Adelaide Oval
Adelaide Oval is a sports ground in Adelaide, South Australia. It is located in the parklands between the city centre and North Adelaide and has a history which dates back to the 1870s. It is considered to be one of the most picturesque Test cricket grounds in Australia, if not the world. The oval is managed by the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA), and the long-serving curator Les Burdett retired in 2010. The oval currently has a seating capacity of 40,000 spectators; the maximum crowd at a cricket game was 50,962 (during the Bodyline test 1932) and the maximum crowd was 62,543 (at the 1965 SANFL Grand Final between Port Adelaide and Sturt).

  • The ground was established in 1871 after the formation of SACA.
  • The first Test match was played at the Oval from 12”“16 December 1884. England beat Australia by eight wickets. ( Scorecard)
  • In 1894”“95 Albert Trott collected 8/43 on debut against England, the best ever single-innings Test match figures at the ground.
  • The picket fence was put up surrounding the Oval (then with a cycling track) in 1900.
  • From 5”“12 August 1911 the Australian Football Council Carnival was played at the ground, won by South Australia. The competing sides were SA, VFL, VFA, Western Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales.
  • The Adelaide Oval scoreboard, designed by architect Kenneth Milne, began service on 3 November 1911. The clock was added in 1912 and the windvane in the 1930s.
  • In 1931”“32 Donald Bradman scored the highest score ever at the ground in Test Cricket, compiling 299* against South Africa. In the same game, Clarrie Grimmett collected fourteen wickets, the most ever taken in a Test match at the ground by a bowler.
  • In 1932”“33, the Bodyline affair reached its lowest point at the ground when Bill Woodfull and Bert Oldfield were struck, and on the third day mounted police patrolled to keep the 50,962 spectators in order (a record crowd for cricket at the ground). The total attendance for the match was 174,351.
  • In 1946”“47, Arthur Morris of Australia, and Denis Compton of England both made centuries in both innings of the Test.
  • In 1947”“48 Australia scored 674 against India, the highest team total at the ground in Test matches.
  • Considered by some to be the best Test Match ever competed at the ground, Australia played the West Indies in the fourth test of the Frank Worrell Trophy, 1960”“61. The match ended in a draw, with the West Indies unable to take the final wicket of the fourth innings, as the last batsmen Ken Mackay and Lindsay Kline held out for 109 minutes. West Indies bowler Lance Gibbs took the only ever Test cricket hat trick at the ground in Australia's first innings. ( Scorecard)
  • A record attendance of 62,543 people was recorded for the 1965 SANFL Grand Final between Port Adelaide and Sturt.
  • In 1975”“76 the first One-Day International match was played at the ground between Australia and West Indies (40-over match), which Australia won by 5 wickets. ( Scorecard)
  • In 1978, the ground hosted the first concert by David Bowie in the Southern Hemisphere. It was also the first large scale outdoor concert he had ever played.
  • In October 1982, vs Victoria, David Hookes hit a 43 minute, 34 ball century - in some respects the fastest hundred in history. ( Statistics)
  • In 1989”“90 Dean Jones scored twin Test hundreds against Pakistan.
  • South Australia compiled the highest fourth innings winning total in Sheffield Shield history, reaching 6/506 (set 506 to win) against Queensland in 1991”“92.
  • In 1992”“93 the West Indies defeated Australia by one run in the fourth test of the Frank Worrell Trophy, when a bouncer by Courtney Walsh brushed Craig McDermott's glove to end a 40-run last-wicket partnership. It was the narrowest victory ever in Test cricket. Curtly Ambrose picked up ten wickets in the game. ( Scorecard)
  • Lights were constructed at the ground in 1997, allowing sport to be held at night. This was the subject of a lengthy dispute with the Adelaide City Council, due to environmental issues relating to the parklands area. The first towers erected were designed to retract into the ground; however one collapsed and they were replaced with permanent towers. The first cricket match under lights was a One Day International between South Africa and New Zealand on 6 December 1997. ( Scorecard)
  • In 1999, Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was called for throwing by umpire Ross Emerson in a One Day International against England. The Sri Lankan team almost abandoned the match, but after instructions from the president of the Sri Lankan cricket board (relayed to captain Arjuna Ranatunga by mobile phone) the game resumed.
  • In 2003, two matches of the Rugby World Cup were played at Adelaide Oval, with Australia thrashing Namibia 142-0 and Argentina - Ireland both selling out.
  • In December 2003 the highest day-score was compiled at the Adelaide Oval, by Australia against India, with the home side finishing at 5/400 at stumps.
  • In November 2005 Brian Lara broke Allan Border's world record for the most Test runs before eventually being dismissed for 226.
  • During the 2006/2007 Ashes series, many temporary stands were erected to cope with the demand for tickets. Stands were put between the Chappell stands and on the top of the hills. Australia beat England by 6 wickets on a remarkable last day. ( Scorecard)
  • In late 2010, the Western Grandstand with a seating capacity of 14,000, was completed.

