- Dimensions: 170m x 128m
- Capacity: 82,400
- Home teams: Sydney, Greater Western Sydney
Stadium Australia, presently known as ANZ Stadium was constructed in 1999 as the showpiece stadium for the 2000 Olympic games. It cost $699 million to construct.
In 1997 and 1998, the AFL Commission loaned Stadium Australia $500,000 per year so that the stadium could be reconfigured into an oval in 2001. The original deal also meant that 6 matches per year would be played at the stadium from 2001. This was later reduced to 3. [source: AFL 1997 Annual Report pg 18][AFL 2001 annual report]
Originally designed to hold 110,000, its present capacity is 82,400 in an Oval configuration, making it the second largest stadium in Australia, as well as the second largest in use by the AFL. It is owned by the NSW Goverment and managed by the Stadium Australia Group (ANZ Infrastructure Services) who have the lease until 2031.
Between 2010 and 2012, the stadium had 3.9 million total spectators, including to several large rock concerts.
It is the home of AFL blockbuster matches in Sydney, usually featuring the Sydney Swans, and any matches featuring its fellow Sydney side, Greater Western Sydney. Any Sydney team finals are played at the stadium. To date 36 AFL Season Matches have been held at the stadium, with a further 6 Finals played.
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AFL Matches have been played at the stadium since 2002, after work was undertaken to ensure that AFL games could be played at the venue. The Stadium holds the record for the largest crowd for an AFL game outside Victoria at just over 72,393.
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The Stadium was originally sponsored by Telstra, and was known as Telstra Stadium from 2002. In 2007, the rights were sold to ANZ Bank for 37.5 million over 7 years.
The Stadium was purchased by ANZ Infrastructure Services in 2006 for just over 9 million (it owed ANZ $140 million), which then formed the basis for ANZ to form Diversified Infrastructure Trust. ANZIS was sold for about 30 million to Infrastructure Capital in 2009, a consortium which then gave Mike Fitzpatrick 50% of the company, with ANZIS managing director John Clarke 40 per cent and Gresham Private Equity director Les Fallick, 10 per cent.
In September 2014, Clarke stood himself down from his full time position and reduced his share holding to 10%. The companies media release states that Mr Fitzpatrick and a number of key investment personnel increased or initiated equity holdings in the company
This caused some concern during the 2018-22 World Cup negotiations as Melbournes Docklands stadium managers believed that Fitzpatrick may be lead to schedule more games at ANZ due to his conflict of interest.
Stadium Upgrades and changes
The Stadium was reconfigured into an Oval for Cricket and AFL in 2002, this involved the removal of two stands and a reduction in capacity. The AFL contributed some funds toward this.
During the World Cup stadiums discussion, ANZ management laid out plans to put a glass roof over the stadium, believing it would give Sydney the edge over the MCG when it came time to stage the 2022 World Cup final.
The Stadiums owners have since refused to do any upgrades, saying it made no sense when they hand the stadium back to the NSW Government in 2031, unless the Government paid for the upgrades necessary.
- 2013.02.05 – ANZ Bank tries to offload its Olypmpic stadium – News.com.au
- 2009.12.10 – Etihad stadium takes a crack over ANZ Stadium ownership – Heraldsun
- 2009.06.23 – Consortium led by AFL chief buys stadium – Telegraph
- 2005.04.30 – Telstra Stadium losing ground – SMH
- 2003.02.27 – Telstra cuts lifeline, goes for lifesavers – SMH