Aussie Stadium

Sydney Football Stadium is located in Moore Park, in Sydney, New South Wales. It was built in 1988, to be the city's premier "rectangular field" for rugby league. It is also now used for soccer and rugby union for major matches and domestic competition.

The Sydney Football Stadium usually hosts both NRL semi finals and one preliminary final, and also held the annual pre-season Charity Shield rugby league match between South Sydney and St George Illawarra for a number of years. All NSWRL / ARL Rugby League Grand Finals were played there between 1988 and 1998.

History

Prior to its construction, major events were usually held at the Sydney Cricket Ground, as it was the largest stadium in Sydney. But the SCG, being an oval field, was not considered ideal for sports requiring a rectangular field like soccer, rugby league and rugby union, although it had been used many times for such events. The Sydney Football Stadium was built upon the former Sydney Sports Ground in Moore Park, adjacent to the SCG, and is owned by the SCG Trust. Its seating capacity was 41,159, but after numerous expansions, today stands at 45,500, although the venue's official record attendance for a sporting event stands at 43,967, for the 1994 FIFA World Cup Qualifier when Australia played Argentina.

The Sydney Football Stadium has been the Sydney Roosters Home Ground since 1988. It is built on the site of the old Sydney Sports ground which served as the Roosters home ground for decades.

From 1988 to 2005 it served as the home ground for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

It was used as the venue for the 2000 Summer Olympics Women's Soccer gold medal match between Norway and the United States.

In 2002, the naming rights were purchased by Aussie Home Loans in a 5 year + 5 year deal. Due to this, the stadium was renamed Aussie Stadium. On 7 July 2007 the stadium reverted back to its original Sydney Football Stadium name after Aussie Home Loans and the SCG Trust mutually elected not to extend the naming rights deal.

In 2003, the SFS hosted several matches in the Rugby World Cup:

  • Ireland v Namibia
  • Argentina v Romania
  • Scotland v Fiji
  • South Africa v Georgia
  • Georgia v Uruguay. This match was notable for attracting a crowd of 28,576, despite the low profiles of both teams

The Sydney Football Stadium has been the venue of some of Australian sport's greatest matches and moments such as the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Australia and Argentina featuring Argentine Soccer legend Diego Maradona, finishing in a 1-1 draw with goals to Aurelio Vidmar for Australia and Abel Balbo for Argentina. This match retains the record attendance at the SFS and many more were actually in attendance as the gates were thrown open close to kick-off as a safety measure. The final of the 1993 World Youth Cup between Brazil and Ghana was also held at the SFS, Brazil won 2-1, 1989 Rugby League Grand Final which was won by the Canberra Raiders over the Balmain Tigers 19-14, the 1991 Rugby League Grand Final won by Penrith over Canberra 19-12 in which Royce Simmons scored 2 tries in his final match, the 1997 ARL Grand Final between Newcastle and Manly which the Knights won 22-16 and two standout State Of Origin matches in which QLD triumphed over NSW with last-minute victories in 1994 and 1998 and Michael O'Connor's sideline conversion for a NSW win in Game 2, 1991. The ground also hosted many memorable semi-finals and Monday Night Football games in 1996.

In 2007 the Sydney Roosters High Performance Centre and Administrative departments set up their headquarters at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Notable events
  • Irish band U2 held their Zoo TV concert at the Sydney Football Stadium in 1993, as recorded on the concert film, Zoo TV: Live from Sydney.
  • Argentinian superstar Diego Maradona played here for the 1993 World Cup qualifier against Australia, in which the match was drawn 1-1.
  • Rugby union provided a moment of magic thanks to George Gregan's last second match-winning tackle on NZ's Jeff Wilson in which Australia regained the Bledisloe Cup in 1994.
  • On 19 December 1997, representatives of clubs affiliated with the Australian Rugby League gathered at the SFS to decide whether to accept News Limited's offer of a settlement with the breakaway 'Super League' - eventually voting in favour by 36 votes to 4.
  • The Edinburgh Military Tattoo - A Salute to Australia - was held at the Sydney Football Stadium in 2005.
  • The stadium hosted the boxing fight between Danny Green and Anthony Mundine on 17 May 2006.
  • The inaugural A-League Grand Final was held here on 5 March 2006.
  • The stadium hosted the 2006 Rugby League Tri-Nations Grand Final on 25 November.
  • The stadium was recently under renovation, during which the capacity was expanded to 45,500, and a second video screen was added. Renovations were completed in early 2007.
  • On 7 July 2007, the stadium hosted the Australian concert of Live Earth.
  • On 22 November 2009, the stadium hosted the only Sydney concert by Pearl Jam, as listed on their page for the Backspacer Tour.
  • On 14 February 2010, the stadium hosted one of the biggest regular season Hyundai A League matches to date, which saw Sydney FC take out the 2009/2010 Premiership.
  • On 26 February 2010, world-famous singer & musician George Michael performed his first concert in Sydney since 1988.
  • Legendary New Jersey rockers Bon Jovi played three nights at the venue in December 2010 as part of The Circle Tour.

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