Kardinia Park (stadium)

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Simonds Stadium
Kardinia Park
Simonds Stadium logo.svg
Skilled-stadium-geelong.jpg
Former names Skilled Stadium
Shell Stadium
Baytec Stadium
Location South Geelong, Victoria
Coordinates 38°9′29″S 144°21′17″E / 38.15806°S 144.35472°E / -38.15806; 144.35472Coordinates: 38°9′29″S 144°21′17″E / 38.15806°S 144.35472°E / -38.15806; 144.35472
Owner Kardinia Park Stadium Trust
Operator Kardinia Park Stadium Trust/Geelong Football Club
Capacity 34,000[1]
Record attendance 49,109 (30 August 1952 Geelong v Carlton)
Field size 170 x 115 m
Surface Grass
Construction
Construction cost A$175 million redevelopment (2003–present)[nb 1]
Architect Populous (company), Peddle Thorp (Redevelopment)
Tenants
Geelong Football Club (AFL) (1941–present)
Australia national cricket team (2017–present)
Melbourne Victory (2013–present)
Ground information
International information
Only T20I 19 February 2017:
 Australia v  Sri Lanka
As of 19 February 2017
Source: Cricinfo

Kardinia Park (also known as Simonds Stadium due to naming rights) is a sporting and entertainment venue located within Kardinia Park, South Geelong, Victoria. The stadium, which is owned and operated by the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, is the home ground of the Geelong Football Club. The capacity of Kardinia Park is 34,000, making it the largest capacity Australian stadium in a regional city (i.e., outside a capital city).[2]

Australian rules football

Early years

Football has been played on Kardinia Park since the 19th century,[3] and prior to the 1940s, Kardinia Park was the secondary football venue in the city of Geelong; Corio Oval was the primary venue, and the Geelong Football Club played its Victorian Football League games at that venue until 1940. Kardinia Park served as the home ground for the Geelong (A.) Football Club in the Victorian Football Association from 1922[4] until 1925, before that club moved to the Western Oval in Geelong West;[5] local and district football was played regularly on the ground.

The Geelong Football Club began playing its home games at Kardinia Park in 1941 after Corio Oval was commandeered by the military during World War II, and it became its permanent home venue thereafter.

Recent history

On 23 May 2002, Kardinia Park hosted a visit from the Dalai Lama, who again visited the stadium in June 2007.

Kardinia Park is regarded as a proverbial graveyard for teams playing against Geelong, which has an especially good record at the ground in recent years. Geelong did not lose a single match played at the venue between 26 August 2007 and 27 August 2011. Geelong's Jimmy Bartel credited the home field advantage to the fact that Geelong is one of the few clubs which practices on the same field that it plays on.[6]

On 22 June 2011, it was announced the stadium would have a new name in 2012. After 10 years as naming rights sponsor of Skilled Stadium, Skilled Group decided to relinquish these rights as of 31 October 2011.[7] Previous names of the stadium as results of sponsorship deals have been Skilled Stadium, Shell Stadium and Baytec Stadium; however it was only called Baytec Stadium for less than two months, and only 1 pre-season match was played there under the name. The stadium is nicknamed "The Cattery" by the club's supporters.

Floodlights were installed prior to the 2013 season, and the venue staged its first night match during the season.[8]

In its current layout Kardinia Park consists of the following seating areas: the Reg Hickey Stand, Players Stand, Premiership Stand, Brownlow Stand, Ford Stand/Fred Flanagan Room and the Gary Ablett Terrace, with the latter containing the main standing room section.[9]

Association football (soccer)

A-League match between Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners, January 2016

Association football (soccer) team Melbourne Victory FC occasionally plays at Kardinia Park. After a seven-year gap between their first match, a 2007 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup match against Newcastle Jets and their second, a 2014 AFC Champions League qualifying play-off against Thai side Muangthong United, the ground hosted its first ever A-League premiership match in 2015 when Victory played Perth Glory FC in Round 14 of the 2014-15 A-League season with an attendance of 21,289 as the first match of a three-year deal to bring one Victory fixture per season to Geelong.[10] The second match drew 14,268 fans to an exciting six goal come-from-behind draw by the Victory against Central Coast Mariners in January 2016,[11] while the third was held on 2 January 2017 with Newcastle Jets as the visiting team, when a crowd of 14,081 witnessed Besart Berisha overtake Archie Thompson's all-time A-League scoring record in a 4–2 win for the Victory.[12] Victory and the stadium trust agreed to extend the deal by two more years in 2017.[13]

European Champions League finalists Atlético Madrid played Melbourne Victory in a friendly match at the stadium on 31 July 2016. Melbourne Victory won 1–0.[14]

The stadium has also played host to one full international match on 30 December 2014, a pre-tournament friendly between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia prior to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup hosted by Australia, which ended as a 4–1 win for Bahrain.[15]

Kardinia Park was included in the Australia 2022 FIFA World Cup bid, with a proposed upgrade to 44,000 seats analogous to the later mooted Stage 5 of redevelopment, with the new multi tiered stand stretching all the way from the southern end, around the western side and the northern Ablett stand, however the bid lost out to Qatar.[16]

Other uses

During the late 1920s and early 1930s when Motorcycle speedway was becoming popular throughout Australia, Kardinia Park was home to a dirt track speedway known as the Geelong Velodrome. The Velodrome hosted the inaugural Victorian Solo Speedway Championship in 1926/27 and followed up with the second championship held in 1927/28. Both championships were won by Billy Pilgrim.

