Stadium Australia, formerly known as ANZ Stadium, was the centrepiece of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. No other outdoor stadium used for the Olympics had been bigger than the stadium at the time of the games. Four Boeing 747s would fit side-by-side under the span of the main arches of the grandstands. The original capacity was 110,000, however post-games renovations has reduced this to 83,500.
Specially designed for the unique Australian environment, the stadium is one of the few in the world which effectively shades and protects most spectators, without the need for a claustrophobic and grass-killing fully enclosed dome. Suspended from a huge arch structure and three hectares in area, the roof is constructed from translucent polycarbonate to minimise the shadows and patches of direct sunlight on the playing area, creating ideal conditions for TV presentations and spectators.
The Olympic Stadium's design includes state-of-the-art environmental features that make it a showcase of ecological responsibility. Its energy management strategy reduces the use of conventional electric power through measures such as natural lighting, two gas-fired co-generation engines, and energy-efficient lighting. All materials have been selected for their contribution to minimising pollution, conserving resources, and their durability. Significant waste management and water-saving measures are also in place.
Stadium Australia has hosted many major sporting events since it opened in 1999. These include major football matches including the Socceroos v Brazil and Manchester United, A-League All Stars v Manchester United, major Rugby Union matches including the Wallabies vs. British & Irish Lions and the Bledisloe Cup v New Zealand, Rugby League fixtures including NRL double headers and Grand Finals, the first of which drew a record league crowd of 110,000, state or origin and international matches, as well as an American NFL pre-season game between the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos. It also previously played host to Australian football with the Sydney Swans playing a blockbuster games at the venue each year and cricket with some Australian matches and Sydney Thunder BBL home games. It remains the home ground of NRL clubs Canterbury Bulldogs and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The stadium has had major redevelopment work done throughout 2001 and 2002 to reduce the size and convert the playing field into an oval shape to enable Australian Football to be played. Stage two of the project was completed in March 2002 and included the removal of the two stands at either end, remodelling of the lower level of seating into an oval shape. Stage three included the extension of the roof at either end which used to be occupied by the two large stands - this was completed in 2003.
The Olympic Stadium opened as Stadium Australia in 1999 before it became Telstra Stadium in 2002 following a naming-rights agreement. The ANZ Bank purchased the rights in an initial seven-year deal which was later extended, with the venue known as ANZ Stadium from January 1, 2008. As of December 2020, the stadium has reverted to its non-commercial name of Stadium Australia, while it was also referred as this during the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Stadium Australia was set to receive a major $810 redevelopment to convert the Olympic stadium into a world-class 70,000-capacity rectangular stadium, commencing in mid-2020 - however it was announced on May 31 that the NSW Government has pulled the pin on the project.
Stadium Australia Details
South Sydney Rabbitohs (NRL)
2003 Rugby World Cup
2015 AFC Asian Cup