Bellerive Oval
Bellerive Oval is primarily a cricket and Australian Rules Football ground located in Bellerive, City of Clarence, on the eastern shore of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. The ground is currently the only venue in Tasmania to host international cricket and has a capacity of approximately 16,000, although a record crowd of 16,719 watched Australia play England in 2003. It is best known as the home ground for the state cricket team, the Tasmanian Tigers, and as a venue for international Test matches since 1989 and one-day matches since 1988. Bellerive Oval underwent a $16 million re-development at very start of the 21st century and that was completed at the end of 2002. The re-development includes: state-of-the-art indoor nets, a 6,000 seat Southern Stand that contains the new television media centre, Members Area that features press and radio media areas, as well as corporate boxes and lunchrooms, members bar, TCA offices and a players area. In February 2010 it was announced that the Bellerive Oval would host the second One Day International between Australia and England, to take place on 21 January 2011.

Football and cricket first started being played in the area where Bellerive Oval is now in the mid-to-late 19th century. In 1884 the first football match on record from the area was played between Carlton and Bellerive. In 1913 the piece of land located between the now Beach, Church and Derwent streets was sold to the Clarence council. 1 year later, the new Bellerive recreation ground was ready for use. The ground barely changed from then until the mid '80s. During this time the ground had a hump in the centre of the ground making only the top half of players visible from the other side of the ground. There was a shed for players located where the main pavilion now stands. There was a hill on the outer (where the hill now is) that could accommodate two rows of vehicles, the small scoreboard stood on the outer close to where the electronic scoreboard is now, and the time clock sat about halfway up a training light tower. The police booth sat, until very recently, in the north-east corner of the oval. A concrete cricket pitch served for local junior teams until the 1956/57 season, when it was replaced by a turf wicket. In 1948 The Clarence Football Club, a tenant of the ground, applied to join the Tasmanian Football League, and the ground had to upgrade to TFL standards. Some minor upgrades were made in the 1960s, clubrooms were built in 1961, and in 1963 a small grandstand (seating about 500) and a new PA system were installed. In 1977, Tasmania gained admission into the Sheffield Shield and a plan was put in place by the TCA to move from its headquarters at the TCA Ground on the Domain to a new oval. Bellerive Oval was chosen ahead of KGV Oval and North Hobart Oval. $2,200,000 was spent building new grandstands, training nets, a hill, new surface and centre wicket, the old TCA Ground scoreboard was relocated there, and the masterpiece - the three level Members' Pavilion was constructed. The newly refurbished ground was opened in 1986 for a TFL Statewide League roster match between Clarence and Hobart, 3562-people attended the match which saw a Clarence victory. However, significant damage to the newly laid turf which saw an enormous amounts of divets in the playing surface, no more football matches were scheduled at the ground for the remainder of the 1986 TFL season. The move was made in 1987 under TCA Chairman Denis Rogers, in time for its first international match - between Sri Lanka and New Zealand on 12 January 1988, before a crowd of 6,500. The first Test match in Tasmania was played at Bellerive from the 16th-20 December 1989, between Australia and Sri Lanka. Shortly afterwards, the new electronic scoreboard and Northern Stand was erected. In 2007, Bellerive Oval was the ground at which the Tasmanian Tigers won their inaugural Pura Cup. And in 2008 the ground hosted its first Ford Ranger Cup final, after the Tigers finished on top of the table. Tasmania defeated Victoria by 1 wicket.

Structures and Facilities
In 1999 came the announcement that the Federal Government would give $5 million dollars to the upgrading of Bellerive. The TCA added an extra $10 million to upgrade on loan from the state government, and the Clarence City Council an extra 1 million dollars for a $16 million upgrade. The first part of this upgrade was the state-of-the-art indoor nets. The 6,000 seater Southern Stand came next, which blocked winds and views of the Derwent, and contained the new media centre. The new Members' Area was the last of the upgrades, along with new perimeter fence and entry gates. The Members' Area features press and radio media areas, corporate boxes and lunchrooms, as well as the players areas, member's bars and TCA offices. The redevelopment was officially opened on 11 January 2003, when an overcrowd of 16,719 (official capacity 16000) witnessed a thrilling one day match between Australia and the old foes England, with Australia winning in a thriller. Tasmanian Tiger Shane Watson became the hero for Australia, bowling the very tense final over. Nowadays the spacious hill is the most popular seating areas in the ground, mainly because usually it's one of the cheapest areas. The Southern Stand is the most expensive stand to sit in. To allow for day night matches to be played at the venue, four light towers were installed in 2009 at a cost of A$4.8 million. This development enhances the venue's suitability to continue hosting international one-day and Twenty20 matches. The installation of these lights sparked significant debate from groups both for and against the new towers.

As well as being the home of domestic and international cricket and the Clarence Football Club in the now Tasmanian State League, Bellerive Oval served in 2003 as a home to the Tasmanian Devils in the VFL. The first match attracted the highest VFL roster match crowd since 1986 - 6,970. The venue also hosted Tasmania's two finals matches, with the elimination win against Geelong (4,800) and the massive 10,073 for the semi final against Port Melbourne, which the Devils lost after squandering a 23 point lead at three quarter time.

The record attendance for Bellerive Oval is 16,719 for a One Day International between Australia and England on 14 January 2003. The first international match at the venue was again a One Day International between New Zealand and Sri Lanka on 12 January 1988 and attracted a then record crowd for an international in Hobart of 6,180. On 21 February 2010, a Twenty20 International match between Australia and the West Indies attracted a crowd of 15,575. This was the first international day-night cricket match played at Bellerive Oval.

Metro buses are available to and from Bellerive Oval and there are also Ferry Services from Hobart City to Bellerive Wharf.

AFL matches
In 2010, talk of Melbourne-based AFL clubs shifting home games to Bellerive Oval surfaced. Richmond were considered the early front-runners, but as of July 2010 North Melbourne are the most likely candidate, given their willingness to move more than just two matches. No deal has been announced yet, but playing out of Bellerive could net the Kangaroos up to $3 million, with funding coming from a number of sources.

Record Crowds (All cricket) Season Format Teams Crowd 2002/03 ODI Australia V England 16,719 2006/07 ODI Australia V New Zealand 15,690 2008/09 ODI Australia V South Africa 15,671 2009/10 T20I Australia V West Indies 15,575 2004/05 ODI Australia V Pakistan 15,503 2010/11 ODI Australia V England 15,125


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