Stadium Australia: A champion stadium

CNC
Added On January 23, 2015

The ongoing Asian Cup campaign in Sydney, has drawn millions of footie fans from around the globe.

The venue, Stadium Australia, was built in 1999 to host the 2000 Summer Olympics.
 
It has since been adapted to host a whole range of sporting events and music concerts, and has become an important symbol of the culture of Sydney.
 
By the time Sydney hosted the Olympics in September 2000 in what Olympic chiefs called one of the most successful Games ever, the Olympic Stadium was part of the city's fabric and soul.
 
But what do Olympic host cities do with giant stadiums like this one when the Olympic party is over? 
 
Arthur Stanley is the Communications Executive for Stadium Australia. He explained that the stadium was re-adjusted to create a smaller boutique feel, and also to make it a versatile venue.
 
After regular winter sports such as rugby league, there is a break in the stadium’s usual use.
 
The stadium is currently hosting Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup matches, and will stage the final on January 31.
 
The stadium pitch therefore has to be adaptable. Currently the 100 full-time stadium staff are focussed on the AFC Asian Cup. More than 2000 casual staff are bought in on game night to man food and drink kiosks, and other tasks. 
 
As the pitch is used for different sports and events with different shaped fields, the stadium and its stands must be adaptable to games such as football. Some of the grandstands actually move to do this. And there is an upgrade of the Stadium planned.
 
Arthur took us into the upper stands to explain, showing how Asian Cup football meant the stands roll into a rectangle format. 
 
Currently lower grandstands on the east and west side of the field can be moved. The redevelopment will see stands behind the goal posts also able to move.
 
Events will continue as works are done, but crowd capacity will be reduced for around 2 years as works are done.
 
But that's the future. The stadium is currently back to being an organic structure with a small army of humans bringing its functions to life. The most important part of this bee-like hive, or ant-like nest, is the team dressing rooms.
 
But are there enough cubicles for different sports with different numbers of team members? 
 
Another important area is the media centre. There can be tension between teams and journalists, but both need each other for the game to flourish across the countries it plays. Press conferences are held in the media room. Grumpy coaches or defensive players face questioning by probing journalists. It's all part of the game, and one man's job at the Asian Cup is to keep things cool between 1600 accredited journalists and team officials and players.  
 
If something goes wrong, Reg has to fix it.
 
On a floor above from the toiling journalists is the elite level of Stadium Australia. There 110 corporate suites which each hold 40 guests who wine and dine in a catered indoor luxury area with views over the ground through glass walls. Or they can choose from 40 seats just outside in the open air, so they can feel more part of the crowd and event than simply being at the stadium. 
 
Typically a business will pay for the private suit, and invite key clients.
 
And today many international sports are a business. And their venues have to be as well if fans want them to be modern and comfortable to enjoy the sports they follow.