Parramatta Stadium
Parramatta Stadium is a sports stadium situated in Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia. The stadium is used primarily as the home ground of Australian National Rugby League (NRL) club the Parramatta Eels. The ground's eastern grandstand is named the Mick Cronin Stand and the western grandstand, the Ken Thornett Stand in honour of two of the club's leading former players. It has also hosted numerous other sporting and cultural events since its opening in 1986. Michael Jackson performed, on two consecutive nights, at the stadium during his Bad World Tour on 20”“21 November 1987. Paul McCartney concluded the Australian leg of The New World Tour, with two consecutive shows at the stadium, on 22”“23 March 1993.

  • The highest crowd to attend a match at Parramatta Stadium was for the rugby league Test match between Australia and France in 1994. This game attracted a crowd of 27,918.
  • The highest crowd to attend a match at Parramatta Stadium after the redevelopment of the hill areas is 21,141 (Parramatta Eels versus Wests Tigers in round 7 of the 2006 NRL season.)
  • The average crowd at Parramatta Stadium for Parramatta Eels home games in 2005 was 16,478.
  • The highest average for a Season in the NSWRL/ARL/SL/NRL Season for the Parramatta Eels was set in 1986.


Cumberland Oval (1847 - 1981)
Parramatta Stadium is the second sports ground to occupy the site, the first being Cumberland Oval which was the main sporting venue of the Parramatta District from the mid 19th Century through to the 1980s, hosting horse-racing, cricket, rugby union, athletics and motorsport. While used since 1847 as a sportsground, the first stand at Cumberland Oval was built in 1850 and others followed at various times up to the final stand was built in 1936. The oval was surrounded by a post and two-rail fence that was constructed in the 1860s by players of the Central Cumberland Cricket Club. Cricket Central Cumberland Cricket Club, formed in 1862, played at Cumberland Oval from 1863, and played famous England XI touring sides during the 1880s and 1890s. Now known as the Parramatta District Cricket Club, Sydney grade cricket is now played at Old Kings' Oval, which stands less than 100m behind Parramatta Stadium. Rugby union Rugby union was played at Cumberland Oval from 1879 and, from 1936, Parramatta (now the Parramatta Two Blues) played home matches at the Oval, the team now plays its matches at Granville Rugby Park.

Rugby league at Cumberland
Rugby league was played at Cumberland Oval from as early as 1909 by local clubs such as Parramatta Iona, Endeavours and the Western Districts representative side. When the Parramatta District Rugby League Club (later known as the Parramatta Eels) was admitted into the NSWRL Premiership in 1947 Cumberland Oval became the club's home ground. The first match was played against Newtown (now Newtown Jets) on 12 April 1947, before a crowd of 6,000. Cumberland Oval remained the home ground of the Parramatta Eels until 1981, playing their last match there against Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in August before going on to win their maiden NSWRL Premiership that year. The largest crowd to watch a rugby league match at Cumberland Oval was 22,470 when the Eels took on the South Sydney Rabbitohs on 26 April 1971.

Cumberland burns
As the Parramatta Eels secured their first-ever Premiership, defeating the Newtown Jets in the 1981 Grand Final, wild scenes erupted in Parramatta, with Eels fans celebrating and rallying at Cumberland Oval and, in a frenzy of excitement, burning the Oval's (soon to be demolished) stand to the ground.

A new stadium

Building and opening
The new stadium to be built on the site of Cumberland Oval was approved by the New South Wales Government for development in 1983 and the contract for the construction and design of the Stadium was put up for tender.
  • In November 1984 the construction company Civil & Civic won the contract to design and build the stadium.
  • In November 1985 the Stadium was complete and the grass was planted.
  • On 5 March 1986, the Stadium was opened by Queen Elizabeth II ( Official Openings by the Monarch in Australia), and, on 16 March, the first NSWRL Premiership match was played at the ground, with Parramatta defeating the St. George Dragons 36 - 6.

Other Rugby League Use
Parramatta Stadium has also been used for other Rugby league matches such as pre-season Sevens tournaments in 1989 and 1990, and a test match against France in 1994. The ground was also used for the short-lived Sydney Tigers, what became of Balmain Tigers. in 1997 the Sydney Tigers went back to being the Balmain Tigers and moved back to Leichhardt Oval. In more recent times has been used as a host venue for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup and the 2010 Four Nations.

Redevelopment (2002 - 2003)
  • In December 2002, work began on converting the formerly grassed hill areas (The Brett Kenny Hill and The Peter Sterling Hill) into seated terrace areas (holding 4,500 spectators). This redevelopment reduced the ground's capacity to 21,487, down from the previous capacity of 27,000.

New Southern Stand
In May 2007 the Parramatta Stadium Trust announced plans to build a new southern stand with room for 2,700 extra patrons as well as a players change room and gym.

Other sports played at Parramatta Stadium
Baseball Baseball has also been played at Parramatta Stadium with the Sydney Blues playing home matches there. The Sydney Blues entered the Australian Baseball League in 1992 and played out of Parramatta Stadium to much controversy of having such a short home run fence in right field. The Sydney Blues were later known as the Sydney Storm who also played some games at Parramatta, until the collapse of the Australian Baseball League in 1999. Soccer Parramatta Power, a National Soccer League (NSL) club owned and operated by Parramatta Leagues Club, played home games at the Stadium between 1999 and 2004. With the announcement of the demise of the NSL, and the creation of the A-League, the club was wound-up at the end of the 2003/2004 season. It played in the last-ever NSL Grand Final against Perth Glory which was played at the Stadium. The ground all up hosted 7 NSL Grand Final matches, in 1986 (second leg), 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 2001 and 2004. In April Sydney FC played one game in the AFC Champions League here against Persik Kediri. Sydney FC won 3-0. In February 2010 during the 2009-10 Hyundai A-League season, Sydney FC defeated Perth Glory 3-2. The game had been moved from the Sydney Football Stadium due to the Edinborough Military tattoo. The ground was also proposed as the home stadium for western sydney's failed A-League franchise Sydney Rovers FC. Rugby union On 18 September 1997 two 1999 Rugby World Cup qualifiers -- Western Samoa vs Tonga and Australia vs Fiji -- were played at Parramatta Stadium. A number of NSW Rugby Union club matches were played at the ground between 2001 and 2002. Australia A also played a match against Canada in 2002 at Parramatta Stadium. During 2007, Parramatta Stadium was also the home ground for the Western Sydney Rams club side that participated in the now defunct Australian Rugby Championship.

Building Activity

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