Sydney Football Stadium

The Sydney Football Stadium, commercially known as Allianz Stadium and previously Aussie Stadium, was a football stadium in Moore Park, Sydney, Australia. Built in 1988 next to the Sydney Cricket Ground, the stadium was Sydney's premier rectangular field venue for rugby league, rugby union, and football.

Sydney Football Stadium
AddressDriver Avenue
LocationMoore Park, Sydney (🌍 )
Coordinates33°53′21″S 151°13′31″E
OwnerGovernment of New South Wales via the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust
OperatorSydney Cricket Ground Trust
Executive suites65
Capacity45,500 (venue capacity)
44,000 (seated capacity)
Record attendance44,380 - Sydney Roosters vs South Sydney Rabbitohs, 22 September 2018
Field size140 x 79 metres
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke ground1986
Opened24 January 1988
Closed5 October 2018
Demolished2019
Construction cost$68 million
ArchitectPhilip Cox, Richardson & Taylor
Tenants
Rugby league

Sydney Roosters (NRL; 1988–2018)
South Sydney Rabbitohs (NRL; 1988–99, 2002–05)
New South Wales rugby league team (1988–1998)
St George Illawarra Dragons (NRL; 2000–2002)
Wests Tigers (NRL; 2009–2013)

Others
New South Wales Waratahs (Super Rugby; 1996–2018)
Sydney FC (A-League; 2005–2018)
Australian Sevens (2016–2018)

The Kangaroos, the Wallabies, and the Socceroos occasionally played at the stadium, while the Sydney Roosters, NSW Waratahs, and Sydney FC were the ground's major tenants. The stadium usually held both National Rugby League semi finals and one preliminary final, and also held the annual pre-season Charity Shield football match between South Sydney and St George Illawarra for a number of years. It hosted all New South Wales Rugby League/Australian Rugby League rugby league grand finals, as well as the first grand final under the NRL banner, between 1988 and 1998.

The NSW Government announced plans in November 2017 for the stadium to be knocked down and rebuilt. The stadium closed in October 2018, with the last event being a Michael Buble concert. Demolition began in early 2019, continuing after several legal challenges and becoming a major issue during the 2019 New South Wales state election.

History

Background

Prior to its construction, major events were usually held at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), 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.

Sydney Football Stadium was built upon the former Sydney Sports Ground in Moore Park, and the former SCG No 2 adjacent to the existing SCG. Both were owned by the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust. It officially opened by Premier Barrie Unsworth on 24 January 1988. The first sporting event was a rugby league match between the Eastern Suburbs Roosters and St George Dragons on 4 March 1988. Its seating capacity was 41,159, but after numerous expansions, today stands at 45,500 , although the venue's official record attendance for a sporting event stands at 44,380 , set on 31 October 1993 for the 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualifier when the Socceroos played Argentina.

Use

The Sydney Football Stadium was the Sydney Roosters' home ground from 1988. It was 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.

The first event held at the venue marked the beginning of the 1988 Rugby League season, with a match between the then Eastern Suburbs Roosters and the St George Dragons on Friday 4 March 1988. St George won the game 24-14. The Roosters had to wait until Round 5 that season for their first win at the venue, defeating the Gold Coast Giants 28-10.

From 1988 to 1999 and from 2002 to 2005, it also served as the home ground for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.[1] The Rabbitohs returned to the ground with a one off game against the Broncos in Round 25 of the 2015 NRL season.[2]

The SFS has hosted rugby league football test matches since its opening in 1988 starting with two matches in Australia's 1988 Ashes series win against Great Britain. The first game of the series saw the Wally Lewis captained, Don Furner coached Australians christen their new Sydney home with a 17-6 win in front of 24,480 fans. That game was also the 100th test match between Australia and either Great Britain or England. The record international Rugby League crowd at the stadium was set for the first Ashes against Great Britain on their 1992 Australasian Tour when Australia won 22-6 in front of 40,141 in what was the first time a test in Sydney had attracted over 40,000 fans since 1974. The stadium has also hosted the Rugby League Tri-Nations, including the Final of the 2006 tournament in which Australia triumphed 16-12 over New Zealand in Golden point extra-time thanks to a try by captain Darren Lockyer.

