Football Park (currently also known by its sponsored name of AAMI Stadium) is an Australian rules football stadium located in West Lakes, a western suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. It was built in 1973 by the South Australian National Football League and opened in 1974 and is now the home ground of both the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power. With a seated capacity of 51,224 Football Park is the fourth largest Australian Rules Football stadium in Australia in terms of crowd capacity, behind Docklands Stadium (56,347), Stadium Australia (81,500) and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (100,018). It is also currently the largest purpose-built Australian rules football stadium in the country.History
Football Park hosted its first football game, an SANFL match between Central District and North Adelaide, on 4 May 1974. The first goal was kicked by North's Barry Hearl but The Bulldogs won the game defeating The Roosters 21.13 (139) to 16.13 (109).
In addition to football, Football Park has also hosted cricket matches, most famously for the Kerry Packer-run World Series Cricket competition of the late 1970s, International rules football and rock concerts. At present the only sport played at the ground is Australian rules football.
In May 2011 it was announced that the Crows and the Power would shift their home games to a redeveloped Adelaide Oval from 2014.Transport
Football Park has a bus terminal for public buses from Adelaide and surrounding suburbs; approximately 1000 buses are in service to transport spectators to and from the stadium for football games. This service is known as the 'Footy Express'. For "Showdown" matches, when both of Adelaide's sides play against each other, the number of buses is doubled.
There is no railway line directly serving the site, but there have been plans to build a spur from the Grange line. The nearest station is Albert Park, but Seaton Park, East Grange and Grange are a similar distance from the stadium.Concerts
Major artists have held concerts at Football Park, including ABBA, Dire Straits, U2, The Rolling Stones and Robbie Williams.Highest attendances
The stadium has an absolute seated maximum capacity of 51,224, about 5% of the population of the Adelaide metropolitan area.Upgrades
Since it was built, Football Park has had many additions including:
- In 1984 the Light Towers were installed.
- In 1985 alcohol was banned from the seats. Alcohol could only be consumed in the bar areas. In 2009, this ban was removed.
- In 1997 the stadium opened new corporate facilities, with suites at the southern end of the ground.
- In 1998 the superscreen was added to the NE side of the ground.
- In 2001 the balcony upper level of seats was extended towards the Northern End of the ground.
- In 2004 the existing aluminium bench seating on the lower deck was replaced with plastic bucket seats.
- In 2007,
- The Sound System was upgraded with new plastic PA speakers installed all around the stadium.
- A new and louder siren was added.
- Another superscreen was installed at the Southern End of the ground to aid viewers sitting under the existing superscreen on the North East side of the ground.
- The existing main scoreboard is still used, but also started its use for advertising.
- New scoreboards were built under both superscreens.
- On June 1, 2008, Premier Mike Rann announced that the Government will provide $100 million to upgrade AAMI Stadium. Among the several options considered were:
- a Medallion Club on the eastern side roof,
- the members grandstand roof raised with 2,000 extra seats,
- better lighting and
- new umpires' change rooms.
- There was also a push to build a grandstand on the eastern side of the stadium (like the northern grandstand), bringing the capacity to around 60,000. From AdelaideNow polls, it appeared the majority of the general public preferred the construction of a new stadium, closer to the city, to host most sporting events.
- As of 8 January 2009, it has been decided that AAMI Stadium will undergo redevelopment. Confirmed upgrades include
- better traffic flow to and from the stadium
- better public transport access to and from the stadium
- undercover walkways and concourses
- new seating throughout the stadium, with spectators in the first level as close as 10 metres (33 ft) to the playing field and 16 metres (52 ft) on the upper level
- new entrances, combined with more flowing concourses and walkways, which will reduce the time it takes spectators to travel to and from the stadium gates.
- As of the 2nd May, 2011, after Adelaide Oval had been confirmed to hold AFL games as of 2014, it was announced that as of Round 1, 2014, AAMI will withdraw its sponsorship. The Adelaide Crows and the Port Adelaide Power Football Clubs will have moved to Adelaide Oval for their home games and the stands (including seats) will be torn down. The Adelaide Crows Football Club Administrative offices, the oval and surrounding areas and CrowsMania (Adelaide Crows Football Club's merchandise store) will all stay. The surrounding ovals will be rezoned for SANFL profit and the oval itself will belond to the Adelaide Crows Football Club's training ground.
The playing surface covers approximately 2 hectares, with the average distance between the boundary line and fence being 6 metres. The ground dimensions from fence to fence are 177 x 145 m (581 x 476 ft) and the playing area from the boundary lines is 165 x 133 m (541 x 436 ft) and the goals run north to south.