Adelaide Oval

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Adelaide Oval
Adelaide Oval.jpg
LocationNorth Adelaide, South Australia
Coordinates34°54′56″S 138°35′46″E / 34.91556°S 138.59611°E / -34.91556; 138.59611Coordinates: 34°54′56″S 138°35′46″E / 34.91556°S 138.59611°E / -34.91556; 138.59611
OwnerSouth Australian Government
OperatorOffice of Recreation & Sport
Field dimensions167 x 124 metres
South Australian Cricket Association (1871–present)
South Australia cricket team (1877 – present)
South Adelaide Football Club (SANFL) (1882–1903, 1905–94)
Australian cricket team (1884 – present)
West Adelaide Football Club (SANFL) (1940–57)
Sturt Football Club (SANFL) (1987–97)
Adelaide Rams (SL/NRL) (1997-98)
Adelaide Strikers (BBL) (2011–present)
Port Adelaide Football Club (AFL) (2011, 2014) (SANFL) (1975,1976)
Adelaide Football Club (AFL) (2014)
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Adelaide Oval
Adelaide Oval.jpg
LocationNorth Adelaide, South Australia
Coordinates34°54′56″S 138°35′46″E / 34.91556°S 138.59611°E / -34.91556; 138.59611Coordinates: 34°54′56″S 138°35′46″E / 34.91556°S 138.59611°E / -34.91556; 138.59611
OwnerSouth Australian Government
OperatorOffice of Recreation & Sport
Field dimensions167 x 124 metres
South Australian Cricket Association (1871–present)
South Australia cricket team (1877 – present)
South Adelaide Football Club (SANFL) (1882–1903, 1905–94)
Australian cricket team (1884 – present)
West Adelaide Football Club (SANFL) (1940–57)
Sturt Football Club (SANFL) (1987–97)
Adelaide Rams (SL/NRL) (1997-98)
Adelaide Strikers (BBL) (2011–present)
Port Adelaide Football Club (AFL) (2011, 2014) (SANFL) (1975,1976)
Adelaide Football Club (AFL) (2014)

Adelaide Oval is a sports ground in Adelaide, South Australia, located in the parklands between the city centre and North Adelaide. In the 21st century it has been home to two cricket teams, the South Australian Redbacks and the Adelaide Strikers. It has been home to the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) since 1871.

The oval has a rich history which dates back to 1871, shortly after the formation of the SACA, and before its redevelopment in 2012 it was considered to be[2] "one of the most picturesque Test cricket grounds in Australia, if not the world." Among those responsible for its formation were John Pickering and Henry Yorke Sparks.[3]

The ground is mostly used for cricket and football, but plays host to other sports such as Rugby League and Soccer, and is also used as an entertainment venue for performances expecting large attendance.

The oval is managed by the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA). In 2006, it had a seating capacity of 53,500.[4] The maximum crowd at a cricket game was 50,962 during the Bodyline test in 1932, and the maximum crowd was 62,543, set at the 1965 SANFL Grand Final between the Port Adelaide and Sturt Football Clubs.

A $575 million redevelopment will return Australian Rules Football to the city, increase the stadium's capacity to 54,500 and result in the Oval becoming the home venue for both the Adelaide and Port Adelaide Football Clubs from 2014.[5]


Australia vs England during the third test in 1902
Aerial view from North Adelaide prior to demolition of western stands
Chappell stands packed for Australia v England December 2006
View of Adelaide's city skyline from Montefiore Hill over the Oval before the new western stands were built

Oval layout[edit]

The oval dimensions are 190m x 125m,[11] which is both unusually long and unusually narrow for an Australian cricket ground. The arrangement is highly favourable for batsmen who play square of the wicket, and heavily penalises bowlers who deliver the ball short or wide so that the batsman can play cut, hook or pull shots. Before the far ends in front of and behind the wicket were roped off, making the playing area shorter, it was not uncommon for batsmen to hit an all-run four or even occasionally a five.[12]

