Australia: Renovated Allianz Stadium in Sydney finally open!
source: StadiumDB.com; author: Robert Saganowski
After 2.5 years of construction, the modernised facility in the Australian largest city finally opened to the public. Not yet during an official match though, but that will also happen soon. At the launch of the 42,500-seater, it was splendid and patterned, because that is the seating arrangement implemented at the stadium.
Allianz Stadium? Yes, we have made no mistake. The new arena in the New South Wales capital has a namesake in Turin. The Juventus facility is, by the way, very similar to its Australian equivalent in terms of capacity. After a construction lasting for more than 32 months, it was time for the arena's grand opening in Sydney, which took place on Sunday, August 28. In fact, it was already the second one in its history!
The venue is located a short distance from the centre of the Emerald City metropolitan area, next to Sydney Cricket Ground. The stadium has a rectangular pitch, primarily to accommodate football and rugby matches. The playing field is surrounded on all sides by stands, two storeys high around the perimeter, with an additional tier along the sidelines. The capacity of the facility is 42,500 spectators.
On the opening day, a number of attractions were organised, including tours through the stadium's interior, meetings with athletes and access to the pitch. In the evening, there were multimedia, dance and pyrotechnic shows, combined with performances by Australian stars Guy Sebastian and Baker Boy.
No sporting events have been held there yet, but this is also expected to happen soon. The main users of the stadium are three clubs, one football team, Sydney FC, playing in the A-League, and two rugby sides, the Sydney Roosters, competing in the National Rugby League, and the New South Wales Waratahs, one of the members of the 12-team Super Rugby League.
What sets Allianz Stadium apart from other arenas is the unusual pattern on the seats based on shades of blue. It forms an interesting colour scheme, with motifs referring to nature and based on Aboriginal culture. Two wide screens have also been installed in the stands behind the gates. The auditorium is fully covered by a canopy, which is made of membrane and finished with narrow glass sections. Under the roof, floodlights were installed.
The roof was built using an openwork steel structure, which was made up of more than 4,000 elements. If the prefabricated components were placed in a straight line, one next to the other, they would stretch for 19 kilometres. Their total weight, however, is 2 000 tonnes, which corresponds to the weight of... 333 adult African elephants!
The stands were enclosed all around to provide numerous commercial facilities. The facade was created using striking bronze slats to give the arena an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Despite the rectangular layout of the stands, from the outside the stadium has an oval form. The 7th venue in Allianz’s portfolio was built on the site of its previously demolished predecessor, albeit with a slightly rotated pitch.
It is also worth mentioning the considerable cost, which, as is usually the case, was underestimated at the very beginning of the investment. An agreement was made with Lendlease in December 2018 to demolish the old facility and then build a new stadium in its place. The deal involved carrying out all the work for a cost of AU$ 729 million.
However, six months later, when most of the demolition work was already done, the agreement with Lendlease, which demanded a higher amount for completing the investment, was broken. Before the end of 2019, a contract was signed with a new contractor, John Holland, who agreed to finalise the project at a cost of AU$ 735 million (the total project cost thus rose to AU$ 828 million). This is still half as much as Optus Stadium, inaugurated 4.5 years ago.
The venue in Sydney will not have to wait long for the chance to organise a major event. In just one year's time, it is to be one of the host stadiums for the Women's World Cup. Allianz Stadium will be the venue for five group matches and the Round of 16. In 2027, the Rugby World Cup is also scheduled to take place here, followed by the football tournament games of the XXXV Olympic Games five years later.