Prior to its construction, major events were usually held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, as it was the largest stadium in Sydney. But the SCG, being an oval field, was not considered ideal for sports requiring a rectangular field such as soccer, rugby league and rugby union, although it had been used many times for such events.
The Sydney Football Stadium has been the Sydney Roosters' home ground since 1988. It is built on the site of the old Sydney Sports Ground which served as the Roosters home ground for decades, and the old SCG No 2 which served as a secondary ground for some state cricket matches, an additional training ground, and athletics. Both grounds were demolished in 1986 to make way for the SFS.
From 1988 to 1999 and from 2002 to 2005, it served as the home ground for the South Sydney Rabbitohs. The Rabbitohs returned to the ground with a one off game against the Broncos in Round 25 of the 2015 NRL season.
The last grand final played at the SFS was the 1998 NRL Grand Final between Canterbury and Brisbane. In front of 40,857 fans, the Broncos ran out easy 38-12 winners to win their 4th premiership from four grand final appearances.
The Sydney Football Stadium has been the venue of some of Australian sport's greatest matches and moments. The final of the 1993 World Youth Cup between Brazil and Ghana was also held at the SFS, Brazil won 2-1. The 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Australia and Argentina featuring Argentine association football legend Diego Maradona, finishing in a 1-1 draw with goals to Aurelio Vidmar for Australia and Abel Balbo for Argentina. This match retains the record attendance at the SFS and many more were actually in attendance as the gates were thrown open close to kick-off as a safety measure.
In 2002, the naming rights were purchased by Aussie Home Loans in a 5-year + 5-year deal. Due to this, the stadium was renamed Aussie Stadium. On 7 July 2007 the stadium reverted to its original Sydney Football Stadium name after Aussie Home Loans and the SCG Trust mutually elected not to extend the naming rights deal.
In 2012 Sydney Cricket Ground Trust announced a master plan to redevelopment Sydney Football Stadium, as well as Sydney Cricket Ground and the surrounding area, with a vision "for the SCG and Allianz Stadium is to create an exciting new concept for Sydney’s central sporting precinct - a revitalised, world-class, sports and recreation facility for NSW and Australia". The development of Sydney Football Stadium would have included a new fully covered roof and a new LED façade mesh for the stadium which would allow the exterior to change colours to suit the home team, similar to Allianz Arena. As well, development to the surrounding area would have included a new public plaza between the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Football Stadium, new transport infrastructure, new underground car parks (4,100 cars) and development of the surrounding parkland. The scheduled start date for the project would have commenced after the completion of the Sydney Cricket Ground redevelopment, in January 2014. In early 2015, the video screens were replaced with large High Definition screens similar to the one at the Dally Messenger Stand at the SCG.
In September 2015, the New South Wales Government announced that within a decade the stadium would be replaced with a new 50,000 to 55,000 seat venue.
1993: Argentinian player Diego Maradona played here in the World Cup qualifier against Australia, in which the match was drawn 1-1. As of 2014, the attendance of 43,967 remains the stadiums largest for a sporting event.
19 December 1997: representatives of clubs affiliated with the Australian Rugby League gathered at the SFS to decide whether to accept News Limited's offer of a settlement with the breakaway 'Super League' - eventually voting in favour by 36 votes to 4.
* Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs and Canberra Raiders hold the record for the most grand final appearances at the stadium with four each. The Bulldogs appeared as Canterbury-Bankstown in 1988 and 1994, as the Sydney Bulldogs in 1995 and as the Canterbury Bulldogs in 1998
* Canberra and the Brisbane Broncos hold the record for most grand final wins at the stadium with three each.
* Brisbane and the Newcastle Knights are the only teams to win each of their grand finals played at the stadium.
* St George and Balmain are the only clubs who failed to win in any of their grand final appearances at the stadium.
* The 1997 grand final attendance of 42,482 remains the record rugby league crowd at the stadium and the third largest sporting attendance in the stadiums 26-year history.
* Canterbury-Bankstown appeared in the first and last grand finals at the SFS.
* Brisbane's 26 point win over Canterbury-Bankstown in 1998 is the biggest grand final winning margin at the SFS. Canberra's 4 point win over Penrith in 1990 is the smallest winning margin.
Since the A-League's first season in 2006, the Sydney Football Stadium has hosted the A-League grand final on three occasions, including the inaugural grand final between Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners.
Sydney Football Stadium can be accessed by car, public transport and by walking. The nearest train station is Central station, three kilometres away. On event days, express shuttle buses run every five minutes from Chalmers Street at Central Station to Moore Park. The buses utilise a bus road off Anzac Parade to improve travel times. In 2015, the Albert (Tibby) Cotter Bridge opened across Anzac Parade opened to improve the pedestrian links between the stadium and Central Station and Surry Hills.