Perth Oval

Perth Oval, also known for sponsorship reasons as HBF Park,[2] is a sports stadium in Perth, the capital of the Australian state of Western Australia. Located close to Perth's central business district, the stadium currently has a maximum capacity of 20,500 people for sporting events and 25,000 people for concerts, with the ground's record attendance of 32,000 people set during an Ed Sheeran concert in 2015.[3] The land on which the stadium was built was made a public reserve in 1904, with the main ground developed several years later.

HBF Park
(Perth Oval)
Full namePerth Oval
Former namesLoton Park
Members Equity Stadium
ME Bank Stadium
nib Stadium
LocationLord Street
Perth, Western Australia
Coordinates31°56′45″S 115°52′12″E
OwnerCity of Vincent
Executive suites24
Capacity20,500 (Sports mode)[1]
Record attendance32,000 (Concert, 2015)
ScoreboardLED Screen
Renovated2004 and 2012

Perth Glory FC (A-League) (1996–present)
Australia national soccer team
Rugby Union

Western Force (NRC, GRR) (2010–present)
Australia national rugby union team

Perth Oval was the home ground of the East Perth Football Club in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) from 1910 until 2002, and hosted several of the competition's grand finals during that time. In 2004, the ground was redeveloped, altering it from an oval field to a rectangular field. The ground is currently home to two major professional sporting clubs: Perth Glory FC, a soccer team competing in the A-League, and the Western Force, a rugby union team playing in the Global Rapid Rugby competition. The ground is also used by the WA Reds, a semi-professional rugby league team competing in the S. G. Ball Cup, as well as for concerts.

Current use

The stadium is currently used for hosting sports events and concerts.


In sports mode the stadium has a capacity of around 20,500. Soccer club Perth Glory has played at the ground since 1996. The stadium is unusual among modern Australian stadiums for having a standing terrace at the northern end of the ground, called 'The Shed'.

The ground has hosted rugby union team Western Force since 2010. The Force's move to the stadium led to a minor redevelopment of facilities at the ground, including an increase in capacity and improved lighting.[4]

For 2008 the stadium hosted WA Reds home matches in the Bundaberg Red Cup.

Since 2009, there have been annual NRL games played at the oval, generally as South Sydney Rabbitohs home games, with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles joining in 2016. The stadium has housed the administrative facilities of the Western Australia Rugby League since 2003.[5]

In 2015, the stadium hosted a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier between the Australia and Bangladesh, the first A-international in Perth in over a decade.[6]


The capacity for concerts is now over 25,000.[7] A record 32,000 crowd attended the Ed Sheeran concert in 2015.


Early history

The land on which the stadium is built was known as Loton's Paddock after the previous owner William Loton, Lord Mayor of Perth.[8] The Paddock had been reclaimed from part of Stone's Lake, which was part of a lake system known as The Great Lakes District which included Lake Monger and Herdsman Lake.[9]

Loton sold the land to the City of Perth in 1904 with the purpose of providing recreation for the residents of the area. After the 2004 redevelopment, part of the ground reverted to public open space and the original name, Loton Park was re-applied, to honour Loton, and Yoordgoorading as a reference to the original Indigenous inhabitants of the land.[8][9][10]

In the early 1930s large white entry gates were built on the north west corner of the ground. These have since been heritage listed.[9]


Soccer was an early tenant at Loton Park, playing regular matches as early as 1903, when over 2,000 spectators attended a Charity Cup match between Olympic FC and Civil Service.[11]

In 1905 the land was offered to the WA British Football Association for £2000, but the asking price was considered too high.[11]

Perth Oval was the scene of a humiliation in 1927 when the WA State team were thrashed 11–3 by Bohemians, a team representing Czechoslovakia.[11][12]

Prior to the 2004 redevelopment, Perth Oval was oval-shaped, and when Perth Glory FC entered the NSL in 1996, temporary stands were moved onto the pitch to get supporters closer to the action. After playing in these conditions for four years, it became apparent that the Glory would need their own rectangular stadium and after Glory's proposed redevelopment of Leederville Oval was rejected, the Town of Vincent completely overhauled the ground into a rectangular stadium.

Perth Glory are now major tenants of this stadium and continue play their home games at Perth Oval. Perth Oval also hosted the 2014 W-League Semi-Final and Grand Final matches involving Perth Glory Women.

2015 saw the return of the Socceroos to Perth after a 10-year absence, with a 5–0 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier win against Bangladesh on 3 September, in front of a 19,495-strong crowd.[13] The following year on 1 September the Socceroos returned for another World Cup Qualifier against Iraq, with 18,923 in attendance.

