Carrara Stadium


Carrara Stadium
Carrara Stadium
Metricon Stadium
Newcarrara.jpg
Former names Carrara Oval
Gold Coast Stadium
Location Nerang-Broadbeach Road, Carrara, Queensland
Coordinates 28°00′23″S 153°22′2″E / 28.00639°S 153.36722°E / -28.00639; 153.36722Coordinates: 28°00′23″S 153°22′2″E / 28.00639°S 153.36722°E / -28.00639; 153.36722
Broke ground 1986
Opened 1987 (Redoveloped 2010 - 2011)
Owner Gold Coast City Council
Operator Gold Coast City Council
Surface Grass
Capacity

18,000 from 1987 - 2010

25,000 from 2011 - Present
Tenants

Brisbane Bears, AFL (1987–1993)
Nerang Bulls, Rugby Union (1983–1986)
Gold Coast Clippers, ABL (1989–1990)
Daikyo Dolphins, ABL (1992–1993)
East Coast Cougars/Gold Coast Cougars, ABL (1993–1999)
Gold Coast Chargers, Rugby League (1996–1998)
Gold Coast Titans, NRL (2007)
East Coast Aces, ARU (2007)
North Melbourne Kangaroos, AFL (2007–2008)

Gold Coast Suns, AFL (2011–)

Carrara Stadium (known commercially as Metricon Stadium) is a sporting venue on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, located in the suburb of Carrara.

It received substantial redevelopment work prior to the entry of the Brisbane Bears to the VFL/AFL in 1987, but since the Bears relocated to the Gabba in 1993, it has been used for other sports including rugby league, rugby union and even baseball.

Contents

History

Carrara Stadium was redeveloped by Christopher Skase after the Brisbane Bears were granted a licence to enter the VFL Australian rules football competition.[1] The stadium was built with makeshift stands designed for night games and to maximise the television audience. The Fitzroy Football Club defeated the Brisbane Bears in the first VFL game played at Carrara Oval before a crowd of 17,795 in 1987.[1][2] (The Brisbane Lions website records this crowd as 22,684, however the stadium did not have this capacity in 1987.)[3]

The Bears' onfield performance was poor and VFL crowds at Carrara Stadium never reached these heights again. In 1993 the Bears relocated to the Gabba.[1]

The ground was owned by the Albert Shire Council and transferred to the Gold Coast City Council when the two local authorities amalgamated in 1995. The field is officially known as Laver Oval after long time Albert Shire Chairman Councillor Bill Laver.

In 1988, Carrara Stadium played host to the very first Touch Football World Cup[1] in which teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the USA competed in the Men's, Women's and Mixed Opens as well as Men's Over 35's divisions. Australia won all four division finals which were all played against New Zealand.

The Gold Coast Clippers[1] played their 1989-1990 Australian Baseball League (1989-1999) season at Carrara before changing their name to the Daikyo Dolphins and moving to Palm Meadows. For the 1992-93 season they moved back to Carrara as the Gold Coast Cougars.[1] The Cougars stayed at Carrara until the abolition of the Australian Baseball League in 1999.

In 1996 the Gold Coast Seagulls[1] moved to Carrara from Tweed Heads. They continued to use the ground until the end of the 1998 NRL season when they were excluded from the competition as a part of the rationalisation of the National Rugby League. Rugby league matches continued to be played at the stadium, with pre-season trials being played there annually from 2002 to 2005,[4] and NRL premiership matches played in 2001 and 2005. The ground's capacity was increased slightly during this time. In 2005 the NRL announced that a licence would be awarded to the Gold Coast Titans, and that the stadium would be their home ground in 2007[1] until the completion of Skilled Park, which was opened in 2008.[5]

In response to the NRL move, the AFL scheduled three AFL 'home games' for the North Melbourne Football Club and a NAB Cup match for Carrara in 2007, and the Queensland State League began hosting Grand Finals there.

Redevelopment

On 7 May 2009, it was confirmed that the Carrara Stadium receive a $126 million redevelopment.[6] On 30 October 2009, demolition of the old stadium began.[7] By January 2010, demolition works were complete.[8] Foundations for the grandstands as well as construction for the player and corporate facilties began in May 2010.[8] By October 2010, the eastern grandstand was nearing completion.[8] Just three months later in January 2011 the whole horseshoe-shaped grandstand was completed.[8] By April 2011, the turf had been laid and the 23-by-8.5-metre (75 × 27.9 ft), LED-powered high-definition video board had been installed.[8][9]

The redeveloped stadium cost $144.2 million to build and seats 25,000 spectators (with the ability to house an additional 15,000 temporary seats).[10][11][12] The stadium features an AFL oval capable of accommodating an ICC-compliant cricket oval, an IAAF Athletics field and a FIFA World Cup football field, facilities for 2,000 corporate patrons, AFL team and officials’ changing facilities, AFL media facilities, and team and officials’ suites.[13] Watpac were contracted for the construction, which is scheduled for completion in mid-2011.[13] MakMax Australia has been contracted to complete the fabric roof of the stadium.[14][15] The stadium was opened for an open day on 22 May 2011, before the first match on 28 May 2011.[16][17]

The ground recorded its biggest ever figure when 23,302 people watched the Suns tackle defending premiers Collingwood in Round 18 of the 2011 AFL season. However, it was noted that 7,000 Collingwood supporters had flown up from Melbourne to watch the game, won by Collingwood by 54 points.

Following the success of the Collingwood match, it was announced that Metricon Stadium will host an International Rules match in November 2011.

