Sydney Showground Stadium

Last updated

GIANTS Stadium
Sydney Showgrounds Stadium, The Showgrounds
Sydney Showground Stadium, March 2018.jpg
View of the stadium in March 2018
Sydney Showground Stadium
Full nameGIANTS Stadium
Former namesSydney Showground Main Arena
Sydney Baseball Stadium
Škoda Stadium [1]
Spotless Stadium [2]
Location Sydney Olympic Park, New South Wales (Map )
Coordinates 33°50′35″S151°4′4″E / 33.84306°S 151.06778°E / -33.84306; 151.06778 Coordinates: 33°50′35″S151°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 [3] [4]
22,000 (Cricket)
21,500 (1998–2011)
Field size160 x 134 metres
Surface Grass
Construction
Broke groundMay 1996
OpenedFebruary 1998
Renovated2001
Expanded2012
Architect Populous (redevelopment)
Tenants
Regular Tenants
Sydney Royal Easter Show (1998–present)
GWS Giants (AFL) (2012–present)
Sydney Thunder (BBL) (2015–present)

Past Tenants
Sydney Storm (ABL) (1998–1999)
Olympic Games (Baseball/Pentathlon) (2000)
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (NRL) (2001–2005)
Western Sydney Wanderers (A-League) (2016–2019)
2019 Sydney Sevens
Website
www.sydneyshowground.com.au
Ground information
Home clubGWS Giants (AFL)
Capacity24,000
International information
First WT20I21 February 2020:
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia v Flag of India.svg  India
Last WT20I3 March 2020:
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa v WestIndiesCricketFlagPre1999.svg  West Indies
As of 7 September 2020
Source: CricketArchive

Sydney Showground Stadium (currently known by its commercial name GIANTS Stadium) [5] is a sports and events stadium located at the Sydney Showground in Sydney Olympic Park. It hosted the baseball events for the 2000 Summer Olympics. The Showground, including the stadium, is operated by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (RAS), under lease from the New South Wales Government. [6]

Contents

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. It was also the primary home ground of the A-League's Western Sydney Wanderers for 3 years starting with the 2016–17 A-League season. 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. [7]

History

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

Giants Stadium was constructed as part of the development of the new Sydney Showground, it was built to replace the ageing 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. [6] 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. [8] The playing surface was also reconfigured. [6] The upgrade was officially opened on 23 May 2012. [9]

The RAS is seeking funding from the New South Wales Government to expand the stadium as part of a major upgrade of the Showground precinct. [10] It has targeted a total post-extension capacity of 30,000 seats but is considering revising the target capacity to 35,000 seats. [11]

Following its redevelopment, the venue was known as Škoda Stadium from 2012 until 2013 in a deal with car manufacturer Škoda, [1] then as Spotless Stadium from 2014 until 2018 in a deal with cleaning and catering company Spotless Group Holdings. [2] Since 2019, it has been known as GIANTS Stadium in a deal with its primary AFL tenant, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, making the club the only one on the league to play in a self-branded venue; [12] the 'GIANTS' name is styled in capital letters, consistent with the manner in which the club self-styles its name in all media. [13]

Australian rules football

Patrons play on the surface of the stadium after an AFL game Giants vs Essendon (35102501025).jpg
Patrons play on the surface of the stadium after an AFL game

The Greater Western Sydney Giants played their first game at the stadium on Saturday, 26 May 2012, Round 9 of the 2012 AFL season. [14] 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. On 24 September 2016, the ground hosted its first ever AFL finals game with the Giants losing to the Western Bulldogs by six points in a close preliminary final.

Cricket

The Sydney Thunder played two games at the stadium during the 2014–15 Big Bash League season when ANZ Stadium was unavailable due to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. [15] 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. [16]

The opening Sydney Derby of the fifth season (2015–16) of BBL attracted record audience, with more than 1.5 million people tuning in for this match between the Sydney Thunder and the Sydney Sixers. [17] On 28 December 2015, Sydney Thunder defeated Adelaide Strikers at the stadium in front of 21,500 spectators.

