|Former names||Laver Oval|
Gold Coast Stadium
|Field size||158 x 134 metres|
|Opened||1987 (Redeveloped 2010–2011)|
BaseballEast Coast Cougars/Gold Coast Cougars (ABL) (1993–1999)
|River End, Road End (AFL)|
Broadbeach End, Nerang End (Cricket)
|Only T20I||17 November 2018:|
Australia v South Africa
|As of 17 November 2018|
The stadium is primarily used for Australian rules football, serving as the home ground of the Gold Coast Suns, who compete in the Australian Football League. In addition, the venue is used occasionally for cricket, including Big Bash League matches. 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 Gabba 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 fielded one senior team and in 1984 they fielded two senior teams. The club spent 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 had been 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. On 19 April 1987, the Fitzroy Lions defeated the Brisbane Bears in the first VFL game played at Carrara Oval, before a crowd of 17,795. (The Brisbane Lions website records the crowd unofficially as 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 that announcement, Christopher Skase orchestrated the installation of floodlights costing $6 million, which were never paid for. With the collapse of Skase's company Qintex, he would flee to Spain and the cost of the floodlights continued to be unpaid. Liquidators attempted to extract money from the Gold Coast City Council for the lights but, after an unsuccessful trial, it was found cheaper to leave the floodlights in place 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 access to the stadium and the poor on-field performance of the Bears resulted in poor crowds at Bears games, prompting local media to refer to the situation as the "Curse of Carrara". The new owner of the Bears, Reuben Pelerman, lost a further $10 million between the 1990–1992 AFL seasons, and the Bears moved permanently to the Brisbane Cricket Ground in 1993, staving off media rumours of a merger with the Sydney Swans to form a combined Queensland/New South Wales team, the Northern Swans, or a 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 season at Carrara before changing their name to the Daikyo Dolphins and moving to nearby 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 Shire of Albert, 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, 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 Games and restored back to 25,000. The stadium hosted the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the athletics.
The stadium was used extensively during the 2020 AFL season, which was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as several non-Queensland teams spent extended periods of time in Gold Coast quarantine hubs and played home games at the ground, as a means of carrying on the season while state borders were restricted or closed to interstate travel. The stadium hosted several double-headers, and at the peak of hubbing in round 6, 2020 hosted four senior matches in two days. In all, the ground staged 42 matches in 2020, the most of any ground, and including its first ever finals match.
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 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 hosted an international cricket match between Queensland and England in January 1991. Controversy fell over the ground 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 and buzzed the stadium in the middle of play. Gower and Morris also posed for press photographs with the plane later that afternoon. Both players were subsequently fined £1000 for the prank, a penalty that could have been steeper had Gower elected to release the water bombs he had prepared. Carrara also played host to a 50-over match between Queensland and the West Indies on 1 January 1992, which the visitors won by 7 wickets.
Carrara hosted its first international cricket match since redevelopment on 17 November 2018 with Australia taking on South Africa in a Twenty20 match in front of 12,866 spectators. Carrara hosted three games during the 2018–19 Big Bash League season, two of those games hosted by the Brisbane Heat and the other game hosted by the Melbourne Stars. The record cricket crowd was set on New Years Day in 2020 when the Brisbane Heat lost to the Perth Scorchers in front of 20,135 spectators. The stadium remains a potential future home ground for a Gold Coast-based Big Bash League side that enters the competition.
Carrara is scheduled to host the first one-day international in 2021/22 season when Australia takes on England.
Carrara hosted a triple header of entertainment events on the Easter long weekend in 2001. The first night saw Kiss perform and become the first international act to play at the Stadium. 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 in 2001. The stadium served as the venue for the last leg of the Kiss Farewell Tour and Thayer would later replace Frehley as the lead guitarist in the band. The next night saw rock legend Alice Cooper perform at the stadium. The third and final night of the long weekend saw the Anthony Mundine-Timo Masua boxing match take place at Carrara.
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. On 19 January 2014, the venue hosted the Gold Coast leg of the Big Day Out. The stadium was set to serve as the host of the two-day SandTunes Music Festival on 30 November & 1 December 2019, prior to its cancellation. The line-up included acts such as Travis Scott, Dean Lewis and Carly Rae Jepsen.
Queen + Adam Lambert played at the stadium on 29 February 2020 in the final concert of their Australian leg of The Rhapsody Tour and pulled a record crowd of 40,000 attendees. In November 2020, it was announced Guns N' Roses would play at the stadium on 6 November 2021.
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. The agreement has since been extended to the end of 2022.
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 November 2020
Last updated: 11 January 2021
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 vs. Canterbury Bulldogs||Rugby league||NRL||21,012|
|7||1 January 2020||Brisbane Heat vs. Perth Scorchers||Cricket||BBL||20,135|
|8||20 July 2013||Gold Coast Suns vs. Collingwood Magpies||Australian rules football||AFL||19,721|
|9||27 July 2013||Gold Coast Suns vs. Carlton Blues||Australian rules football||AFL||19,460|
|10||15 March 2014||Gold Coast Suns vs. Richmond Tigers||Australian rules football||AFL||19,425|
|No.||Date||Name of tour/event||Act||Crowd|
|1||29 February 2020||The Rhapsody Tour||Queen + Adam Lambert||39,607|
|2||10 December 2011||Foo Fighters Australian Stadium Tour 2011||Foo Fighters||37,000|
|3||2018||2018 Commonwealth Games||Delta Goodrem, Ricki-Lee Coulter||35,000|
|19 January 2014||Big Day Out 2014||Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire etc.||35,000|
|5||13 April 2001||KISS Farewell Tour||KISS||20,457|
- 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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