Men's International Soccer

GameDateTeamResultTeamAttendancePart of
13 September 2015Australia 5–0 Bangladesh19,4952018 World Cup Qualification – Second Round
21 September 2016Australia 2–0 Iraq18,9232018 World Cup Qualification – Third Round
3 26 March 2020 Australia   Kuwait 2022 World Cup Qualification – Second Round

Women's International Soccer

GameDateTeamResultTeamAttendancePart of
126 March 2018Australia 5–0 Thailand7,549[14] Friendly

Australian rules football

Australian rules football club East Perth Football Club moved to Perth Oval from Wellington Square in 1910,[9] and played at the ground until 1999 except in 1940 due to a dispute with the Perth City Council over rents,[15] and in 1988 and 1989 when the WAFL attempted an unsuccessful move to the WACA. After the Royals played their last match at the ground, they permanently moved away in 2003.[16]

In 1956 the F.D. Book Stand was built as part of East Perth Football Club’s golden jubilee celebrations. It was named after administrator Fred Book, who was instrumental in ensuring Perth Oval stayed as a sporting ground during World War II.[11]

The ground was briefly used as a home base for East Perth's WAFL rivals West Perth and Perth.[9] Six West Australian Football League Grand Finals were played at Perth Oval, the first being in 1912 and the last in 1935.[17]


Perth Oval was home to Western Australian Grade Cricket teams North Perth and University. North Perth played at the oval between 1910 and 1975 and University between 1913 and 1929.[11]

Rugby union

Rugby was played at Perth Oval as early as 1905.[18]

The ground has occasionally been used by the Western Australian Rugby Union to host state league finals matches at least as far back as 1940.[19]

Perth Spirit played at Perth Oval during the 2007 Australian Rugby Championship.[20]

Since 2010 the Western Force have called Perth Oval home and together with co-tenants Perth Glory, helped instigate the stadium's most recent re-development.

GameDateTeamResultTeamAttendancePart of
117 September 2017Australia 36–20 Argentina20,8262016 Rugby Championship
29 September 2017Australia 23–23 South Africa17,5282017 Rugby Championship

Rugby league

Rugby league has been an annual fixture at Perth Oval since 2009, with South Sydney Rabbitohs hosting a home game once a season until 2017 with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles joining them for 2016 and 2017. The biggest crowds have occurred in games involving the New Zealand Warriors. It was announced in January 2016 that the stadium would host Perth's first rugby league test match between the Australian Kangaroos and the New Zealand Kiwis on 15 October 2016.[21]

It was also selected as a venue for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have committed to play 1 game a year at Perth Oval from 2020 for 3 years while their home ground ANZ Stadium is redeveloped.[22] The Sydney Roosters will also play 1 home game a year at Perth Oval from 2020 for 3 years.[23]

List of rugby league test matches played at the Perth Oval.[24]

GameDateTeamResultTeamAttendancePart of
115 October 2016Australia 26–6 New Zealand20,2832016 Four Nations
212 November 2017England 36–6 France14,7442017 World Cup Group A
312 November 2017Wales 6–34 Ireland14,7442017 World Cup Group C

The first game played at the venue was in the 1997 Super League season. The Perth-based Western Reds moved their round 4 game against the Canterbury Bulldogs to the oval due to the unavailability of their usual home ground, the WACA. On that occasion the Reds won 36–6 in what was the venue's smallest rugby league attendance (until 2017) of 7,135.[25]

NRL games

GameDateTeamResultTeamAttendancePart of
123 March 1997 Western Reds36–6 Canterbury Bulldogs7,1351997 Super League season
27 May 2005 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks28–24 New Zealand Warriors13,2932005 NRL season
313 June 2009 Melbourne Storm28–22 South Sydney Rabbitohs15,1972009 NRL season
426 June 2010 South Sydney Rabbitohs16–14 Melbourne Storm13,1642010 NRL season
524 June 2011 South Sydney Rabbitohs16–12 Brisbane Broncos15,3712011 NRL season
623 March 2012 Brisbane Broncos20–12 South Sydney Rabbitohs15,5992012 NRL season
77 July 2013 South Sydney Rabbitohs30–13 New Zealand Warriors20,2212013 NRL season
829 March 2014 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs40–12 Melbourne Storm12,0142014 NRL season
97 June 2014 South Sydney Rabbitohs34–18 New Zealand Warriors20,2672014 NRL season
106 June 2015 South Sydney Rabbitohs36–4 New Zealand Warriors20,2722015 NRL season
115 June 2016 Gold Coast Titans29–28 South Sydney Rabbitohs13,1422016 NRL season
1216 July 2016 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (GP)15–14 New Zealand Warriors11,1092016 NRL season
1321 May 2017 Melbourne Storm14–6 South Sydney Rabbitohs11,4332017 NRL season
141 July 2017 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles26–22 New Zealand Warriors6,2582017 NRL season

Record attendances

The record crowd for the ground is 32,000 for the Ed Sheeran concert on 2 December 2015, overtaking the previous record of 31,997[26] for the last Foo Fighters concert in 2015.

