Located in the inner-western Sydney suburb of Marrickville, Henson Park opened in 1937 and continues to host rugby league and Australian football. The site was a former brickworks and its first major event was the 1938 Empire Games, the forerunner to the Commonwealth Games in which the venue hosted cycling. During the Games, crowds regularly exceeded 40,000. The velodrome surrounding the playing field was removed during the late 1970's and replaced by a grass running track used for local school athletics carnivals.
The ground looks quite the same as it has since opening. On the western side, there is the King George V Memorial Grandstand, a small two-level stand with seating for around 1000 spectators. From the north west to the south-east side of the ground runs a huge grass hill, easily the longest and tallest hill in Sydney. From the south east to the west, there is a bitumen bank where cars can park. About 200 cars can fit and it has always been popular to watch matches from your car seat. There is also a brick scoreboard with a kiosk in the north-east corner and a media/corporate centre also with a kiosk to the northern side of the grandstand.
Since 1937, the ground has been home to the Newtown Rugby League Football Club, today known as the Newtown Jets. The Jets played in the NSWRL, forerunner to the NRL until 1983 when it was dropped from the competition for financial reasons.
Today the ground still serves as the home of the Newtown Jets who compete in the NSWRL Premier League (highest NSW state rugby league competition) during the winter season. In the summer it is home to Canterbury-Marrickville Olympic Soccer Club.
The highest attendance for Henson Park was recorded during Empire Games in which around 40,000 fans attended the cycling. For a Newtown match it is 21,588. And for a rugby league match, the record crowd is 30,500 for a Grand Final replay between St George and Wests in the mid 1960s.
Henson Park Details