Sydney Showground Stadium

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Sydney Showground Stadium
The Showgrounds
Skoda Stadium Scoreboard.jpg
Former names Sydney Showground Main Arena
Sydney Baseball Stadium
Škoda Stadium
Location Sydney Olympic Park, New South Wales
Coordinates 33°50′35″S 151°4′4″E / 33.84306°S 151.06778°E / -33.84306; 151.06778Coordinates: 33°50′35″S 151°4′4″E / 33.84306°S 151.06778°E / -33.84306; 151.06778
Owner New South Wales Government
Operator Royal Agricultural Society of NSW
Capacity 24,000[1][2]
21,500 (1998–2011)
Field size 160 x 134 metres
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke ground May 1996
Opened February 1998
Renovated 2001
Expanded 2012
Architect Populous (redevelopment)
Tenants
Sydney Royal Easter Show (1998–present)
GWS Giants (AFL) (2012–present)
Sydney Thunder (BBL) (2015–present)
Sydney Storm (ABL) (1998–1999)
2000 Summer Olympics
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (NRL) (2001–2005)
Website
www.sydneyshowground.com.au

Sydney Showground Stadium (commercial name Spotless Stadium, previously Škoda Stadium)[3] is a sports and events stadium located at the Sydney Showground in Sydney Olympic Park. The Showground, including the stadium, is operated by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS), under lease from the NSW Government.[4]

The stadium hosts flagship events of the Sydney Royal Easter Show, such as the Grand Parade. The stadium is also used for sport. It is the primary home ground of the Australian Football League's Greater Western Sydney Giants and the home ground of the Big Bash League's Sydney Thunder. Events and festivals to have been held at the stadium include Soundwave, Big Day Out, Stereosonic and Big Exo Day.

The stadium opened in 1998 as the Sydney Showground Main Arena. In conjunction with an expansion and upgrade in 2011-12, it was renamed Sydney Showground Stadium.[5]

History[edit]

View of the 2001 Sydney Royal Easter Show Grand Parade, showing the Main Arena prior to redevelopment

Sydney Showground Stadium was constructed as part of the development of the new Sydney Showground, it was built to replace the aging Showground at Moore Park and to provide a venue for the 2000 Summer Olympics.

A $65 million upgrade of the stadium to accommodate the GWS Giants was announced on 9 June 2010.[4] Jointly funded by the NSW Government, the AFL and the RAS, the upgrade included two new stands which increased seating capacity from 13,000 to 25,000 (the stadium seated 13,000 but its full pre-redevelopment capacity was listed as 21,500), upgraded hospitality facilities, improved audio and sound systems and new media facilities.[6] The playing surface was also reconfigured.[4] The upgrade was officially opened on 23 May 2012.[7]

Australian rules football[edit]

The Greater Western Sydney Giants played their first game at the stadium on Saturday, 26 May 2012, Round 9 of the 2012 AFL season.[8] In front of a crowd of 11,887 the Giants lost the match against Essendon by 66 points. The Giants first win at the stadium occurred on 4 August that year, when they defeated Port Adelaide by 34 points.

Cricket[edit]

The Sydney Thunder played two games at the venue during the 2014–15 Big Bash League season when ANZ Stadium was unavailable.[9] In June 2015, the Sydney Thunder announced a 10-year agreement to play all home games at Sydney Showground Stadium until the 2024-25 BBL season.[10]

Baseball and 2000 Olympics[edit]

The stadium hosted the Sydney Storm in the Australian Baseball League for the 1998 and 1999 championship. During the Olympics, it was known as the Sydney Baseball Stadium and was the main baseball venue. The gold medal game played in front of 14,107 saw the USA, managed by Tommy Lasorda, a former two time World Series winning manager with the Los Angeles Dodgers, defeated defending champions Cuba 4-0 to win their first ever Olympic Gold Medal in baseball.[11]

Since the Olympics, no other baseball game has been played at the venue. Other Olympic events hosted were the riding and running portion of the modern pentathlon competitions.[12]

Rugby league[edit]

In 2001, the Canterbury Bulldogs of the NRL moved their home games to the stadium, playing there until 2005 when they moved to ANZ Stadium.

Motorsport[edit]

As the Showground was originally built for both the Royal Easter Show and as a baseball venue, the field included a 450 metres (490 yards) long track that surrounded the playing field of the Stadium prior to its removal during the 2011-12 redevelopment. In the tradition of the Sydney Showground Speedway at Moore Park which ran speedway from 1926 until 1996, the track was used as a Speedway venue, mostly for motorcycle racing, though with limited success. In 2007 and 2008 the Stadium hosted a round of the Australian Solo Championships, just as the old Showground had done on 21 separate occasions between 1935 and 1980.[13] The 2007 championship round, which was the opening round of a five round series, was won by Australia's reigning Speedway World Champion Jason Crump, the son of Phil Crump who won the Australian title at the old Showground in 1975. Jason Crump would go on to win his second Aussie title in 2007, winning three of the five rounds (Newcastle, Sydney and Mount Gambier), while finishing second in Mildura and Adelaide.

The track, which was tight and narrow (a criticism in common with its predecessor) and almost square in shape, was also used for Speedcar racing, also with little success. When the Speedcars raced at the Showground, a temporary fence was put in place on the inside of the track to protect the grass surface from any out of control cars.

The first speedway meeting at the new Showground was held on 1 May 1999 and included an unofficial Solo "Test" between Australia and the United States, won easily by Australia. The program also featured Sidecars, as well as demonstration runs by restored vintage Speedcars and Modifieds which had raced at the old Showground. The speedway was officially opened by 15 time World Champion Ivan Mauger of New Zealand, and the "King of the Royale" (the old Showground Speedway), four time Australian Solo Champion Jim Airey.