Current

Carrara is the home ground for the Gold Coast Football Club, and also hosts events such as the junior representative championships and QAFL games.

Gold Coast Football Club

Beginning mid-2011, the Gold Coast Football Club will play games at Carrara. The Queensland Government has promised to contribute $60 million towards the redevelopment of the stadium which would increase the capacity to around 25,000 with 23,500 seated.[18] The Gold Coast City Council also will contribute $20 million.[19] Finally the AFL has promised $10 million.[20] This is a total of $90 million. The establishment of the Gold Coast Football Club is expected to contribute $34 million dollars to the region, 92 per cent of which will go to benefit non-AFL businesses in the Gold Coast such as tourism, retail and hospitality industries.[20]

On 15 March 2011, the Gold Coast Football Club announced that home builder group Metricon signed a $3 million, 5 year deal for naming rights of Carrara Stadium, to be known as Metricon Stadium.[21]

The Gold Coast Suns played their first game at the reconstructed stadium on Saturday, 28 May 2011, Round 10 of the 2011 AFL season.[12][17][22] Unfortunately, the Suns lost the match against Geelong by 66 points, despite many highlights such as Karmichael Hunt's first AFL goal. This ground also saw the Gold Coast host 2010 AFL Grand Finalists Collingwood and St Kilda in consecutive rounds, 18 and 19, respectively. The Collingwood showdown was sold out two months before the actual game.[23] In front of a record crowd of 23,302, the Suns kicked the first two goals before Collingwood shot out to a 54-point halftime margin, with the margin staying that way until the fulltime siren. In the other game against St Kilda, the Suns were brave but eventually went down by 20 points.

Attendance records

Date Teams Sport Competition Crowd
23 July 2011 Gold Coast Suns v. Collingwood Australian rules football AFL 23,302
18 March 1994 Gold Coast Chargers v. Brisbane Broncos Rugby League NSWRL 22,688
28 May 2011 Gold Coast Suns v. Geelong Australian rules football AFL 21,485
27 May 2005 North Queensland Cowboys v. Canterbury Bulldogs Rugby League NRL 21,012
28 February 2005 St George Illawarra Dragons v. Canterbury Bulldogs Rugby League NRL 18,356
15 July 1989 Brisbane Bears v. Geelong Australian rules football VFL 18,198

Sources

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Smart, Nick (27 May 2011). "No longer a white elephant". Gold Coast Bulletin. 
  2. ^ "AFL Tables - Crowds - Carrara". rleague. http://stats.rleague.com/afl/crowds/vn_carrara.html. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  3. ^ http://lions.com.au/default.asp?pg=fitzroyhistory&spg=chronologydisplay&articleid=130868[dead link]
  4. ^ http://www.titans.com.au/pages/page.php?page=28
  5. ^ http://www.titans.com.au/pages/page.php?page=36[dead link]
  6. ^ Rogers, Jenny (7 May 2009). "Canberra kicks in $36m for Coast AFL stadium". Gold Coast Bulletin. http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2009/05/07/76535_gold-coast-afl.html. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Carrara Stadium redevelopment gets underway". Austadiums. 30 October 2009. http://www.austadiums.com/news/news.php?id=410. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Timeline to birth of an AFL jewel". Gold Coast Bulletin. 27 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Smart, Nick (27 May 2011). "Room to a unique view". Gold Coast Bulletin. 
  10. ^ Smart, Nick (8 May 2011). "Coast scores AFL stadium". Gold Coast Bulletin. http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2009/05/08/76995_gold-coast-news.html. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Games bid vital to Gold Coast's health". Gold Coast Bulletin. 13 May 2011. http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2011/05/13/314975_commonwealth-games.html. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Welcome to Metricon Stadium". Gold Coast Bulletin. 28 May 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Battenbough, Gemma (7 August 2009). "Watpac wins Carrara Stadium work". Architecture & Design. http://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/article/Watpac-wins-Carrara-Stadium-work/493622.aspx. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  14. ^ "MakMax to top off Gold Coast stadium". Building Products News. 1 July 2010. http://www.bpn.com.au/Article/MakMax-to-top-off-Gold-Coast-stadium/519722.aspx. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Smart, Nick (27 May 2011). "Final piece of puzzle exceeds expectations". Gold Coast Bulletin. 
  16. ^ Rugari, Vince (17 May 2011). "Suns' stadium set to go". Sportal. http://www.sportal.com.au/afl-news-display/suns-stadium-set-to-go-122790. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  17. ^ a b Whiting, Michael (19 May 2011). "Gold Coast's first Carrara match set for sell-out". AFL. http://www.afl.com.au/news/newsarticle/tabid/208/newsid/114245/default.aspx. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "Gold Coast SUNS | AFL - Home". Gold Coast Suns. http://goldcoastfc.com.au/. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  19. ^ http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/sport/afl/story/0,26576,25266401-19742,00.html[dead link]
  20. ^ a b Walsh, Gary (31 March 2009). "Green light for Gold Coast". AFL. http://www.afl.com.au/news/newsarticle/tabid/208/newsid/74077/default.aspx. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  21. ^ Smart, Nick (15 March 2011). "Metricon lands Suns stadium naming rights". Gold Coast Bulletin. http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2011/03/15/299455_gold-coast-afl.html. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  22. ^ Wilson, Caroline (10 May 2011). "Suns want Irish game at Carrara". The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/suns-want-irish-game-at-carrara-20110509-1eft8.html. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  23. ^ Gold Coast ticketing update - Official AFL Website of the Collingwood Football Club

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