Rugby league also had some memorable moments including: The first grand final in 1988 saw Canterbury-Bankstown defeat Balmain 24-12 in front of 40,000 fans to send club captain Steve Mortimer into retirement with a premiership. The match had its controversial moment when Bulldogs Five-eighth Terry Lamb hit Tigers English import Centre Ellery Hanley with a high tackle out of the game before the 30th minute: The 1989 NSWRL grand final which was won by the Canberra Raiders over the Balmain Tigers 19-14 thanks to a try by replacement forward Steve Jackson in extra-time for their first premiership: The 1991 NSWRL grand final won by the Penrith Panthers over Canberra 19-12 in which Penrith's Royce Simmons scored 2 tries in his final match giving the Panthers their first title: Brisbane's maiden premiership with a 28-8 win over St. George in 1992 NSWRL grand final, highlighted by a 95-metre try to Broncos Centre Steve Renouf: and the 1997 ARL Grand Final between the Newcastle Knights and the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, with the Knights winning their first title with a 22-16 win following a try to Darren Albert in the dying seconds of the game after the Knights had trailed Manly since early in the game. Manly had won their previous 11 games against the Knights prior to that Grand Final.

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.

Two standout State Of Origin matches in which Queensland triumphed over New South Wales with last-minute victories in 1994 and 1998, as well as Michael O'Connor's sideline conversion in driving rain for a NSW win in Game 2 of the 1991 series. Also of note was Queensland's backs to the wall win in Game 2 of the 1989. Despite losing Allan Langer to a broken leg, Mal Meninga with a fractured eye socket and Paul Vautin with an elbow injury in the first half, plus losing winger Michael Hancock to a shoulder injury in the second half, the Maroons triumphed 16-12 to wrap up the series. It was also found out after the game that Queensland's lock forward Bob Lindner had played most of the second half with a fractured ankle.[3]

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 winning 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. Despite the grounds increase in capacity since 1993, this match retains the record sporting 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.

It was used as the venue for the 2000 Summer Olympics Women's association football gold medal match between Norway and the United States. Norway defeated the USA 3-2 in front of 22,848 fans.[4]

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 2003, the SFS hosted several matches in the Rugby World Cup: (Ireland v Namibia), (Argentina v Romania), (Scotland v Fiji), (South Africa v Georgia), (Georgia v Uruguay; this match was notable for attracting a crowd of 28,576, despite the low profiles of both teams).

In 2007 the Sydney Roosters High Performance Centre and Administrative departments set up their headquarters at the Sydney Football Stadium.[5]

The 2008 Rugby League World Cup's opening ceremony and Group A match between Australia and New Zealand was played at the Stadium. The SFS also hosted one game from the knockout stage: the 2nd Semi-final between Australia and Fiji.

In 2012, Allianz Insurance secured the rights to the naming of the Sydney Football Stadium; the venue is now known as Allianz Stadium.[6]

In 2018, Allianz Stadium hosted one of three AFL pre-season mini competitions called AFLX.[7]

Development

In 2012 Sydney Cricket Ground Trust announced a master plan to redevelop 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 facade mesh for the stadium which would allow the exterior to change colours to suit the home team, similar to Munich's 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 a proposal to replace the SFS with a new 50,000 to 55,000 seat venue.[8][9] The proposed new stadium was cancelled in April 2016, with the SFS to be refurbished instead.

March 8, 2019, the NSW government announced that the stadium will be demolished

Rebuilding

In 2017 the NSW Government announced that the Sydney Football Stadium along with Stadium Australia will be demolished and rebuilt at the cost of $2.3 billion.[10] The final event at the stadium was a Michael Bublé concert on 5 October 2018. Demolition began in early 2019.

