Stadium Australia (Accor Stadium)
|Other names||Stadium Australia (1999–2002), Telstra Stadium (2002–2007), ANZ Stadium (2008–2020)|
|Construction||09/1996 - 02/1999|
|Project||Populous, Bligh Lobb Sports Architects|
|Cost||690mln $ (1999)|
|Record attendance||114,714 (01/10/2000)|
|Address||Edwin Flack Avenue, Sydney Olympic Park NSW 2127, Australia|
Accor Stadium – stadium description
After Sydney was announced host of the 2000 Olympics in 1993, hosts faced a challenge of providing the optimal venue. Architects of Populous and Bligh Lobb Sports Architects were to create the largest stadium in history of the games (up to 120,000) in western Sydney, which would be downsizeable in legacy mode to roughly 85,000.
Never before had an operation like this been done, so coming up with a sustainable solution was a major challenge. The outcome was to resemble Sydney’s dynamism, strength and relate to existing landmarks – Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Its key features are two large arches supporting the roof, each spanning over 295 meters from north to south. Aside from the aesthetic side, the vast roof was also one of the first and most effective to collect and reuse rainwater.
Temporary sections were planned as uncovered and tall structures behind goals. Eventually the goal of 118,000 capacity wasn’t reached, but official attendance figures of over 110+ were reached. In fact, to this day the stadium holds records for the largest ever Olympic ceremony (114,714 watched closing), any athletics event (112,524), Olympic football game (104 098), rugby league game (107,558) and rugby union game (109,874).
But the era of records didn’t last long. In 2001 redevelopment began to remove temporary seating and enclose the stadium with further roof sheets. As part of the process retractable stands on both sides of the field were installed. This proved compromising (affecting pitch quality for cricket or Australian football and still having poor sightlines for rugby/soccer behind goals), but allowed the building to host many various sports disciplines.
From 2003 the stadium was used by over a dozen different clubs representing primarily rugby and Australian rules football. However cricket and football games were no rare occurrence too, both by clubs and national teams. In fact, in 2003 the stadium hosted the Rugby World Cup, while in 2015 it saw the final of AFC Asian Cup, not mentioning domestic finals.
Commercially known as Telstra Stadium and ANZ Stadium, the building has a new legacy plan in place: retractable roof and pioneering solution of mobile end zones.
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