Carrara Stadium
Carrara Stadium, currently known as Metricon Stadium due to sponsorship, is an sporting venue on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, located in the suburb of Carrara. It received substantial redevelopment work prior to the entry of the Brisbane Bears to the VFL/AFL in 1987, but since the Bears relocated to Brisbane Cricket Ground in 1993, it has been used for other sports including rugby league, rugby union and even baseball.

Carrara Stadium was redeveloped by Christopher Skase after the Brisbane Bears were granted a licence to enter the VFL Australian rules football competition. The stadium was built with makeshift stands designed for night games and to maximise the television audience. The Fitzroy Football Club defeated the Brisbane Bears in the first VFL game played at Carrara Oval before a crowd of 17,795 in 1987. (The Brisbane Lions website records this crowd as 22,684, however the stadium did not have this capacity in 1987.) The Bears' onfield performance was poor and VFL crowds at Carrara Stadium never reached these heights again. In 1993 the Bears relocated to the Gabba. The ground was owned by the Albert Shire Council and transferred to the Gold Coast City Council when the two local authorities amalgamated in 1995. The field is officially known as Laver Oval after long time Albert Shire Chairman Councillor Bill Laver. In 1988, Carrara Stadium played host to the very first Touch Football World Cup in which teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the USA competed in the Men's, Women's and Mixed Opens as well as Men's Over 35's divisions. Australia won all four division finals which were all played against New Zealand. The Gold Coast Clippers played their 1989-1990 Australian Baseball League (1989-1999) season at Carrara before changing their name to the Daikyo Dolphins and moving to Palm Meadows. For the 1992-93 season they moved back to Carrara as the Gold Coast Cougars. The Cougars stayed at Carrara until the abolition of the Australian Baseball League in 1999. In 1996 the Gold Coast Seagulls moved to Carrara from Tweed Heads. They continued to use the ground until the end of the 1998 NRL season when they were excluded from the competition as a part of the rationalisation of the National Rugby League. Rugby league matches continued to be played at the stadium, with pre-season trials being played there annually from 2002 to 2005, and NRL premiership matches played in 2001 and 2005. The ground's capacity was increased slightly during this time. In 2005 the NRL announced that a licence would be awarded to the Gold Coast Titans, and that the stadium would be their home ground in 2007 until the completion of Skilled Park, which was opened in 2008. In response to the NRL move, the AFL scheduled three AFL 'home games' for the North Melbourne Football Club and a NAB Cup match for Carrara in 2007, and the Queensland State League began hosting Grand Finals there.

Carrara is still used for some Australian rules games even though it is no longer home to a professional club, hosting events such as the junior representative championships, Queensland State League finals matches and holds a status of a secondary AFL venue, becoming a second home to AFL club the North Melbourne Kangaroos, which has been contracted since 2007 to play at least 3 premiership season matches at Carrara a year.

Gold Coast Football Club
However, the AFL had announced a new team, the Gold Coast FC and has also announced that they will play games at Carrara. The Queensland Government has promised to contribute $60 million towards the redevelopment of the stadium which would increase the capacity to around 25,000 with 23,500 seated. The Gold Coast City Council also will contribute $20 million. Finally the AFL has promised $10 million. This is a total of $90 million. The establishment of Gold Coast FC is expected to contribute $34 million dollars to the region, 92 per cent of which will go to benefit non-AFL businesses in the Gold Coast such as tourism, retail and hospitality industries. On 15 March, 2011, the Gold Coast Suns announced that home builder group Metricon signed a $3 million, 5 year deal for naming rights of Carrara Stadium, to be known as Metricon Stadium.

On 30 October 2009, demolition work began on the $126 millon redevelopment of the stadium. The new stadium will seat 25,000 spectators, and will later be extended to seat 40,000-50,000. The stadium will feature an AFL oval capable of accommodating an ICC-compliant cricket oval, an IAAF Athletics field and a FIFA World Cup football field, facilities for 2,000 corporate patrons, AFL team and officials’ changing facilities, AFL media facilities, and team and officials’ suites. Watpac have been contracted for the construction, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2011. MakMax Australia has been contracted to complete the fabric roof of the stadium.

Attendance records

  • AFL Attendance Records
  • NRL Attendance Records
  • Brisbane Lions website
  • Gold Coast Titans website
  • Nerang Bulls Rugby Union website
  • Gold Coast City Council - Carrara Stadium
  • BPN news article

Date Teams Sport Competition Crowd 18 March 1994 Gold Coast Chargers v. Brisbane Broncos Rugby League NSWRL premiership 22,688 27 May 2005 North Queensland Cowboys v. Canterbury Bulldogs Rugby League NRL premiership 21,012 28 February 2005 St George Illawarra Dragons v. Canterbury Bulldogs Rugby League NRL pre-season 18,356 15 July 1989 Brisbane Bears v. Geelong Cats Australian rules football AFL premiership 18,198

Building Activity

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    about 6 years ago via