On 7 August 2015, the American-based Speed Energy Formula Off-Road series announced they would race at the Stadium as a follow-up to the series' races at the Gold Coast 600.[14]

Configuration[edit]

The southern end of the stadium.

In its present configuration, Sydney Showground Stadium is a playing field running north east to south west. The south western half is surrounded by a single grandstand structure. Additional stands are located on either side of the field, directly adjacent the main structure. A single video screen is located at the north-eastern end. When it was installed, the screen was the largest at a stadium in the southern hemisphere,[15] The stands are:[16][17]

Opened 1998:

  • Members Stand
  • Suttor Stand
  • Vincent Fairfax Stand
  • Sinclair Stand
  • Martin & Angus Stand

Opened 2012:

  • Sydney Royal Stand
  • Cumberland Stand

AFL Records[edit]

Players

Teams

Last updated: 6 September 2014.[18]

Attendance Records[edit]

Top 10 sports attendance records[edit]

No. Date Teams Sport Competition Crowd
1 10 August 2001 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Parramatta Eels Rugby League 2001 NRL season 21,895[19]
2 29 August 2003 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Canberra Raiders Rugby League 2003 NRL season 20,016[20]
3 22 August 2015 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney Australian football 2015 AFL season 19,507[21]
4 16 August 2002 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Parramatta Eels Rugby League 2002 NRL season 19,346[22]
5 13 September 2003 Canterbury Bulldogs v. New Zealand Warriors Rugby League 2003 NRL season 18,312[23]
6 4 March 2001 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Newcastle Knights Rugby League 2001 NRL season 18,109[24]
7 8 September 2001 Canterbury Bulldogs v. St George Illawarra Dragons Rugby League 2001 NRL season 17,975
8 15 March 2014 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney Australian football 2014 AFL season 17,102
9 30 March 2001 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Brisbane Broncos Rugby League 2001 NRL season 16,642
10 6 September 2002 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Brisbane Broncos Rugby League 2002 NRL season 16,492

Last updated on 22 August 2015

Top 5 AFL attendance records[edit]

No. Date Teams Crowd
1 22 August 2015 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney 19,507
2 15 March 2014 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney 17,102
3 9 May 2015 Greater Western Sydney v. Hawthorn 13,556
4 25 August 2013 Greater Western Sydney v. Richmond 12,314
5 26 May 2012 Greater Western Sydney v. Essendon 11,887

Last updated on 22 August 2015[25]

Top 5 BBL attendance records[edit]

No. Date Teams Crowd
1 9 January 2015 Sydney Thunder v. Hobart Hurricanes 15,880[26]
2 17 January 2015 Sydney Thunder v. Melbourne Stars 12,896[27]
3
4
5

Top 5 NRL attendance records[edit]

No. Date Teams Crowd
1 10 August 2001 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Parramatta Eels 21,895[19]
2 29 August 2003 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Canberra Raiders 20,016[20]
3 16 August 2002 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Parramatta Eels 19,346[22]
4 13 September 2003 Canterbury Bulldogs v. New Zealand Warriors 18,312[23]
5 4 March 2001 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Newcastle Knights 18,109[24]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Spotless Stadium". austadiums.com. Austadiums. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Spotless Stadium". sydneyshowground.com.au. Sydney Showground. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Welcome to Spotless Stadium". GWS Giants. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Main Arena Upgrade - Overview
  5. ^ "Sydney Showground Stadium upgrade on track". 29 November 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  6. ^ New Stadium: FAQs
  7. ^ http://www.sopa.nsw.gov.au/resource_centre/park_news/2011_park_news/$65_million_redeveloped_sydney_showground_stadium_opens $65 million redeveloped Sydney Showground Stadium opens
  8. ^ AFL Fixture 2012
  9. ^ Adno, Carly (26 June 2014). "Sydney Thunder to play two BBL fixtures at Sydney Showground when ANZ Stadium hosts Asia Cup matches". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  10. ^ Sydney Thunder Announce Spotless Stadium As New Home Ground
  11. ^ Boxscore
  12. ^ 2000 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 371.
  13. ^ Australian Solo Championship honor roll
  14. ^ "SUPER TRUCKS ADDS SYDNEY TO AUSTRALIAN TOUR". Speedcafe. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "SKODA Stadium Sydney Showground". APP. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  16. ^ http://www.afl.com.au/Portals/0/images/2012/GWS_Skoda%20Stadium%20Map%20-%20D.pdf
  17. ^ http://www.sydneyshowground.com.au/venues/documents/Site%20Map%20-%20Sydney%20Showground.pdf
  18. ^ http://afltables.com/afl/venues/showground.html
  19. ^ a b Mascord, Steve (28 August 2003). "More bad news pain in the neck for Hughes". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  20. ^ a b Gaffeney, Warren (30 August 2003). "Raiders' win spoilt by injury to Croker". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  21. ^ Chong, Jordan (22 August 2015). "Swans thump Giants in Saturday derby cruise". AFL.com.au. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  22. ^ a b Nolan, Ali (16 August 2002). "Bulldogs give the Eels no chance". League Unlimited. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  23. ^ a b Barclay, Chris (14 September 2003). "Meli scores five as Warriors stun Bulldogs". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  24. ^ a b Unknown, Unknown (5 March 2001). "Thrilling draw for the Knights in round three of the NRl 2001". Maitland Mercury. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  25. ^ "Sydney Showground - Attendances (AFL)"
  26. ^ Chammas, Michael (9 January 2015). "Mike Hussey injured as Sydney Thunder silenced by Hobart Hurricanes in Big Bash League". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 June 2015. 
  27. ^ Chammas, Michael (17 January 2015). "Kevin Pietersen shines as Melbourne Stars end Big Bash semi final hopes of Sydney Thunder". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 24 June 2015.