The record sport attendance is 27,473, for an interstate Australian football match between Western Australia and Victoria on 6 July 1929 – which was at the time the record football crowd in Western Australian history.[27] The highest crowd for a club match was 26,760 for the 31 May 1969 derby Australian football match between East Perth and West Perth.

The record football crowd for a match at the ground is 19,495, for a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier between the Socceroos and Bangladesh, bettering the previous record of 18,067 in the 1998–99 NSL season game between Perth Glory and South Melbourne FC.

The record rugby union crowd at the venue prior to the 2012-13 redevelopment is an estimated 22,000 in a Super Rugby 2011 Season game between the Western Force and Crusaders on 30 April 2011.

The record sports crowd at the venue since the 2012-13 redevelopment is 20,727 in a 2015 NRL season game between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and New Zealand Warriors on 6 June 2015.


HBF Park has been the venue of major music concerts, including:

Year Date Artist/s
2005 15 February Tom Jones & John Farnham
19 February Moonlight Music and Wine Festival
29 October Luciano Pavarotti
2007 9 February Roger Waters
11 February Eric Clapton
2008 1 February The Police
2 February
5 March Rod Stewart
29 March Jack Johnson
8 April Celine Dion
10 May Elton John
31 October Def Leppard
1 November Eros Ramazzotti
23 November Billy Joel
2009 4 April The Who
14 November Pearl Jam
11 December Fleetwood Mac
12 December
2010 25 January Raggamuffin
18 April Supafest
24 November Leonard Cohen
4 December Jack Johnson
10 December Eagles
2011 29 March Neil Diamond
6 April Lionel Richie
15 October Def Leppard
22 October Meat Loaf
19 November Kings of Leon
28 November Foo Fighters
2012 4 February Rod Stewart
2013 11 December Taylor Swift
2015 8 March Foo Fighters
2 December Ed Sheeran
2016 20 November RNB Fridays Live
2017 6 March Justin Bieber
14 October RNB Fridays Live
2 December Paul McCartney
2018 20 January Foo Fighters
9 November RNB Fridays Live
2019 5 March Red Hot Chili Peppers
8 November RNB Fridays Live
30 November Elton John
1 December


  1. "Functions Perth - Events Perth - nib Stadium". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  2. "Perth's leading rectangular venue to be renamed HBF Park | VenuesWest". VenuesWest. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  3. "Ed Sheeran Concert Breaks Record at nib Stadium". Venues West. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  4. "The Force gets new home stadium for 2010". Rugby Week. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  6. "Socceroos to play World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh in Perth". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  7. Collins, Simon; Zuel, Bernard (8 July 2011). "Foo Fighters to start Oz tour in Perth". The West Australian. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
  8. "New public land surrounding Perth Oval to be co-named after original" (PDF). Town of Vincent. 9 April 2003. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  9. "Register of Heritage Places" (PDF). Heritage Council of Western Australia. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  10. "A new recreation ground - handing over the titles". The Daily News. 8 November 1904. Retrieved 29 November 2013 via National Library of Australia.
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  12. "why is there a kangaroo in the emblem of the central european club???". 15 May 2008. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  13. "Five-star Socceroos overwhelm Bangladesh". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 3 September 2015.
  14. "Social media reaction to classy Matildas' thumping win in Perth". Matildas. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  15. "Football: City Council Grounds for Practice"; The West Australian, 12 March 1940, p. 9
  16. "History". East Perth Football Club. Retrieved 28 April 2009.
  17. "History". West Australian Football League. Retrieved 30 April 2009.
  18. "Rugby Notes". The Sunday Times. 21 May 1905. Retrieved 8 May 2011 via National Library of Australia.
  19. "Rugby - Matches at Perth Oval". The West Australian. 13 September 1940. Retrieved 8 July 2011 via National Library of Australia.
  20. "Rugby WA launches Perth Spirit". The Australian. 21 March 2007. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2007.
  21. Perth to host October test match National Rugby League
  22. "Bulldogs to play a match in Perth for the next three seasons". Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  23. "Roosters head west in 2020". The West Australian. 5 August 2019. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
  24. Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Perth Oval - Current Name: nib Stadium - Rugby League Project". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  25. Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Super League 1997 - Round 4 - Rugby League Project". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  27. "Football carnival". The West Australian. Perth, WA. 16 August 1937. p. 15.
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