Gold Coast Stadium
|Field size||161 x 134 metres|
|Opened||1987 (Redeveloped 2010–2011)|
Gold Coast Suns (AFL) (2011–present)|
Brisbane Bears (AFL) (1987–1993)
Nerang Bulls (Rugby Union) (1983–1986)
Gold Coast Clippers (ABL) (1989–1990)
Daikyo Dolphins (ABL) (1992–1993)
East Coast Cougars/Gold Coast Cougars (ABL) (1993–1999)
Gold Coast Chargers (ARL/NRL) (1996–1998)
Gold Coast Titans (NRL) (2007)
East Coast Aces (ARU) (2007)
North Melbourne Kangaroos (AFL) (2007–2008)
Brisbane Heat (BBL) (2018–present)
The venue is primarily used for Australian rules football and is the home ground of the Gold Coast Suns, who compete in the Australian Football League. Carrara Stadium received substantial redevelopment work prior to the entry of the Brisbane Bears to the VFL/AFL in 1987, but following the Bears relocation to the Brisbane Cricket Ground in 1993, it was used for other sports including rugby league, rugby union and even baseball. The stadium has hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as the athletics competitions.
In 1983 the Nerang Bulls Rugby Union Club was formed and were located at Carrara Oval. During 1983 the Bulls would field one senior team. In 1984 the Bulls would field two senior teams. The Bulls would spend two seasons at Carrara before moving to Glennon Park in Nerang in 1985.
On 7 October 1986 it was announced that Australian rules football club the Brisbane Bears were granted a licence to enter the Victorian Football League for the 1987 VFL season. Bears President Paul Cronin announced on 23 December 1986 that the club would use Carrara Oval as their home ground. The financial backer of the Bears, Christopher Skase, spent $1 million redeveloping Carrara Oval over a 10-week period at the beginning of 1987 which included upgraded player facilities, seating for 6000 spectators and new electronic scoreboard. The Fitzroy Lions defeated the Brisbane Bears in the first VFL game played at Carrara Oval before a crowd of 17,795 on 19 April 1987. (The Brisbane Lions website records this crowd as unofficially 22,684).
In 1989 the Brisbane Bears and the Albert Shire Council signed off on a 30-year lease for the ground with an option for a further 10 years. Following this announcement Christpher Skase orchestrated the installment of $6 million flood lights which were never paid for; upon the collapse of Skase's company Qintex, he would flee the country to Spain and the flood lights would continue to be unpaid. Liquidators would attempt to extract money from the Gold Coast City Council for the lights, but after an unsuccessful trial it was found cheaper to leave the flood lights at Carrara Stadium. On 15 July 1989 the Bears hosted the first ever night match at Carrara against the Geelong Cats in front of a then record crowd of 18,198.
Insufficient public transport to and from the stadium and the poor on-field performance of the Bears resulted in poor crowds at the Bears games and prompted the local media to refer to it as the Curse of Carrara. The new owner of the Bears, Reuben Pelerman, would lose a further $10 million between the 1990–1992 AFL seasons, and the Bears would move permanently to the Brisbane Cricket Ground in 1993, staving off media rumours of a merger with fellow cellar-dwellers Sydney to form a combined Queensland/New South Wales team, the Northern Swans, or relocation to either Tasmania or Port Adelaide.
In 1988, Carrara Stadium played host to the very first Touch Football World Cup in which teams from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the USA competed in the Men's, Women's and Mixed Opens as well as Men's Over 35's divisions. Australia won all four division finals which were all played against New Zealand. The Gold Coast Clippers played their 1989–1990 Australian Baseball League (1989-1999) season at Carrara before changing their name to the Daikyo Dolphins and moving to Palm Meadows. For the 1992–93 season they moved back to Carrara as the Gold Coast Cougars. The Cougars stayed at Carrara until the abolition of the Australian Baseball League in 1999. The Brazilian football team set up camp at Carrara Stadium for pre-tournament training before the 2000 Summer Olympics. The Brazilians later commented that the surface at Carrara was one of the best in the world.
The ground was owned by the Albert Shire Council and transferred to the Gold Coast City Council when the two local authorities amalgamated in 1995. The field is officially known as Laver Oval after long time Albert Shire Chairman Councillor Bill Laver.
Following the folding of the Gold Coast Seagulls in 1995 a newly formed Gold Coast rugby league team named the Gold Coast Chargers were created and began competing out of Carrara Stadium in 1996. They continued to use the ground until the end of the 1998 NRL season when they were excluded from the competition as a part of the rationalisation of the National Rugby League. Rugby league matches continued to be played at the stadium, with pre-season trials being played there annually from 2002 to 2005, and NRL premiership matches played in 2001 and 2005. The ground's capacity was increased slightly during this time.
In 2005 the NRL announced that a licence would be awarded to the Gold Coast Titans, and that the stadium would be their home ground in 2007 until the completion of the Robina Stadium, which was opened in 2008. In response to the NRL move, the AFL scheduled three AFL 'home games' for the North Melbourne Football Club and a NAB Cup match for Carrara in 2007, and the Queensland State League began hosting grand finals there. The Titans would play ten games at Carrara in 2007 and miss the finals. Following the conclusion of the 2007 NRL season, Titans managing director Michael Searle warned the AFL that if a team were to be started on the Gold Coast it would disappear into the Carrara 'black hole' within five years.
