The new-look Adelaide Oval will host its event on Saturday following its $535 million redevelopment and a crowd of over 50,000 is expected when Port Adelaide host the Adelaide Crows in the Showdown.
It’ll be the first match between the two South Australian AFL clubs at the inner-city venue and it’ll signal the start of an exciting new era for sport in city of Adelaide.
Following peace-talks between the SACA and SANFL, football has moved from its home at AAMI Stadium (Football Park, West Lakes) to link up with cricket. The result is an exceptional new facility which has transformed the sporting landscape in Adelaide and brought the city of the Stone Age.
The 53,583-capacity Adelaide Oval is now up there with the very best stadiums us Australia. The venue has all but been completely rebuilt with the only obvious remaining features the historic scoreboard, Victor York Richardson Gates and the famous hill at the northern end with its distinctive Moreton Bay figs which were planted in the 1890s.
The 14,000-seat double-tier Western Grandstand was the first grandstand completed, replacing the old members stand. That boosted capacity to around 36,000 when it was completed in November 2010. The Oval hosted its first AFL match the following year, a one-off match between Port Adelaide and Melbourne played in front of a sell-out crowd.
It was shortly after this the serious work began of transforming the Adelaide Oval into a world-class sporting stadium.
Phase two of the redevelopment commenced in early 2012 and involved the construction of two new grandstands, the southern stand (14,000 capacity) which was completed first, followed by the eastern stand (19,000 capacity), which has boosted the total seating capacity to 50,083 plus standing room for 3,500 on the hill. The oval itself was also realigned to make it more suitable for AFL football.
The design of the new grandstands and retaining of the hill allows Adelaide Oval to maintain that iconic boutique look it has had for so many years. It is somewhat unique compared to most major stadia across the county.
Fans will descend on the venue via a newly constructed footbridge which has been completed has part of the Riverbank master plan, allowing easy access via public transport.
Adelaide Oval boasts three video screens with the largest alongside the historic old scoreboard on the hill. LED advertising runs along the fence as well as at the front of level one in the southern and eastern stands. The facilities within the stands are first-class for both spectators and players alike.
The stadium will deliver shade through summer and protection from the elements in winter, with 77 percent of seats under cover. Crowd circulation through the Western, Riverbank and Eastern stands will be facilitated by covered concourses up to 10 metres wide while multi-level atriums, lifts, escalators and stairs will deliver spectators efficiently to their relevant level. There are more than 2,000 dining spaces as well as Corporate Suites, the Stadium Club, open boxes and BBQ terraces.
For many years, footy supporters have made their way out to West Lakes to support their teams at the out-dated AAMI Stadium. Bringing them all into the CBD will breathe new life into the city of Adelaide.
The Adelaide Crows will continue to use AAMI Stadium as their training and administration base. The remainder of the facilities there will be demolished in time and around the oval, housing will be constructed similar to Waverley Park in Melbourne.
Adelaide finally has the stadium it has wanted and needed for so long. Fans are set to embrace it and not only sport, but the city of Adelaide will benefit as a result.