The stadium hosted several games of the 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup.

Soccer

Western Sydney Wanderers celebrating after winning an A-League game WesternSydneyWanderersAtSydneyShowground.jpg
Western Sydney Wanderers celebrating after winning an A-League game

The Western Sydney Wanderers played most of their homes games at the stadium during the 2016–17 A-League season while Parramatta Stadium was rebuilt. [18] Home games against Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory were played at the nearby ANZ Stadium. [19] The Wanderers played their first home game at the ground on 23 October 2016 against the Newcastle Jets. [20]

Baseball and 2000 Olympics

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. [21]

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. [22]

Rugby league

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.

Rugby sevens

The Showground became the new home of Australia's events in the men's and women's versions of the World Rugby Sevens Series effective with the 2018–19 seasons. This change was made because the Sydney Football Stadium, previously host to both events, is to be demolished to make way for a new stadium on the same site. [23]

Motorsport

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. [24] 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 (Sydney, Newcastle Showgrounds, and Borderline Speedway in Mount Gambier), while finishing second in Mildura (Olympic Park Speedway) and the Gillman Speedway in 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.

Configuration

In its present configuration, the 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, [25] The stands are: [26] [27]

Opened 1998:

Opened 2012:

Panoramic view from the Cumberland Stand of the stadium in association football configuration. Sydney Showground Stadium panorama, March 2018.jpg
Panoramic view from the Cumberland Stand of the stadium in association football configuration.
Panoramic view of the stadium for an Australian rules football match. Sydney Showground Stadium 2015-8-9.jpg
Panoramic view of the stadium for an Australian rules football match.

AFL records

Players

Teams

Last updated: 4 July 2018 [28]

Attendance records

Top 10 sports attendance records

No.DateTeamsSportCompetitionCrowd
115 July 2017 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney Australian football 2017 AFL season 21,924
210 August 2001 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Parramatta Eels Rugby league 2001 NRL season 21,895 [29]
320 December 2016 Sydney Thunder v. Sydney Sixers Cricket 2016–17 BBL season 21,798
424 September 2016 Greater Western Sydney v. Western Bulldogs Australian football 2016 AFL finals series 21,790
519 December 2017 Sydney Thunder v. Sydney Sixers Cricket 2017–18 BBL season 21,589
612 June 2016 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney Australian football 2016 AFL season 21,541
728 December 2015 Sydney Thunder v. Adelaide Strikers Cricket 2015–16 BBL season 21,500
818 August 2018 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney Australian football 2018 AFL season 21,433
918 January 2017 Sydney Thunder v. Adelaide Strikers Cricket 2016–17 BBL season 20,642
1028 December 2016 Sydney Thunder v. Brisbane Heat Cricket 2016–17 BBL season 20,234

Source: Austadiums (2003 crowds onwards)

Top 5 AFL attendance records

No.DateTeamsCrowd
115 July 2017 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney 21,924
224 September 2016 Greater Western Sydney v. Western Bulldogs 21,790
312 June 2016 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney 21,541
418 August 2018 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney 21,433
522 August 2015 Greater Western Sydney v. Sydney 19,507

Source: AFL Tables

Top 5 BBL attendance records

No.DateTeamsCrowd
120 December 2016 Sydney Thunder v. Sydney Sixers 21,798
219 December 2017 Sydney Thunder v. Sydney Sixers 21,589
328 December 2015 Sydney Thunder v. Adelaide Strikers 21,500
418 January 2017 Sydney Thunder v. Adelaide Strikers 20,642
528 December 2016 Sydney Thunder v. Brisbane Heat 20,234

Source Austadiums

Top 5 NRL attendance records

No.DateTeamsCrowd
110 August 2001 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Parramatta Eels 21,895
229 August 2003 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Canberra Raiders 20,016
316 August 2002 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Parramatta Eels 19,346
413 September 2003 Canterbury Bulldogs v. New Zealand Warriors 18,312
54 March 2001 Canterbury Bulldogs v. Newcastle Knights 18,109

Last updated on 1 January 2017 [29]

See also

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