In 2006 it was announced the North Melbourne Football Club would play nine home games at Carrara between the 2007–2009 seasons. Following the 2007 AFL season the AFL offered the Kangaroos a $100 million package to relocate from Melbourne to the Gold Coast and be based out of Carrara. On 7 December 2007 the newly appointed Kangaroos chairman James Brayshaw announced the club would not be moving to the Gold Coast permanently and would continue to be based out of Melbourne. Subsequently, the Kangaroos games played at Carrara after the announcement suffered poor crowds. The AFL released North Melbourne from the final year of a three-year contract after they drew just 6,354 spectators to their first home match at Carrara for the 2008 season.
On 7 May 2009, it was confirmed that the Carrara Stadium would receive a $126 million redevelopment, providing a suitable stadium for new AFL club the Gold Coast Suns. The last event at the old ground was Richmond vs Adelaide in front of 11,174 fans. On 30 October 2009, demolition of the old stadium began. By January 2010, demolition works were complete. Foundations for the grandstands as well as construction for the player and corporate facilities began in May 2010. By October 2010, the eastern grandstand was nearing completion. Just three months later in January 2011 the whole horseshoe-shaped grandstand was completed. By April 2011, the turf had been laid and the 23-by-8.5-metre (75 ft × 28 ft), LED-powered high-definition video board had been installed.
The redeveloped stadium cost $144.2 million to build and seats 25,000 spectators (with the ability to house an additional 15,000 temporary seats). The stadium features an AFL oval capable of accommodating an ICC-compliant cricket oval, an IAAF Athletics field and a FIFA World Cup football field, facilities for 2,000 corporate patrons, AFL team and officials’ changing facilities, AFL media facilities, and team and officials’ suites. Watpac were contracted for the construction, which was scheduled for completion in mid-2011. The stadium then played host to an International rules football in November 2011, with 12,595 watching Ireland defeat Australia by 50 points to 29. MakMax Australia was contracted to complete the fabric roof of the stadium. The stadium was opened for an open day on 22 May 2011, before the first match on 28 May 2011. The ground recorded its biggest ever crowd when 24,032 people watched the Suns play Collingwood in Round 16 of the 2014 AFL season, a game the suns won by 5 points.
The venue hosted the inaugural Grand Final of AFL Women's on 25 March 2017. The Adelaide Crows defeated the Brisbane Lions 35 points to 29. The Lions won the right to host the match, but Carrara Stadium was used because the Lions' preferred venue, the Brisbane Cricket Ground, was unavailable. A men's QClash took place at Carrara Stadium on the same evening.
The Gold Coast's successful bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games resulted in the stadium being upgraded to a temporary seating capacity of 35,000 which was dismantled after the Commonwealth Games and restored the capacity back to 25,000. The stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the games as well as the athletics.
Carrara is the home ground for Australian rules football club the Gold Coast Suns, who compete in the Australian Football League (AFL), and also hosts events such as junior representative championships and QAFL games.
Gold Coast SunsEdit
The Gold Coast Football Club (nicknamed the Suns) have played their home games at Carrara since mid-2011. The Queensland Government contributed $60 million towards the redevelopment of the stadium, increasing the capacity to around 25,000 of which 23,500 is seated. The Gold Coast City Council also contributed $20 million and the AFL $10 million.
The Gold Coast Suns played their first game at the reconstructed stadium on Saturday, 28 May 2011, in Round 10 of the 2011 AFL season. The Suns lost the match against Geelong by 66 points. A round 18 game against 2010 premiers Collingwood attracted a then-record crowd of 23,302, selling out two months before game day. On Saturday 11 August 2012, the Suns won their first game at the venue, defeating Greater Western Sydney by 30 points.
Crowds would not reach in excess of 20,000 again until Round 12, 2014, when 21,354 fans watched the Suns take on the Sydney Swans in a game that marked the first time Gary Ablett, Jr. and Lance Franklin went head-to-head since defecting from their original clubs, as well as this being Franklin's first match on the Gold Coast as an AFL player. The record crowd was broken in 2014 when 24,032 attended the Suns' Round 16 game against Collingwood, which the Suns won by five points despite losing their captain Gary Ablett to a season-ending shoulder injury.
The Gold Coast District Cricket Club was formed in 1990 and shared tenancy of Carrara Stadium with the Brisbane Bears. They would continue to be based at Carrara until 1993 when they moved to Robina. The stadium has also hosted international [cricket]] matches with Queensland and England facing off in an encounter. Controversy fell over the stadium in 1991 when touring English players David Gower and John Morris chose to go for a joy-ride in two Tiger moth biplanes without telling the England team management. Gower was fined £1000, a penalty that could have been steeper had he released the water bombs he had also prepared. Gower also posed for press photographs with the plane the next day.
