Populous reveal concept for new stadium
The Sydney Showground’s Main Arena at Sydney Olympic Park has been transformed into the 24,000-seat boutique SKODA stadium, with the AFL’s newest venue hosting the first home game for the Greater Western Sydney Giants on Saturday night, 26 May 2012.
Designed by global architecture specialists Populous, and funded by the NSW Government, Royal Agricultural Society and the AFL, the AUD$65m stadium is special because of its adaptability. It remains the main arena for the successful Sydney Easter Show, but it is now also an intimate stadium for AFL, with great atmosphere and sightlines as well as the largest video screen at a stadium in the Southern Hemisphere.
Populous Project Leader, Warrick Chalmers, said the key success of SKODA stadium is that it recognises and successfully combines the needs of both parties - the RAS and AFL.
“The stadium combines a modern sports facility with high end corporate facilities, a barbecue terrace and good viewing for all patrons, with the ethos and tradition of the RAS reflected in its intimacy and the retention of its brick and timber construction fabric. A key feature is a 'green wall', a trellised vegetative wall planted to change colour to reflect the facility’s different identities during different seasons.
“The arena track, which is an integral part of the Showground, is retained but covered during the AFL season by 2000 temporary seats which allow fans to be as close as possible to the action on the field. The colour scheme too combines the red of the RAS with the orange of the Giants team,” he said.
The family friendly multi-functional venue will provide an 'active edge' to Sydney Olympic Park on event days. Grand Parade will be closed and become part of the action and the open cast iron balustrading of the stadium fence means people can glimpse inside and feel part of the action.
SKODA stadium which will also be capable of hosting Cricket, Rugby League, Rugby Union, and Concerts, was constructed in just 11 months, working around the existing commitment of the Royal Easter Show.