektor world tour at the venue to a sell-out audience.

On 8 March 2014, American pop star Bruno Mars performed at the venue in front of a sold out crowd for his Moonshine Jungle Tour.

On 14 February 2015, Laura Pausini in his first visit to Australia with The Greatest Hits World Tour.

In December 2015, it gets closed and demolished.

Sporting events[edit]

As a sporting venue, the SEC is best known as the home venue of the Sydney Kings who play in the National Basketball League (NBL). Other sports such as boxing, tennis and indoor motor-cross have also been held.[citation needed]

Jeff Fenech won a number of boxing matches in the 1980s.[8] In July 2011, the IBO Cruiser-weight title match between Antonio Tarver and Danny Green took place.

The SEC hosted the 1991 World Netball Championships, as well as the 1994 FIBA Women's World Championship.[citation needed]

In the 2000 Summer Olympics, the SEC was the venue for volleyball.[9]


As part of a redevelopment of the Darling Harbour precinct, the Sydney Entertainment Centre is to be demolished.[10] The Darling Square residential development will replace the Centre. Replacement facilities are currently being built closer towards the harbour surrounding the Darling Quarter and will contain a larger theatre with a seating capacity of 8,000, an exhibition centre and convention centre that is expected to be the largest in the world. The opening of the new facilities is expected in 2016.[11]

It was originally to be demolished in 2013, along with the surrounding buildings, but was granted a reprieve.[12] The final concerts will be played by Cold Chisel and Elton John on the weekend of 18/19 December 2015.[6][7] It will be demolished on 1 January 2016 and will be replaced as an inner city venue by the nearby 9000-seat ICC Sydney Theatre, as part of a $3 billion redevelopment of Darling Harbour.[7]


  1. ^ "Floor Plans". Sydney Entertainment Centre. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Interactive Floor Plan". Sydney Entertainment Centre. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  3. ^ McCabe, Kathy (18 January 2014). "Sydney Entertainment Centre given two-year lifeline and is now the Qantas Credit Union Arena". The Sunday Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group). Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  4. ^ The Kingdome Sydney Kings
  5. ^ Cold Chisel planning to re-form for another Last Stand in Sydney ABC News 8 September 2014
  6. ^ a b "Elton John to close Entertainment Centre". Sky News Australia. 3 May 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Gorman, James (11 May 2015). "Elton John and Cold Chisel to rattle the walls of the old Sydney Entertainment Centre before bulldozers move in". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  8. ^ The Will of the Marrickville Mauler 24 February 2015
  9. ^ 2000 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 384.
  10. ^ "Sydney Entertainment Centre to be demolished". Austadiums. 23 April 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Sydney Entertainment Centre to be knocked down in $1b makeover". The Sydney Morning Herald. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
  12. ^ History Qantas Credit Union Arena

External links[edit]