Macarthur FC will be a new addition to the A-league for the 2020/21 season, bringing the total number of teams up to 12. It will be the first year since their inception in 2017 that they will make an appearance in the league.
Interestingly, online bookies in Australia rate their chances of success fairly highly. We would have expected to see them be the rank outsiders, but bet365 have them priced at 21.0 for the title. In saying that, only the Central Coast Mariners will start with higher odds at 34.0.
A new side doesn’t always mean a new stadium with many doubling up across the country, but in this case, we will see the introduction of the Campbelltown Stadium in New South Wales.
The Campbelltown Stadium, previously known as Orana Park, holds approximately 20,000 fans. It has a rich history and the old site first held sporting events in the 1960s. There are no high-tech features and it does have the look of a classic stadium. Which we’re not saying is a bad thing. It sits around 50km southeast of Sydney and has in fact hosted Sydney FC on the occasion. The surrounding stadiums, such as the Allianz Stadium offer much higher capacity limits, so it’s no surprise that big soccer teams look elsewhere.
This only opens the door for some much-needed renovation though. The Campbelltown Stadium could compete with the large arenas as there is plenty of space to expand. We’ve seen in recent times big construction jobs such as the redevelopment of the Sydney Stadium which is set to open in 2022.
New South Wales is a hugely popular place for sports teams, so there would be no shortage of sides lining up to play. In fact, Campbelltown itself plays host to sports other than soccer.
In the NRL (National Rugby League), Campbelltown has served as one of four home stadiums of the West Tigers. It has hosted this side since the year 2000 when the Western Suburb Magpies merged with the Balmain Tigers. The West Tigers are one of the biggest teams in the top division and last won the title back in 2005. As one of the home grounds, it is guaranteed to host four of the clubs 12 home games a season, and always draws in a near-capacity crowd. In fact, in their title-winning season, the highest ever attendance was recorded. No less than 20, 527 fans packed into the stadium to see the Tigers take on the North Queensland Cowboys on 14th August 2005.
As well as local matches, internationals have also been played at Campbelltown. Rugby League World Cup qualifiers have taken place as having Pacific Tests. England played here in 2017 in the Pacific Tests defeating Samoa 30-10.
Australia isn’t famed for having massive soccer stadiums, although with a capacity of over 100,000 the Melbourne Cricket Ground makes up for that. Therefore, the Campbelltown Stadium, although not massive, is an excellent option for sports teams in the area.
Macarthur FC will be playing on one of Australia’s historic grounds and look set to do it proud. A string of high-profile signings such as former European player Tommy Oar and 80 times capped Australian international Mark Milligan, they mean business.
The future of the Campbelltown stadium doesn’t lie solely with Macarthur FC as it does play home to other teams in other sports. However, depending on how successful the ‘Bulls’ are in the A-league, could decide whether or not the arena gets a revamp. You would imagine that if Macarthur does well, then Campbelltown may see some serious investment in the near future.