AFC Asian Cup: All the stadiums

A closer look at the five Australian stadiums hosting AFC Asian Cup matches in January 2015.

Sydney – Stadium Australia (Capacity: 83,500)

Completed in 1999 ahead of the 2000 Summer Olympics, Stadium Australia (also known as the ANZ stadium) has become the home of the Socceroos due to its capacity.

The stadium has an interesting history; when it was built it was the largest stadium in the world with a capacity of 110 000. Three years after the Olympics renovations saw the capacity reduced to its current capacity of between 82 500 – 83 500. 

Within hours of the conclusion of the 2014 NRL final, a turf replacement from winter rye to summer couch was underway at the ANZ stadium. Despite generally favourable reviews of the turf, it was felt that an update ahead of the AFC Asian Cup would be for the best.

Stadium Australia hosts five different sporting codes (football, rugby union, cricket, rugby league and Australian Rules Football).

Asian Cup Matches
10 January 2015 – Uzbekistan v Korea DPR
13 January 2015 – Oman v Australia
15 January – Qatar v Iran
19 January 2015 – Qatar v Bahrain
23 January 2015 – Quarter-final 4
26 January 2015 – Semi-final  1
31 January 2015 – Final

Melbourne – Melbourne Rectangular Stadium (Capacity: 30,000)

The second most famous sports ground in Melbourne, the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium (also known as AAMI Park) is home to Melbourne Storm (NRL), Melbourne Rebels (Super Rugby), Victoria Maidens (LFL Australia) and A-League teams Melbourne Victory FC and Melbourne City FC.

The stadium was originally supposed to hold 20,000 people; but the capacity was upped to 30,000 based on the popularity of local association football franchises. It will host the opening ceremony of the Asian Cup, as well as seven matches including a quarter-final. It has a bioframe design with a geodesic dome that covers the majority of the seating area.

Construction on the stadium, which is also known as Swan Street Stadium or the Bubble Dome, began in 2007 and the first event was held in 2010. 

The stadium turf was resurfaced in November, ahead of the AFC Asian Cup matches that will be played there.

The stadium has also won several prizes for its design and construction. Awards include the Award for Sports or Leisure Structures at the 2010 Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) awards and the World’s Most Iconic and Culturally Significant Stadium award at the 2012 Stadium World Congress.

Asian Cup Matches
09 January 2015 – Australia v Kuwait
11 January 2015 – Iran v Bahrain
14 January 2015 – DPR Korea v Saudi Arabia
16 January 2015 – Palestine v Jordan
18 January 2015 – Uzbekistan v Saudi Arabia
20 January 2015 – Japan v Jordan
22 January 2015 – Quarter-final 1

Brisbane – Brisbane Stadium (Capacity: 52,500)

Brisbane Stadium, which is also known as Lang Park and Suncorp Stadium, is the oldest of the stadiums which will feature in the AFC Asian Cup. 

The stadium opened in 1913 after it was constructed over the North Brisbane Burial Grounds. It was redeveloped in the 1990s at a cost of AUD 200million. The redevelopment was completed in 2003. The stadium now has a capacity of 52,500 and hosts rugby league, rugby union and association football matches. 

The stadium was damaged during the 2010-2011 Queensland floods and AUD 16million was spent on reconstruction with a focus on preventing flood damage in future.

The stadium has a reputation as a fortress for home sides, as the design results in intense noise generated by the crowds in the stands.

Brisbane Stadium will host seven AFC Asian Cup matches, including a quarter-final.

Asian Cup Matches
10 January 2015 – Saudi Arabia v China PR
12 January 2015 – Jordan v Iraq
14 January 2015 – China v Uzbekistan
16 January 2015 – Iraq v Japan
17 January 2015 – Australia v Korea Republic
19 January 2015 – Iran v UAE
22 January 2015 – Quarter-final

Canberra – Canberra Stadium (Capacity: 25,000)

Canberra Stadium, also known as the GIO Stadium Canberra, is a 25 000 capacity rectangular stadium built in 1977 and renovated several times since then.

The stadium is currently the home to the Canberra Raiders and the ACT Brumbies and seven Asian Cup matches including a quarter final will be held there during the 2015 tournament.

Canberra hosted a record crowd of 88,753 for the 2004 Super 12 Final between the ACT Brumbies and the Canterbury Crusaders.

There are plans to rebuild the stadium with construction due to start in 2018 and be completed in 2020. A previous revamp of the stadium was seven times over budget and ended the career of a local politician connected to the project.

Asian Cup Matches
10 January 2015 – Korea Republic v Oman
11 January 2015 – UAE v Qatar
13 January 2015 – Kuwait v Korea Republic
15 January 2015 – Bahrain v UAE
18 January 2015 – China PR v Korea DPR
20 January 2015 – Iraq v Palestine
23 January 2015 – Quarter final

Match Venue: Newcastle Stadium (Capacity: 33,000)

Newcastle's Hunter Stadium, formerly known as the Newcastle International Sports Centre, will host four AFC Asian Cup matches including a semi-final.

The stadium was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1970. The rectangular stadium is home to two sporting franchises, the Newcastle Knights (NRL) and the Newcastle Jets (A-League). The stadium's record amount of attendees was when it was still primarily standing room; in July 1995 32,642 fans were at the stadium for a Newcastle vs. Manly Rugby League game.

The stadium has undergone two major re-developments, from 2003-2005 and again from 2008-2011. 

The turf at the stadium was re-laid ahead of the international tournament, an A-League matchup between Melbourne Victory and the Newcastle Jets was the first match played on the new pitch.

Asian Cup Matches
12 January 2015 – Japan v Palestine
17 January 2015 – Oman v Kuwait
27 January 2015 – Semi Final
30 January 2015 – 3rd/4th Play off

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