Historically, the Adelaide Oval's integral pitch was generally very good for batting, and offering little assistance to bowlers until the last day of a match. Since the redevelopment in 2013, a drop-in pitch has been used at the venue.[13]

The scoreboard and a Video Replay Screen
A northward view towards the scoreboard
A westward view towards the now demolished George Giffen stand
An eastward view towards the Chappell stands
A southward view towards the now demolished Bradman stand
The new western stand – December 2010

During the second Ashes test

View of part of the west stand, looking south
The scoreboard and hill
Looking north-east
Looking south-east

During the England vs SA match

The new West Stand, looking north
Looking North
Looking South
Inside the new West Stand


Western stand redevelopment[edit]

In August 2008 the South Australian Cricket Association announced that it had approved plans to redevelop the ground, involving expanding its capacity to 40,000. Development plans showed a reconfiguration of the playing surface and a remodelled western stand. The redevelopment would make the ground a viable option for hosting Australian Football League games as well as international soccer and rugby. The state and federal Governments each pledged $25m to the project, leaving the SACA to raise at least $45m. The SACA planned for the new stand to be ready in time for the 2010–11 Ashes series.[14]

It was announced on 27 February 2009 that the A$95 million re-development would commence on 10 March 2010.[citation needed] In March, the western stands were torn down.[citation needed]

Western stand construction at Adelaide Oval on 10 July 2010

2010 state election proposals[edit]

In the lead up to the 2010 South Australian state election, the opposition Liberal Party announced that, if elected, it would provide Adelaide with a new stadium with a roof capable of closing.[citation needed] The incumbent Labor party subsequently announced it would fund an upgrade and redevelopment of the whole of Adelaide Oval, rather than just the Western Grand Stand.[citation needed] The redeveloped stadium, (which will not have a closing roof), is intended to seat 50,000 people, with 77% of them under cover. The redevelopment is proposed to be completed some time in 2014 or 2015. In an arrangement negotiated between the incumbent Labor Party and the SACA on 2 December 2009, it was originally planned to cost $450 million. At the announcement, Premier Mike Rann said the SA government would commit the funding package to redevelop Adelaide Oval into a world-class sports facility that would bring AFL football into the city.[15] The AFL, the SANFL and SACA signed an agreement to produce what they said would be an iconic sporting facility in the heart of the city. Premier Rann said the negotiations had been tough but had finally brought the two codes together.[16] The deal ended a 40-year standoff between the state's cricket and football authorities. [17]

Joint redevelopment by SACA and SANFL[edit]

Demolition of the Sir Donald Bradman stand as part of the 2012 redevelopment, April 2012

The Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority (AOSMA), a joint venture of SACA and SANFL, was registered as a company on 23 Dec 2009 following the re-announcement of the plan.[18] The AOSMA has eight directors, four associated with SACA (Ian McLachlan-Chair, John Harnden, Creagh O’Connor & John Bannon) and four with SANFL (Leigh Whicker-CEO, Rod Payze, Philip Gallagher & Jamie Coppins)[19]

However, in early-mid-2010, prior to the election, it became clear that $450m would be inadequate. After the election (on 7 April 2010), SA Premier Mike Rann capped the State Government's commitment, saying: "It's $450 million – and not a penny more", and set a deadline for the parties to agree.[20] In May, Treasurer Kevin Foley announced that "the Government's final offer to the SANFL and SACA for the redevelopment" was $535 million, and the deadline was extended to August 2010.[21] Simultaneously, the SACA and the SANFL were in the process of negotiating an agreement that would enable Australian Rules Football (AFL) to use Adelaide Oval during the AFL season as their home ground.[22][23][24][25] In September 2010, an agreement between Port Adelaide, SACA, the SANFL and the AFL had still not been achieved.[citation needed]