Major sporting events
Adelaide Oval hosts the following major sporting events:
  • International cricket " Test and One Day International. The Adelaide Oval hosts some of the many exciting events in the cricketing calendar - including the annual Australia Day One Day International on 26 January (replacing a traditional Australia Day test) and every 4 years, one of the 5 Ashes test matches against England. The tests are now normally held in early December and is a clash between Australia and the international touring team of that particular season. In 2011, The Adelaide Oval will hold its first Twenty20 International. The home side will take on England as a part of a two match 'KFC Twenty20 International' Series.
  • Domestic cricket " Adelaide Oval is the home ground of the West End Southern Redbacks, the South Australian state cricket team. They play in three competitions: Sheffield Shield ( first-class), Ryobi One Day Cup (one-day) and KFC Twenty20 Big Bash. The 2005/06 ING Cup (now known as the Ryobi One Day Cup) final was played at Adelaide Oval between SA and NSW.
  • Australian rules football " Adelaide Oval hosts SANFL matches, including many of the finals. Traditional fixtures include a " Grand Final rematch" between last year's Grand Finalists on the afternoon of ANZAC Day, which is well attended due to the venue's close proximity to the Torrens Parade Ground, the end of the ANZAC Day Parade in Adelaide, and the Finals in the first 3 weeks of the SANFL Finals Series, with only the Grand Final being played at AAMI Stadium. Australian Football League matches are played at AAMI Stadium, although the SACA continues to lobby the SANFL and AFL for AFL matches to be played at the ground.
  • Rugby sevens " Starting in 2007, Adelaide Oval has hosted the Australia Sevens event in the IRB Sevens World Series.
  • Soccer " Adelaide United FC played a one-off A-League home game against Sydney FC on 28 December 2007 which attracted 25,039 people. More games are planned for the Oval due to its larger capacity than the 16,500 of the official home ground, Hindmarsh Stadium.
  • Rugby League - In 1991 NSWRL came to the Adelaide Oval when the St. George Dragons played the Balmain Tigers on a cold and wet Friday night under temporary lights in the first of five games that the Dragons would play at the oval over the next five years. That game set a rugby league record crowd for the ground when 28,884 people attended. In 1997 Adelaide got its own side in the much vaunted (but short lived) Super League competition with the Adelaide Rams. Their first home game attracted their record crowd when 27,435 saw the Rams beat the Hunter Mariners 10-8, however, they left the ground in 1998 and went to Hindmarsh Stadium. In 2010 the Canterbury Bulldogs played the Melbourne Storm at Adelaide Oval.
16 sports have been played at one time or another at the oval: archery, athletics, baseball, cycling, gridion, highland games, hockey, lacrosse, lawn tennis, rugby league, rugby union, quoits and soccer.

Adelaide Oval has hosted major concerts during its time, with some of the most famous acts including Fleetwood Mac (1977 & 2004), David Bowie (1978 & 1983), KISS (1980), Madonna & Paul McCartney (1993), Michael Jackson (1996), Billy Joel & Elton John (1998) , P!nk (2002), Pearl Jam (2009) & AC/DC & Wolfmother (2010).