Sporting events

Panorama of Sydney Football Stadium from the north-west corner before an A-League game between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory, 14 Feb 2010

Concerts

Other events

  • 2005: the Edinburgh Military Tattoo - A Salute to Australia.
  • February 2007: the stadium was recently under renovation, during which the capacity was expanded to 45,500, and a second video screen was added. Renovations were completed in.* 24 February 2008: the SFS hosted the 2008 A-League Grand Final between Newcastle and the Central Coast Mariners.
  • March 2015: The two video screens were replaced with much larger screens.

Attendance records

RecordAttendanceDateResultEvent
Rugby league44,38022 September 2018 Sydney Roosters def. South Sydney 12–42018 NRL Finals Series
Rugby union44,08523 June 2018 Ireland def.  Australia 20–16Lansdowne Cup
Soccer43,96731 October 1993 Australia drew with  Argentina 1–11994 FIFA World Cup qualifier
As of 23 September 2018[15]

Grand finals

Since its opening in 1988, the Sydney Football Stadium hosted eleven NSWRL/ARL/NRL grand finals between 1988 and 1998, and has also hosted three A-League grand finals.

Rugby league

YearDateResultAttendance
198811 September Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs def. Balmain Tigers 24–1240,000
198924 September Canberra Raiders def. Balmain Tigers 19–14 (ET)40,500
199023 September Canberra Raiders def. Penrith Panthers 18–1441,535
199121 September Penrith Panthers def. Canberra Raiders 18–1241,815
199227 September Brisbane Broncos def. St George Dragons 28–841,560
199326 September Brisbane Broncos def. St George Dragons 14–642,329
199425 September Canberra Raiders def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 36–1242,234
199524 September Sydney Bulldogs def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 17–441,127
199629 September Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles def. St George Dragons 20–840,985
199728 September Newcastle Knights def. Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22–1642,482
199827 September Brisbane Broncos def. Canterbury Bulldogs 38–1240,857

* 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.
* 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.

A-League

Since the A-League's first season in 2006, the Sydney Football Stadium has hosted the A-League grand final on four occasions, including the inaugural grand final between Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners.

YearDateResultAttendance
20065 March Sydney FC def. Central Coast Mariners 1–041,689
200824 February Newcastle Jets def. Central Coast Mariners 1–036,354
201321 April Central Coast Mariners def. Western Sydney Wanderers 2–042,102
20177 May Sydney FC def. Melbourne Victory 1–1 (4–2)41,546

Rugby league test matches

The Football Stadium has hosted twelve Australia internationals and one involving the Australian Super League. The results were as follows;[16]

DateOpponentsResultAttendancePart of
11 June 1988 Great Britain17–624,4801988 Ashes series
100th test match between Australia and Great Britain / England
9 July 198812–2615,9441988 Ashes series
1985–1988 Rugby League World Cup group stage
24 July 1991 New Zealand44–034,9111991 Trans-Tasman Test series
12 June 1992 Great Britain22–640,1411992 Ashes series
7 July 1995 New Zealand20–1027,5681995 Trans-Tasman Test series
25 April 1997* New Zealand34–2223,8291997 Anzac Test
12 July 2002 Great Britain64–1031,844
25 July 2003 New Zealand48–630,605
4 November 2006 Great Britain12–2324,9532006 Rugby League Tri-Nations
25 November 2006 New Zealand16–1227,3252006 Rugby League Tri-Nations Final
26 October 200830–634,1572008 Rugby League World Cup Group A
16 November 2008 Fiji52–015,8552008 Rugby League World Cup Semi-final
2 May 2014 New Zealand30–1825,4592014 Anzac Test
11 November 2017 Lebanon34-021,1272017 Rugby League World Cup Group A Match

* 1997 Anzac Test match played against the Australian Super League team. The Australian Rugby League and Australian Rugby League Commission do not count this as an official test, though it is counted by the New Zealand Rugby League and the Rugby League International Federation.