The redevelopment is also planned to include a $20 million pedestrian bridge across the River Torrens to link the Adelaide railway station precinct with the Adelaide Oval precinct.[citation needed] there was debate on whether the Adelaide Crows will move from Football Park (AAMI Stadium) to Adelaide Oval, or continue to use AAMI Stadium as their home ground. If they do move to Adelaide Oval, it is expected that AAMI will withdraw their sponsorship, and the land around Football Park will be rezoned to allow the SANFL (the owners of Football Park) to profit from the rezoning.[citation needed] Fans of the Adelaide Crows have rallied in support of the club to stay at Football Park. It was announced 2 months prior to the SACA vote that the Adelaide Crows will move to Adelaide Oval and use it as their home ground, as does Port Adelaide. Once the upgrade on the oval has been completed, The Port Adelaide and Adelaide Football clubs will move immediately to Adelaide oval. Once the move has been completed from Football Park to Adelaide Oval, AAMI will withdraw their sponsorship of Football Park, The stands at Football Park will be demolished, but the Adelaide Football Club Administrative offices, CrowsMania (Adelaide Football Clubs merchandise store), the Oval itself and the surrounding area will stay.[citation needed].In Early 2011, the AFL, SANFL, SACA, the SA Government and the Australian Government reached an agreement to upgrade Adelaide Oval. The SACA and the SANFL proposed, if SACA members vote yes on the upgrade in early May, that the whole Stadium will undergo redevelopment, except for the Northern Mound, the Moreton Bay Fig trees and the scoreboard, which will stay as it is because of it being under heritage listing. The stadium's capacity is meant to exceed 50,000, and it will have 2 T.V. screens, which will both be bigger than the ones at the MCG, which, at the moment, are the biggest in the country. If SACA members do vote yes, (75% of SACA need to vote yes for the deal to go ahead) then the SANFL and AFL will have control over the stadium for 7 months of the year, and SACA will have control for 5 months of the year.

SACA members could choose to vote online on 28 April 2011, of whether they want the upgrade to go ahead, or they could go to the Adelaide Showgrounds on 2 May 2011, to vote. At 6pm, 28 April 2011, It was announced that 60% of SACA members that voted online voted yes, 15% short of the Majority vote needed for the upgrade to go ahead. At 10.15pm, on 2 May 2011, at the Adelaide Showgrounds, it was announced that the votes had been counted and finalized. The results were, 80.37% of total votes cast were in favour of Adelaide Oval being redeveloped, meaning that the upgrade will go ahead. Other small complications are still ahead, but should be easily passed. The upgrade recommenced in April, 2012, and is expected to be finished in time for the 2014 AFL season, if there aren't any more delays. The whole Oval will be upgraded except for the already rebuilt Western grandstand (SACA and SANFL members only stand), the Northern Mound, the Historic Scoreboard and the Moreton Bay fig trees. The Northern Mound, the Moreton Bay fig trees and the Scoreboard are all listed under the Heritage act and will never be demolished unless they are damaged beyond repair.


Sporting events[edit]

Statue of Donald Bradman outside the Oval

Adelaide Oval hosts the following major sporting events:

A view of the new Western Stands during Day 3 of the second 2010–11 Ashes Series Test match.
West stand during the 2010–11 Ashes Series

16 sports have been played at one time or another at the oval: archery, athletics, baseball, cycling, gridion, highland games, hockey, lacrosse, lawn tennis, rugby league, rugby union, quoits and soccer.


Adelaide Oval has hosted major concerts during its time, with some of the most famous acts including Fleetwood Mac (1977 & 2004), David Bowie (1978 & 1983), KISS (1980), Madonna and Paul McCartney (1993), Michael Jackson (1996), Billy Joel and Elton John (1998),[26] P!nk (2002), Pearl Jam (2009), AC/DC and Wolfmother (2010) and Foo Fighters (2011).[27]

On 21 November 2013, The Rolling Stones confirmed they would play the first concert at the Adelaide Oval on March 22, 2014.[28]

AFL Records[edit]

Attendance records[edit]

