Name change for ANZ Stadium
Sydney’s ANZ Stadium has reverted back to its non-commercial name of Stadium Australia, following the conclusion of the current naming-rights partnership with ANZ Bank.
The change of name has occurred with little fanfare, with the stadium’s social media accounts and official website updated on Saturday (December 12), but no accompanying media release to confirm the change.
The Olympic Stadium has been known as ANZ Stadium for the past 12 years, since the bank purchased the naming-rights in December 2007 in an initial seven-year deal from January 2008, which was later extended.
When announced in 2007, ANZ’s $4.5 million annual sponsorship, valued at $31.5 million over seven years, was Australia's biggest stadium naming-rights agreement. The terms of the extended deal in 2014 were not revealed.
The 83,500-capacity stadium was meant to be undergoing a major $810-million redevelopment, however the NSW Government abandoned these plans earlier this year and the stadium is again hosting sports events.
The National Rugby League hoped the $810 million earmarked for the redevelopment would be redirected to the upgrade of smaller suburban stadiums in Sydney, however just $3 million was allocated for a business case to upgrade Kogarah in the recent NSW budget announced.
With the NRL seemingly pushing for more games at suburban venues in the future, it could mean less games for Stadium Australia, with current tenants Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs to potentially play out of a new stadium in Liverpool, while the South Sydney Rabbitohs could also be on the move in future years.
Stadium Australia no longer hosts AFL or cricket, and while it is home to marquee events including the NRL Grand Final, State of Origin, Bledisloe Cup and major concerts, the potential of less events in the future may impact its ability to source a new commercial naming-rights sponsor, especially following the economic impact of Covid-19.
The next event scheduled for the Homebush venue was Sydney FC’s A-League season-opener, however since NSW crowd restrictions have eased, the club has relocated the A/W-League double-header back to its usual (albeit temporary) home ground – Jubilee Stadium.
The round 4 Sydney Derby between Sydney FC and the Wanderers will remain at Stadium Australia however, with the big clash to take place on January 16 to take advantage of the larger capacity and expected demand. The stadium will host 14 regular-season games during the 2021 NRL season and the NRL Grand Final on October 3.
Prior to being called ANZ Stadium, the venue was known as Telstra Stadium from 2002 for a period of six years, when the Telco purchased rights to both the Olympic Stadium and Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium (now Marvel Stadium).
From its opening in 1999 until its first commercial naming-rights deal two years after the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and during major events which require a ‘clean stadium’ including the 2003 Rugby World Cup and 2015 AFC Asian Cup, the venue was known by its non-commercial name.
The venue recently hosted a ‘Stadium Golf’ activation between December 4 and 13, with the venue referred to as ‘Royal Stadium Australia’ – where the public could hit golf calls off various tees throughout the stadium onto holes painted on the playing field.
While the change of name has already taken place on its digital channels, the physical signage at the stadium itself will take some time to complete, with no timeframe known as yet.
Stadium Australia has been contacted for comment.