Rugby union test matches

Since its opening in 1988, the Football Stadium has hosted twenty six Australia rugby union internationals. The results were as follows;

DateOpponentsResultAttendance
1 July 1989British and Irish Lions30–1239,433
15 July 198918–1939,401
9 June 1990 France21–934,572
30 July 199019–2834,776
27 July 1991 England40–1539,681
10 August 1991 New Zealand21–1241,565
13 June 1992 Scotland27–1235,535
4 July 1992 New Zealand16–1539,870
25 July 199223–2640,438
31 July 1993 South Africa20–2841,190
21 August 199319–1241,877
11 June 1994 Ireland32–1837,239
6 August 1994 Samoa73–330,167
17 August 1994 New Zealand20–1641,917
6 May 1995 Argentina30–1327,829
29 July 1995 New Zealand23–3439,327
22 June 1996 Wales42–335,784
13 July 1996 South Africa21–1641,850
21 June 1997 France29–1531,572
12 July 1997 England25–640,132
13 June 1998 Scotland45–336,263
29 August 1998 New Zealand19–1440,501
23 June 2012 Wales20–1942,889
21 June 2014 France39–1343,188
25 June 2016 England40–4444,063
23 June 2018  Ireland 16–20 44,085

Rugby World Cup

The SFS also hosted five 2003 Rugby World Cup matches but none of them involved Australia. The results were as follows;

Date Competition Home team Away team Attendance
19 October 20032003 Rugby World Cup Pool A Ireland64 Namibia735,382
22 October 20032003 Rugby World Cup Pool A Argentina50 Romania333,673
24 October 20032003 Rugby World Cup Pool C South Africa46 Georgia1934,308
28 October 20032003 Rugby World Cup Pool C Georgia12 Uruguay2428,576
1 November 20032003 Rugby World Cup Pool B Scotland22 Fiji2037,137

International Football

List of international football matches played at the Sydney Football Stadium since 1988 (Senior men's games only).

Test#DateResultAttendance
114 July 1988 Australia def.  Argentina 4–118,985
217 July 1988 Brazil def.  Australia 2–028,161
312 March 1989 Australia def.  New Zealand 4–113,621
416 April 1989 Australia drew with  Israel 1–140,320
51 June 1991 England def.  Australia 1–035,743
626 January 1992 Australia drew with  Sweden 0–013,456
712 July 1992 Australia drew with  Croatia 0–012,735
815 August 1993 Australia def.  Canada 2–125,982
931 October 1993 Australia def  Argentina 1–143,967
1012 June 1994 Australia def.  South Africa 1–017,769
1111 February 1995 Colombia def.  Australia 1–015,000
1215 February 1995 Australia def.  Japan 2–14,541
1318 June 1995 Australia def.  Ghana 1–018,446
1428 February 1996 Australia drew with  Sweden 0–013,905
1525 January 1997 Australia def.  Norway 1–017,429
1611 February 1998 Australia def.  South Korea 1–09,823
179 June 2000 Australia drew with  Paraguay 0–010,000
1821 May 2004 Turkey def.  Australia 3–128,326
1912 October 2004 Australia def.  Solomon Islands 6–119,208
2016 August 2006 Australia def.  Kuwait 2–032,622
2111 October 2006 Australia def.  Bahamas 2–036,606
2223 May 2008 Australia def.  Ghana 1–029,914
2310 October 2009 Australia drew with  Netherlands 0–040,537
249 October 2010 Australia def.  Paraguay 1–025,210
2519 November 2013 Australia def.  Costa Rica 1–020,165
2629 March 2016 Australia def.  Jordan 5–124,975

2000 Olympic Games

The Football Stadium hosted five games of the 2000 Olympic Games Men's Football tournament including a Quarter final, a Semi-final and the Bronze medal match. It also hosted five matches of the Women's Football tournament including a Semi-final and the Bronze and Gold Medal matches.