Cricket

In 2016, it was announced that international cricket would be played at the ground for the first time. The ground hosted second T20 International between Australia and Sri Lanka on February 19.[17] The ground witnessed memorable match between two nations, where Sri Lanka won the match by 2 wickets at the end. Sri Lanka chased 173 runs at the last ball of the match, where Asela Gunaratne smashed 46-ball unbeaten 84 runs to seal the match and series for Sri Lanka.[18]

Redevelopments

A A$28 million redevelopment of the ground was announced in 2003, with A$13.5 million in funding from the Victorian Government, A$4.5 million from the Geelong Football Club, and A$2 million from the Australian Football League (AFL). The redeveloped ground was opened on 1 May 2005 during the first home game of the 2005 season which includes a new western entry and membership area, as well as a new five level grandstand with a capacity of approximately 6000 spectators on the eastern side of the stadium.[19][20]

A favourite for the honour of the naming of the new stand was Bob Davis, coach of the Cats' premiership side in 1963. On 15 June 2005, City of Greater Geelong councillors granted the club its wish to change the name of the new eastern stand to the Reg Hickey Stand, while the southern stand became the Doug Wade Stand. The northern terrace became known as the Gary Ablett Terrace while the western gate was renamed the Bob Davis Gate.

In September 2007, Skilled Stadium received a further total of A$25 million towards the rebuilding of the Ross Drew Stand on the south western side of the ground. Funding for the project included A$14 million from the Federal Government and A$6 million from the Victorian Government.[21] The new stand, known as the Premiership Stand, features seating for 4,500 supporters, including up to 800 corporate guests on match days. The stand opened on 10 April 2010 and was officially unveiled in round four of the 2010 AFL season, coinciding with the unveiling of the 2009 premiership flag.[22][23] A$50,000 was also spent on a new 600-seat temporary stand between the Reg Hickey and Doug Wade stands.[citation needed]

In May 2009 it was revealed that the City of Greater Geelong as stadium owner had approached a number of Melbourne-based AFL clubs discussing the financial advantages of playing home games at the ground. The ground could see clubs earning A$30 a patron at Skilled Stadium, compared to A$7 earned at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. The Geelong Football Club had first floated Skilled Stadium as a potential home game venue for Melbourne clubs in 2006.[citation needed]

In April 2011, plans for the third stage of redevelopment were revealed. Under the plans, the Doug Wade stand at the southern end of the stadium was pulled down at the end of the 2011 AFL season. The works included the demolition of the old Doug Wade stand and the construction of a new 9,000 (approx.) seat Southern Grandstand. The new Grandstand also included:[24]

  • Improved spectator amenities
  • A Community Wellness and Education Centre – a purpose built training facility for community sporting groups
  • A new ‘Past Players’ room
  • Constructed concurrently to the Grandstand were five new light towers which comply with Australian Broadcast requirements. The new light towers allow the ground to host night AFL and cricket matches.

The redevelopment saw the stadium increase in capacity to 34,500. The redevelopment cost $33 million, of which $11.7 million was spent on the new lighting.[24]

An AFL night match at Simonds Stadium (2014)

Significant miscalculations were made with respect to the budget required for the stage 3 redevelopment and consequently several aspects of the plans were scaled back by the Geelong Football Club in November 2011, including the removal of a proposed supporters lounge and decreasing capacity by 1,000 seats.[25] The new grandstand was named the Players Stand in August 2012 and from 1 November 2011, the venue became known as Simonds Stadium, after homebuilding group Simonds Homes signed a five-year naming rights deal.[26]

The new Players Stand was officially opened on 1 June 2013, prior to Geelong's first proper home match of the 2013 AFL season against Gold Coast. The match was the first to be played under the new floodlights and was played before 30,082 fans, the largest crowd at the stadium at that time since the first stage of the re-development.[27]

