IW-OLY-10.jpg (73983 bytes) Sydney Architecture Images-The Inner West

Stadium Australia (now Telstra Stadium)


Bligh Lobb (Bligh Voller Nield in association with Lobb Architects, now HOK Sport)


Olympic Park Homebush Bay




Late 20th-Century Structuralist




sports stadium
Telstra Stadium with seats arranged in its oval configuration (for Aussie rules football and cricket). The seats in the centre of the picture can be moved closer to the field, to create a rectangular configuration (suitable for football and the rugby codes).

Facility statistics 
Location Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney
(33°50′50″S, 151°03′48″E) 
Broke ground Sept 1996 
Opened Mar 1999 
Closed Open 
Demolished N/A 
Owner Stadium Australia Group 
Operator Stadium Australia Group 
Surface Grass 
Construction cost $690 million AUD 
Architect Bligh Lobb Sports Architects 
Former names 
Stadium Australia 
Canterbury Bulldogs (NRL)
West Tigers (NRL)
South Sydney Rabbitohs (NRL) 
Seating capacity 
83,500 Rectangular, 73,000 Oval 

This page is for Telstra Stadium, Sydney. There is also a Telstra Dome (formerly Colonial Stadium) in Melbourne. 
Telstra Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in the Sydney Olympic Park precinct of Homebush, Sydney, Australia which was completed in March 1999. The stadium was originally built at a cost of $690 million to host the 2000 Summer Olympics. The stadium was called Stadium Australia before Telstra acquired the naming rights in 2002 (until 2009, with further options), renaming the ground Telstra Stadium.

The stadium was originally built to hold 110,000 spectators, making it the largest Olympic Stadium ever built as well as the largest stadium in Australia. In 2003 reconfiguration work was completed to reduce the capacity to 83,500 for a rectangular field and 73,000 for an oval field. Roofs were also added over the North and South stands, which means that now 90% of all seating is under cover.


Track and Field events at Stadium Australia during the 2000 Summer Olympics

Large Crowds
The first sporting event held at the stadium was on March 6, 1999 when a then world record rugby league crowd of 104,583 watched the NRL first round double-header, featuring Newcastle v Manly and Parramatta v St George Illawarra Dragons.

The stadium was not officially opened until June 1999 when Australia played the FIFA All Stars. Australia won the match 3-2 in front of a crowd of 88,101. Telstra Stadium also played host to Australia's historic playoff win over Uruguay in November 2005, a victory which granted Australia FIFA World Cup qualification for only the second time in the country's history. The event attracted a virtual capacity crowd of 82,698.

The 1999 Bledisloe Cup rugby union match between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks attracted a then world record rugby union crowd of 107,042. In 2000 this was bettered when a crowd of 109,874 witnessed the 'Greatest ever Rugby Match' when a Jonah Lomu try sealed an All Blacks win over the Wallabies 39-35. The All Blacks had led 24-nil after 11 minutes only to see Australia draw level at 24 all by half time.

On August 7, 1999, a National Football League (American Football) exhibition game was played between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers, bringing home former AFL player Darren Bennett, the Chargers' punter. This was Australia's first, and currently only, American Bowl game.

Track and Field events at Stadium Australia during the 2000 Summer Olympics
The 1999 National Rugby League Grand Final, played on the 26th of September, between the Melbourne Storm and the St George Illawarra Dragons, broke the rugby league world record crowd previously set earlier in the season when 107,599 came to watch the Storm defeat the Dragons 20-18.

During the 2000 Olympics, day 4 of the nightly track and field session attracted 112,524 spectators. Also during the Olympics, the football final attracted 104,098 to witness Cameroon defeat Spain for its first ever Olympic gold medal.

The highest attendance ever recorded was 114,714 during the Closing Ceremony.

In October 2001, major reconfiguration work on the stadium was commenced to allow for sports that require an oval field, such as cricket and Australian rules to be played at the ground. The two wing stands were removed as well as the athletics track and a moveable seating section was introduced in its place. New roofs were built over the two ends and seats that had a poor view of the field were removed. The reconfiguration reduced the capacity to 83,500 for the rectangular field and 73,000 for the oval field at a total cost of $80 million.

The reconfiguration work was completed in October 2003 in time for the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup where Telstra Stadium hosted the Semi-Final and Final matches of the competition. In the first Semi-Final on November 15, 2003, Australia beat New Zealand 22-10 and then in the second Semi-Final the following day England beat France 24-7. In the final, on November 22, England beat Australia 20-17 in extra time.

The Sydney Swans v Collingwood AFL match at Telstra Stadium on Saturday 23 August 2003 set an attendance record for the largest crowd to watch an AFL game outside of Victoria with 72,393 spectators (near capacity) attending and was the largest home-and-away AFL crowd at any Australian stadium for 2003.

October 2, 2005 saw 82,453 attend the NRL grand final in which the Wests Tigers defeated the North Queensland Cowboys 30-16.

November 16, 2005 saw 82,698 attend the second leg of the Oceania-South America Qualification Playoff game for qualification to the 2006 Football World Cup. Australia defeated Uruguay 1-0, which lead to a penalty shootout as Uruguay had won the first leg of the playoff 1-0. Australia won this shootout 4-2, and the penalty spot where John Aloisi's spot kick secured victory is to be permanently preserved and publicly displayed to commemorate this occasion [1].

Telstra Stadium with seats arranged in its oval configuration (for Aussie rules football and cricket). The seats in the centre of the picture can be moved closer to the field, to create a rectangular configuration (suitable for football and the rugby codes).

Regular Sporting Events
The National Rugby League (NRL) holds its Grand Final at the stadium. NRL games are also played throughout the regular season. The ground is one of the home grounds for the Canterbury Bulldogs, while the Wests Tigers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs also play home games there. The stadium is also one of the hosts for the annual rugby league State of Origin series between New South Wales and Queensland. The stadium hosts one State of Origin match in odd-numbered years and two in even-numbered years. The Sydney Swans Australian Football League side plays several games at the venue each season, as well as the Sydney Cricket Ground.