Men's tournament

Date Time (AEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
16 September 200020:00 Australia2–3 NigeriaGroup A38,080
19 September 200020:00 Australia1–2 HondurasGroup A37,788
23 September 200020:00 Italy0–1 SpainQuarter-final 338,134
26 September 200020:00 Spain3–1 United StatesSemi-final 139,800
29 September 200020:00 United States0–2 ChileBronze medal match26,381

Women's tournament

Date Time (AEST) Team #1 Result Team #2 Round Attendance
16 September 200017:00 Australia1–1 SwedenGroup E33,600
19 September 200017:00 Australia1–2 BrazilGroup E29,400
24 September 200017:30 Germany0–1 NorwaySemi-final 116,710
28 September 200017:00 Germany2–0 BrazilBronze Medal match11,200
28 September 200020:00 Norway3–2 (a.e.t.) United StatesGold Medal match22,848

State of Origin

From 1988–1998, the Sydney Football Stadium was the home of the New South Wales rugby league team in the State of Origin series.

Game#DateResultAttendanceYear
117 May 1988 Queensland def. New South Wales 26–1826,4411988
221 June 1988 Queensland def. New South Wales 38–2216,910
314 June 1989 Queensland def. New South Wales 16–1240,0001989
49 May 1990 New South Wales def. Queensland 8–041,2351990
59 May 1991 New South Wales def. Queensland 14–1241,5201991
66 May 1992 New South Wales def. Queensland 14–640,0391992
73 June 1992 New South Wales def. Queensland 16–441,878
817 May 1993 New South Wales def. Queensland 16–1241,8951993
923 May 1994 Queensland def. New South Wales 16–1241,8591994
1015 May 1995 Queensland def. New South Wales 2–039,8411995
113 June 1996 New South Wales def. Queensland 18–641,9551996
1223 May 1997 Queensland def. New South Wales 18–1233,2411997
1322 May 1998 Queensland def. New South Wales 24–2336,0701998
1419 June 1998 Queensland def. New South Wales 19–439,952

Statues

Transport

Sydney Football Stadium could be accessed by car, public transport and by walking. The nearest railway station was Central station, three kilometres away. On event days, express shuttle buses ran every five minutes from Chalmers Street at Central station to Moore Park. The buses utilised a bus road off Anzac Parade to improve travel times. In 2015, the Albert Cotter Bridge opened across Anzac Parade opened to improve the pedestrian links between the stadium and Central station and Surry Hills.[17]

References

  1. Club Records Archived 19 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine at rabbitohs.com.au
  2. http://www.nrl.com/DrawResults/TelstraPremiership/Draw/tabid/11180/s/43/sc/cWMNdbaQGaA10800/Default.aspx
  3. Meares, Peter (2003). Legends of Australian sport: The Inside Story. Australia: University of Queensland Press. p. 140. ISBN 978-0-7022-3410-1.
  4. 2000 Summer Olympics official report. Volume 1. p. 385.
  5. "SCG Trust Timeline". sydneycricketground.com.au. Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust. Archived from the original on 14 September 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  6. "Sydney FC's Home Ground Has A New Name". FFA. 29 February 2012. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 29 February 2012.
  7. "The full AFLX fixture revealed". NewsComAu. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  8. "New 30,000-seat Parramatta stadium among premier's $1.6b promises". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 September 2015.
  9. "$1 billion for Sydney stadiums". New South Wales Government. 4 September 2015.
  10. "Olympic Stadium and the Sydney Football Stadium will be demolished and rebuilt". ABC News. 12 November 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  11. "SFS re-names Allianz Stadium". 29 February 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2013.
  12. http://www.beinsports.com/us/college-football/news/the-rice-owls-and-stanford-cardinal-will-batt/438494
  13. "The final countdown". www.scgt.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 18 September 2018.
  14. "Taylor Swift Is First Female Artist In History to Sell Out Sydney's Allianz Stadium". 5 December 2013. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
  15. "Allianz Stadium Record Crowds". scgt.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  16. SFS results @ Rugby League Project
  17. Shared path bridge over Anzac Parade at Moore Park Archived 20 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine Road & Maritime Services

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