In September 2014, then Victorian opposition leader Daniel Andrews promised $70 million to complete stage four of the upgrade of the oval in the Labor Party's successful election campaign. The stage funded involves demolishing the Brownlow and Jennings stands and replacing them with a new stand, for a total capacity of 36,000.[28] The new stand, eventually named the Brownlow Stand (in honour of the club's Brownlow Medal winners and Mr. Charles Brownlow) was opened on 18 May 2017. The new stand features seating for 6,500 people, improved media facilities, a new 1000-seat function centre, merchandise store, café, an enhanced football department and the Sunrise Centre, a community facility providing rehabilitation for people returning to the workforce following serious injury.[29]

The total cost of the fourth stage of redevelopment was $91 million, of which $75m came from the Victorian Government, $6m from the City of Greater Geelong, $6m from the Geelong Football Club and $4m from the Australian Football League (AFL).[29] The total capacity of Kardinia Park after the stage 4 redevelopment is technically 36,000,[30] however given the way the stadium is configured for AFL matches, its capacity is said to be unable to exceed 34,000.[2]

During 2016 laws were passed by the Victorian Parliament for management of the stadium to be taken over by a state appointed Kardinia Park Stadium Trust in line with practices at other major venues in the state.[31] Prior to this the venue had been owned and operated by the City of Greater Geelong, which now maintains and manages the broader Kardinia Park precinct, though not the actual stadium itself.[32]

In April 2017, the Victorian Government announced an investment of $3.9 million in the upcoming state budget to fund the planning and design stage for Stage 5 of the redevelopment. The proposed redevelopment would be the final part of the more than decade-long process to increase the capacity of Kardinia Park to 40,000 and will result in the Ford Stand and Gary Ablett Terrace being removed for the new stand to ring around the remaining open-air section of the stadium.[33][34]

From 1 January 2018, the stadium will commercially be known as GMHBA Stadium.[35]

Hosted events

Attendance records

Top 10 sports attendances
No. Date Teams Sport Competition Crowd
1 30 August 1952 Geelong Cats v. Carlton Blues Australian rules football VFL 49,107
2 16 August 1980 Geelong Cats v. Collingwood Magpies Australian rules football VFL 42,278
3 20 April 1981 Geelong Cats v. Collingwood Magpies Australian rules football VFL 41,395
4 3 August 1963 Geelong Cats v. Essendon Bombers Australian rules football VFL 40,885
5 25 April 1964 Geelong Cats v. Collingwood Australian rules football VFL 40,299
6 28 March 1981 Geelong Cats v. Essendon Bombers Australian rules football VFL 37,256
7 12 July 1952 Geelong Cats v. Collingwood Magpies Australian rules football VFL 36,145
8 25 April 1970 Geelong Cats v. Collingwood Magpies Australian rules football VFL 35,654
9 13 June 1988 Geelong Cats v. Collingwood Magpies Australian rules football VFL 35,322
10 15 April 1967 Geelong Cats v. Collingwood Magpies Australian rules football VFL 35,151

Last updated 22 September 2013

Top 10 attendances since 2004– redevelopments
No. Date Teams Sport Competition Round Crowd
1 7 September 2013 Geelong v. Fremantle Australian rules football AFL Qualifying Final 32,815
2 19 May 2017 Geelong v. Western Bulldogs Australian rules football AFL Round 9 30,275
3 1 June 2013 Geelong v. Gold Coast Australian rules football AFL Round 10 30,082
4 24 August 2013 Geelong v. Sydney Australian rules football AFL Round 22 28,459
5 21 June 2015 Geelong v. Melbourne Australian rules football AFL Round 12 28,007
6 8 August 2015 Geelong v. Sydney Australian rules football AFL Round 19 27,910
7 31 August 2013 Geelong v. Brisbane Lions Australian rules football AFL Round 23 27,467
8 23 May 2014 Geelong v. North Melbourne Australian rules football AFL Round 10 27,402
9 27 July 2013 Geelong v. St Kilda Australian rules football AFL Round 18 27,200
10 9 August 2014 Geelong v. Fremantle Australian rules football AFL Round 20 26,855

Last updated 20 August 2015

Highest crowd by sport
Sport Crowd Date Home team Away team
Australian Rules Football 49,109 30 August 1952 Geelong Cats Carlton
Association Football 21,289 2 January 2015 Melbourne Victory Perth Glory
Cricket (Twenty20) 12,327 4 January 2009 Victorian Bushrangers Queensland Bulls
Cricket (International T20) 13,647 19 February 2017 Australia Sri Lanka
Rugby Union 8,000 2012 Melbourne Rebels Waikato Chiefs
  • Sources

VFL/AFL records

Players

Teams

Last updated: 25 May 2015.[36]

Dimensions

  • Length – 170m
  • Width – 115m
  • Goals run north to south

Source

The field is the narrowest playing field used for AFL games, however many other venues are much shorter (with the Gabba being the shortest).

