St George Stadium
St George Stadium is a venue located near Sydney Airport which has seen better days. Located within Barton Park, the stadium opened in 1978 with an NSL match between St George and South Melbourne in front of 3,853 fans. The 2,500-seat grandstand opened the following year, boosting the capacity to around 12,000, however the structure has since been deemed unsafe in 2008 and is now closed to the public.
While it was primarily home of the St George Soccer Club, it hosted many big matches which included international and foreign club sides, the Socceroos and Young Socceroos, and was the major stadium for Sydney-based finals matches in the NSL. 11,221 fans packed the ground for the 1984 NSL Grand Final second leg between Sydney Olympic and South Melbourne. St George’s relegation from the NSL in 1991 saw the stadiums role diminish, despite Sydney Olympic continuing at the ground for a further couple of seasons. These days, it primarily hosts junior football matches only.
The ground is simple in layout - the now-closed grandstand is situated on the western side, while the rest of the ground is surrounded by a grass hill. Located just west of Sydney airport, public transport links to the venue are poor.
There have been various proposals to restore St George Stadium to its former glory. One plan was to redevelop it into a 20,000 all-seat stadium, including 12,000 seats under cover. NRL club St George Illawarra would play their Sydney games at the stadium, however the club decided to instead upgrade and return to Kogarah. There were also preliminary discussions in 2005 with Football Federation Australia to revisit the concept of converting St George Stadium into a boutique 15,000-seat venue for Sydney's A-League club and as a training venue for the national teams, the site of an academy and an administrative headquarters for the national body. These discussions have once again come up in 2020 and may be given a boost if Australia wins the hosting rights for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.