A push for cricket to return to Carrara has been put on the agenda in more recent years. The stadium has the infrastructure in place for a drop-in cricket pitch. In July 2014, Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate attempted to secure an international Twenty20 match for the stadium by discussing possibilities with an Indian sporting delegation.
In April 2018, it was confirmed the stadium would host its first international Twenty20 match between Australia and South Africa on November 17. For the 2018–19 Big Bash League season, Carrara will host 3 T20 games with 2 games hosted by the Brisbane Heat and another game hosted by the Melbourne Stars. The stadium remains a potential future home ground for a Gold Coast-based Big Bash League side that enters the competition.
Not since 2001 when KISS performed has Carrara Stadium hosted an international act of that stature prior to the stadium redevelopment. Former KISS lead guitarist and foundation band member Ace Frehley revealed in his 2011 autobiography that he punched then tour manager Tommy Thayer in the jaw while in the dressing room at the conclusion of the Gold Coast concert. The concert was the last leg of the Kiss Farewell Tour and Thayer would later replace Frehley as the lead guitarist in the band. Rock legend Alice Cooper performed at the stadium the following night. On 10 December 2011 the Foo Fighters performed at Carrara and set the all-time attendance record for any event ever held at Carrara Stadium, 37,000 people attended the concert. The stadium is also featured in the Foo Fighters film clip of "These Days". Filming took place during the concert on 10 December 2011.
Carrara Stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as hosting the athletics events. The athlete's village was originally going to be located next to Carrara Stadium but instead was constructed in Southport. The stadium was temporarily upgraded to hold 35,000 people prior to the start of the opening ceremony.
The stadium lacked a naming rights sponsor in its formative decades, bearing the names Carrara Stadium and Gold Coast Stadium between its opening in 1987 and 2011. On 15 March 2011, the Gold Coast Football Club announced that nationally-active home builder group Metricon Homes had signed a $3 million, 5-year deal for naming rights of Carrara Stadium, to be known henceforth as Metricon Stadium. In March 2016 Metricon Homes signed a 5-year extension deal with the Suns until 25 March 2020 for the naming rights of the stadium.
from Carrara Stadium
|Surfside Buslines||Carrara Stadium||745||50 m|
|Queensland Rail||Nerang||Gold Coast||2.0 km|
The nearest railway station is Nerang, a 25-minute walk from the stadium. On match and event days, special shuttle bus services from Nerang station and Broadbeach serve the stadium. The shuttle buses travel along Route 745, a route that usually passes the stadium on non-match days. Future transport plans include a ferry service and light rail extension that will stop at the stadium.
Last updated: 1 September 2017
NOTE: This table does not include stadium attendances at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
|1||5 July 2014||Gold Coast Suns vs. Collingwood Magpies||Australian rules football||AFL||24,032|
|2||23 July 2011||Gold Coast Suns vs. Collingwood Magpies||Australian rules football||AFL||23,302|
|3||18 March 1994||Gold Coast Seagulls vs. Brisbane Broncos||Rugby league||NSWRL||22,688|
|4||28 May 2011||Gold Coast Suns vs. Geelong Cats||Australian rules football||AFL||21,485|
|5||8 June 2014||Gold Coast Suns vs. Sydney Swans||Australian rules football||AFL||21,354|
|6||27 May 2005||North Queensland Cowboys vs. Canterbury Bulldogs||Rugby league||NRL||21,012|
|7||20 July 2013||Gold Coast Suns vs. Collingwood Magpies||Australian rules football||AFL||19,721|
|8||27 July 2013||Gold Coast Suns vs. Carlton Blues||Australian rules football||AFL||19,460|
|9||15 March 2014||Gold Coast Suns vs. Richmond Tigers||Australian rules football||AFL||19,425|
|10||3 September 2011||Gold Coast Suns vs. Hawthorn Hawks||Australian rules football||AFL||19,314|
|№||Date||Name of tour/event||Act||Crowd|
|1||10 December 2011||Foo Fighters Australian Stadium Tour 2011||Foo Fighters||37,000|
|2||4 April 2018||2018 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony||Delta Goodrem, Ricki-Lee Coulter||35,000|
|19 January 2014||Big Day Out 2014||Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire etc.||35,000|
|4||13 April 2001||KISS Farewell Tour||KISS||20,457|
|5||14 April 2001||Brutal Planet Tour||Alice Cooper||–|
- 2011 AFL Fans Favourite Venue
- 2012 ASI Steel Design Awards for Queensland – Best Large Project Building
- 2012 ASI Steel Design Awards for Queensland – Best Engineering Project Building
- 2012 ASI Steel Design Awards for Queensland – Best Use of Sustainability
- 2012 ASI Steel Design Awards for Queensland – Best Sporting and Community Facility over $20 million
- 2012 ASI Steel Design Awards for Queensland – Project of the Year
- 2012 Stadium Business Awards – Project of the Year
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- AFL Tables - Crowds - Carrara
- Rugby League Tables - Crowds - Carrara
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- Official website
- Description and aerial view of Carrara Oval at the Gold Coast City Council's web site
- Carrara Stadium at Austadiums
- Bring Carrara Back to Life – But Slowly
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