Notes

  1. ^ Note the following figures do not take into account inflation:
    • Stage 1 – $28 million (2003–05)
    • Stage 2 – $25 million (2007–10)
    • Stage 3 – $33 million (2011–13)
    • Stage 4 – $91 million (2015–17)
    • Stage 5 – $3.9+ million (2018–present)
      Refer to Redevelopment section of article for details and references for these figures.

References

  1. ^ Fowles, Shane. "Simonds Stadium capacity: Geelong Cats reveal capacity crowd is 34,000". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 20 August 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Simonds Stadium capacity: Geelong Cats reveal capacity is 34,000, not 36,000". Reddit & Geelong Advertiser. 13 June 2017. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. 
  3. ^ "Football". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 29 September 1884. p. 7. 
  4. ^ J.W. (3 December 1921). "Football – turning the tables". The Australasian. CXI (2905). Melbourne, VIC. 
  5. ^ "Football – New Association clubs". The Argus. Melbourne, VIC. 7 January 1926. p. 11. 
  6. ^ "All Power to the Cats on home turf". The Age. 11 April 2011. Retrieved 2001-04-11. 
  7. ^ "Cats seek new name for home". Tom Peeters. www.gfc.com.au. 22 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  8. ^ "Simonds Stadium lights up without a hitch". AEOL. 5 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Kardinia Park Seating Plans". Kardinia Park Stadium Trust. 1 May 2017. 
  10. ^ Opening month of A-League season 10 features a series of blockbuster matches, Fox Sports Australia, 12 June 2014
  11. ^ Central Coast, Victory play out A-League classic Football Federation Australia official website, John Greco, 8 January 2016
  12. ^ Record for Berisha as Victory trounce Jets Melbourne Victory Official Website, John Greco, 2 January 2017
  13. ^ Geelong’s Kardinia Park to host more Melbourne Victory A-League games, Geelong Advertiser, Shane Fowles, 20 June 2017
  14. ^ Victory to play Atlético de Madrid in Geelong Melbourne Victory official website, 16 June 2016
  15. ^ Bahrain put four past Saudi Arabia in Geelong 31 December 2014, Roy Ward, Sydney Morning Herald
  16. ^ "AUSTRALIAN WORLD CUP STADIUMS". austadiums.com. Retrieved 12 April 2014. 
  17. ^ "Sri Lanka tour of Australia, 2nd T20I: Australia v Sri Lanka at Geelong, Feb 19, 2017". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
  18. ^ "Gunaratne 84* caps stunning series win for Sri Lanka". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 19 February 2017. 
  19. ^ "Simonds Stadium Redevelopment". Austadiums. 1 January 2017. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  20. ^ "Department for Victorian Communities 2004–05 Annual Report" (PDF). Victorian Government. 1 July 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2017. Refer to pp. 57 
  21. ^ "Geelong Scores a Win with Funding for Skilled Stadium". Australian Government. 21 September 2007. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  22. ^ "Skilled Stadium Premiership Stand (d&e)". de-air.com.au. 1 January 2011. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  23. ^ "Skilled Stadium Premiership Stand (Watpac Limited)". Watpac.com.au. 1 January 2011. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  24. ^ a b "Simonds Stadium Stage 3 Redevelopment". WTPartnership. 1 January 2014. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  25. ^ "Stadium renovations still on track". Geelong Advertiser. 23 November 2011. Archived from the original on 17 September 2012. 
  26. ^ "Simonds Stadium new name for Kardinia Park". Austadiums. 4 October 2011. Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. 
  27. ^ "Talking points: Cats and Suns". Geelong Cats. 1 June 2013. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  28. ^ "Labor pledges $100 million on upgrades for Simonds Stadium and GPAC". Geelong Advertiser. 9 September 2014. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  29. ^ a b "Brownlow Stand officially opened". Geelong Cats. 18 May 2017. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  30. ^ "Kardinia Park: New Brownlow Stand unveiled". Austadiums. 18 May 2017. Archived from the original on 17 June 2017. 
  31. ^ "Kardinia Park Stadium Trust passes Parliament, now on search for chief executive". Geelong Advertiser. 27 February 2016. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  32. ^ "Kardinia Park". City of Greater Geelong. 1 January 2017. Archived from the original on 3 May 2017. 
  33. ^ "Media Release: Labor Kick Starts Next Upgrade of Geelong's Kardinia Park". Kardinia Park Stadium Trust. 27 April 2017. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  34. ^ "Media Release: Kardinia Park Stadium Trust welcomes stadium budget boost". Kardinia Park Stadium Trust. 27 April 2017. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. 
  35. ^ "Stadium name change for Cats in new deal". AFL.com.au. 21 November 2016. Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. 
  36. ^ http://afltables.com/afl/venues/kardinia_park.html

External links

  • Kardinia Park at Austadiums
  • Kardinia Park Redevelopment – Austadiums.com
  • "Around the Grounds" – Web Documentary – Kardinia Park
  • Official Kardinia Park Stadium website
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