Oval layout
The oval dimensions are 190m x 125m , which is both unusually long and unusually narrow for an Australian cricket ground. The arrangement is highly favourable for batsmen who play square of the wicket, and heavily penalises bowlers who deliver the ball wide so that the batsman can exploit the short boundaries square of the wicket. Before the far ends in front of and behind the wicket were roped off, making the playing area shorter, it was not uncommon for batsmen to hit an all-run five. The pitch itself is generally very good for batting, and offers little assistance to bowlers until the last day of a match.
  • The playing area is surrounded by a white picket fence and advertising billboards.
  • The Hill was created in 1898 with earth from the banks of the River Torrens.
  • The scoreboard was first used in 1911 and still shows its original Edwardian architecture.
  • There were three western stands from around the start of the 20th century, all of which were demolished in 2009:
    • George Giffen stand (1882)
    • Sir Edwin Smith stand (1922)
    • Mostyn Evan stand (1920s)
  • Two grandstands, named the Chappell Stands, after the South Australian cricketing brothers Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell and Trevor Chappell were completed in 2003.
  • The Sir Donald Bradman stand was built in 1990 to replace the John Creswell stand and now provides up to date facilities for spectators.
  • The scoreboard and the George Giffen Stand are listed on the City of Adelaide Heritage Register, helping to maintain the charm of the ground.

During the second Ashes test

During the England vs SA match

Ground redevelopment

SACA initiatives
In August 2008 the South Australian Cricket Association announced that it had approved plans to redevelop the ground, involving expanding its capacity to 40,000. Development plans showed a reconfiguration of the playing surface and a remodelled western stand. The redevelopment would make the ground a viable option for hosting Australian Football League games as well as international soccer and rugby. The state and federal Governments each pledged $25m to the project, leaving the SACA to raise at least $45m. The SACA planned for the new stand to be ready in time for the 2010”“11 Ashes series. It was announced on 27 February 2009 that the A$95 million re-development would commence on 10 March 2010. In March, the western stands were torn down. Western stand construction at the Adelaide Oval on 10 July 2010

SA Labor Government initiatives
In the lead up to the 2010 South Australian State Election, the opposition Liberal Party announced that, if elected, it would provide Adelaide with a new stadium with a roof capable of closing. The incumbent Labor party subsequently announced it would fund an upgrade and redevelopment of the whole of the Adelaide Oval, rather than just the Western Grand Stand. The redeveloped stadium, (which will NOT have a closing roof), is intended to seat 50,000 people, with 77% of them under cover. The redevelopment is proposed to be completed some time in 2014 or 2015. In an arrangement negotiated between the incumbent Labor Party and the SACA on 2 December 2009, it was originally planned to cost $450 million. The "Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority" (SMA), a joint venture of SACA and SANFL, was registered as a company on 23 Dec 2009 following the re-announcement of the plan. However, in early-mid 2010, prior to the election, it became clear that $450m would be inadequate. After the election (on 7 April 2010), SA Premier Mike Rann capped the State Government's commitment, saying: "It's $450 million - and not a penny more", and set a deadline for the parties to agree. In May, Treasurer Kevin Foley announced that "the Government's final offer to the SANFL and SACA for the redevelopment" was $535 million, and the deadline was extended to August 2010. Simultaneously, the SACA and the SANFL were in the process of negotiating an agreement that would enable Australian Rules Football (AFL) to use the Adelaide Oval during the AFL season as their home ground. In September 2010, an agreement between Port Adelaide, SACA, the SANFL and the AFL had still not been achieved. The redevelopment is also planned to include a $20 million pedestrian bridge across the River Torrens to link the Adelaide railway station precinct with the Adelaide Oval precinct. Debate is ongoing whether the Adelaide Crows, will move from Football Park (AAMI Stadium) to Adelaide Oval, or continue to use AAMI Stadium as their home ground. If they do move to Adelaide Oval, it is expected that AAMI will withdraw their sponsorship, and the land around Football Park will be rezoned to allow the SANFL (the owners of Football Park) to profit from the rezoning. Fans of the Adelaide Crows have rallied in support of the club to stay at Football Park..In Early 2011, the AFL, SANFL, SACA, the SA Government and the Australian Government reached an agreement to upgrade Adelaide Oval. The SACA and the SANFL proposed, if SACA members vote yes on the upgrade in early May, that the whole Stadium will undergo redevelopment, except for the Northern Mound, the Morten Bay Figg trees and the scoreboard, which will stay as it is because of it being under heritage listing. The stadium's capacity is meant to exceed 50,000, and it will have 2 T.V. screens, which will both be bigger than the ones at the MCG, which, at the moment, are the biggest in the country. If SACA members do vote yes, (75% of SACA need to vote yes for the deal to go ahead) then the SANFL and AFL will have control over the stadium for 7 months of the year, and SACA will have control for 5 months of the year.

Looking North Looking South Inside the new West Stand


2 photos