Last updated: 30 September 2013

Top 10 Sports Attendance Records

12 October 1965Port Adelaide v. SturtAustralian rules footballSANFL62,543[29]
21 October 1966Port Adelaide v. SturtAustralian rules footballSANFL59,417
328 September 1957Port Adelaide v. NorwoodAustralian rules footballSANFL58,924
430 September 1967Port Adelaide v. SturtAustralian rules footballSANFL58,849
528 September 1968Port Adelaide v. SturtAustralian rules footballSANFL57,811
629 September 1973Glenelg v. North AdelaideAustralian rules footballSANFL56,525
730 October 1964Port Adelaide v. South AdelaideAustralian rules footballSANFL56,353
830 September 1972Port Adelaide v. North AdelaideAustralian rules footballSANFL55,709
94 October 1969Glenelg v. SturtAustralian rules footballSANFL55,600
102 October 1954Port Adelaide v. West AdelaideAustralian rules footballSANFL54,282

Top 5 Musical Acts/Events Attendance Records

DateName Of Tour/EventBand/SingerCrowd
12 March 2010Black Ice World TourAC/DC41,569
21 December 1993The Girlie Show World TourMadonna40,000
318 March 1998Face to FaceElton John/Billy Joel37,500
426 November 1996HIStory World TourMichael Jackson30,000

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hilferty, Tim (11 April 2009). "50,000 Adelaide Oval capacity not enough, says expert". 
  2. ^ Adelaide Oval at Austadiums
  3. ^ "Out Among the People". The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 16 January 1951. p. 4. Retrieved 13 June 2013. 
  4. ^ SACA – Adelaide Oval – Overview 28 December 2006
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "South Australia vs. Tasmania, 1877–78". ESPNcricinfo. ESPN Inc. Retrieved 22 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "A Worthy Citizen". The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 20 September 1926. p. 9. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  8. ^ p69, Mark Peel, England Expects, A biography of Ken Barrington, The Kingswood Press, 1992
  9. ^ The Australian, 3 December 2009
  10. ^ AAP, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 May 2011
  11. ^
  12. ^ Ryan, Christian (9 December 2013). "A cricket ground's song". 
  13. ^ Valentina Changarathil (11 March 2013). "Beginning of changes to Adelaide Oval's surface". The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA). Retrieved 5 December 2013. 
  14. ^ New-look Adelaide Oval to chase AFL, The Australian, 2 August 2008
  15. ^ Michael Owen, The Australian, 3 December 2009
  16. ^ AAP, Daily Telegraph, 2 December 2009
  17. ^ Steve Larkin, Roar; Your Sports Opinion, 3 December 2009
  18. ^ "Re: Adelaide Oval Redevelopment inc. $450 million 'extension". Sensational Adelaide. Retrieved 27 May 2011. "The "Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority" was registered as a company on 23 Dec 2009 following the re-announcement of the plan (now $450 million) by Mike Rann, in time for the March 2010 election." 
  19. ^ Adelaide Oval SMA Limited ABN 46 141 259 538. "Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority Organisation Chart" (PDF). Retrieved 27 May 2011. 
  20. ^ Rann caps State Government's commitment, Advertiser, 7 April 2010: SA Premier Mike Rann has capped the State Government's commitment to any redevelopment of Adelaide Oval for AFL football at $450 million. "It's $450 million – and not a penny more", said Mr Rann today ruling out the government underwriting any cost over-runs at Adelaide Oval.
  21. ^ Adelaide Oval plan still short by $50m, 27 May 2010,
  22. ^ AFL at Adelaide Oval, SACA website
  23. ^ Stadium Management Authority promotional brochure, 13 August 2010, SACA website
  24. ^ Stadium Management Authority official website,
  25. ^ SMA Design Briefing, 18 June 2010, SANFL website
  26. ^ U2 to lead the charge, The Advertiser, 10 November 2006
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Adelaide Oval Venue Information". Retrieved 29 September 2013. 

External links[edit]