John Brown Oval |
|Location||40 Castlemaine Street, Milton, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia|
|Record attendance||52,540 (2017 State of Origin)|
|Field size||136 x 82 m|
|Surface||Grass (Strathayr turf)|
|Construction cost||A$ 280 million (redevelopment)|
|Architect||Populous & PDT Architects in Association|
|Structural engineer||Ove Arup & Partners|
Queensland (State of Origin) (1980–2000, 2003-present)|
Brisbane Broncos (NRL) (1988–1992, 2003–present)
Queensland Reds (Super Rugby) (2005–present)
Brisbane Roar (A-League) (2005–present)
South Queensland Crushers (ARL) (1995–1997)
Lang Park, also known as Brisbane Stadium, and by the sponsored name Suncorp Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, located in the suburb of Milton. The current facility comprises a three-tiered rectangular sporting stadium with a capacity of 52,500 people. It is primarily used for rugby league, rugby union, and soccer, with a rectangular playing field of 136 metres by 82 metres.
Lang Park was established in 1914, on the site of the former North Brisbane Cemetery, and in its early days was home to a number of different sports, including cycling, athletics, and soccer. The lease of the park was taken over by the Brisbane Rugby League in 1957 and it became the home of the game in Queensland (remaining so to this day). It has also been the home ground of major rugby union and soccer matches in Queensland since its modern redevelopment, including the Queensland Reds and the Brisbane Roar, and some Wallabies and Socceroos matches. It hosted the 2008 Rugby League World Cup Final and the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final.
The site of Lang Park was originally the North Brisbane Cemetery, and until 1875 was Brisbane's primary cemetery. By 1911 the area was heavily populated, so the Paddington Cemeteries Act (1911) was introduced and the site was redeveloped as a recreational site. In 1914 it was fenced off and named Lang Park after John Dunmore Lang.
The ground was leased by the Queensland Amateur Athletics Association (QAAA) in the 1920s. In 1935, the Queensland Soccer Council (QSC) became a sub-tenant of the QAAA, with a view to using it as the home ground for Brisbane soccer fixtures (leaving its former home, the Brisbane Cricket Ground). The Latrobe Soccer Club, in turn, became a sub-tenant of the QSC, using the ground for its home games (see image below).
However, by 1937, the QSC was considering sub-leasing Lang Park to "another code of football" (most likely Western Suburbs Rugby League) as it "was not satisfied with the financial returns ... under the sub-lease to the Latrobe-Milton club". Latrobe in turn responded that "'If no action Is taken to introduce the Ipswich clubs into the Brisbane competition this' season ... the Latrobe-Milton Club cannot accept an increase in rental for Lang Park. Give us competition play with Ipswich and my club will hold the ground as headquarters for the code."
On 11 February 1950, the official opening of the Lang Park Police Citizens Youth Club took place and youth activities commenced because of the concerns with the increase of juvenile delinquency. Activities such as boxing, wrestling, basketball and gymnastics all occur at these premises to this day. Contemporaneous records are scant, but it appears the QSC did not renew the lease the ground after the intervening World War II. In 1953 the Brisbane Rugby League (BRL) amalgamated with the Queensland Rugby League (QRL). QRL secretary Ron McAullife negotiated a 21-year lease of Lang Park from the Brisbane City Council in order to give the QRL a financially viable base of operations. The park had only the most basic facilities, and the QRL contributed £17,000 to its development. Lang Park hosted its first game of first grade rugby league during the 1930s, with regular BRL games commencing there in 1955. In 1958 it hosted its first Brisbane rugby league grand final in which Brothers defeated Valleys 22 points to 7. A record crowd of 19,824 saw Northern Suburbs defeat Fortitude Valley at Lang Park in the BRL grand final in September 1961.
In the 1960s, Fonda Metassa famously burst from the back of an ambulance to return to the field after being carted off injured in a match for Norths against Redcliffe. As the ground was used increasingly by the QRL, it became no longer viable for use as a public recreation facility. In 1962 the Lang Park Trust was created under an act of Parliament. This allowed for the construction of the Frank Burke Stand (1962), Ron McAuliffe Stand (1975) and the Western Grandstand (1994). The Trust had on its board one member from the Queensland Government, one member from the Brisbane City Council, two members from the Queensland Rugby League and one member from the Brisbane Rugby League.
From the 1960s Lang Park hosted interstate and international rugby league, including the inaugural State of Origin match. Up until 1972, it was the home ground of the Western Suburbs Panthers and from 1988 to 1992 it was also the home ground of the Brisbane Broncos.
In 1994, the stadium's name was changed to Suncorp Stadium, when naming sponsorship was attained by Queensland financial institution, Suncorp-Metway Limited. The venue is currently managed by AEG Ogden.
In the late 1990s, it was decided that Brisbane needed a state of the art rectangular stadium. Suncorp Stadium was chosen as the site. The $280 million redevelopment commenced in July 2001 after Game One of the 2001 State of Origin series. The redevelopment was completed in time for the match between the Brisbane Broncos and Newcastle Knights on 1 June 2003; Brisbane's first game at Suncorp Stadium since 1996.
The stadium is now a 52,500 state of the art all-seater rectangular stadium, a far cry from the former Lang Park oval with two grandstands set back from a perimeter road. The only remaining stand from before the redevelopment is the Western Grandstand. The extension of the facility resulted in the demolition of a number of buildings along Milton Road, including the former Brisbane City Council trolley-bus depot.
During their relocating year, the Broncos only recorded one win at the venue, against the Sydney Roosters in Round 16, 2003, unlike one loss at their previous home, ANZ Stadium in Round 5, 2003, against the New Zealand Warriors.
Following its redevelopment, questions were raised about the standard of the surface, which was soft underfoot and sandy and was blamed for a spate of injuries to rugby league players using it (temporarily earning the stadium the nickname "Sandcorp Stadium" ). Prior to the redevelopment, the stadium was known as "The Cauldron", and Queensland fans developed a reputation for vocal support of their teams, adding to this mythology.
Suncorp Stadium suffered significant damage during the 2010–2011 Queensland floods with the entire playing field being covered by flood water. An electrical fire started in a transformer room due to water ingress, however there was no major damage from the fire. Brisbane Roar's match with Wellington Phoenix, originally scheduled for the weekend of 14–16 January, was postponed until 26 January, and the remaining Brisbane Roar home matches were moved to Skilled Park on the Gold Coast. Suncorp Stadium was out of action until late February, but restored just in time for the commencement of the 2011 NRL season. Temporary change rooms were set up as the original change rooms were damaged as a result of the floods. The original change rooms were restored in time for the commencement of the 2012 NRL season.
In September 2016 it was announced that the video screens, originally installed in 2003, would be replaced. Construction started on the new video screens in March 2017 and was finished in early May 2017 in time for an NRL double header.
Although the stadium has been the traditional home of rugby league in Queensland, it has also become the state's premier venue for soccer, as well as rugby union. The re-developed Suncorp Stadium first hosted rugby union games at the 2003 Rugby World Cup and in 2005, the stadium became the new home of the Queensland Reds Super Rugby team when they moved from their former home at Ballymore Stadium. This move caused some disquiet amongst rugby traditionalists, however was accepted by Queensland Rugby Union CEO Theo Psaros, who said that "our hearts may be at Ballymore but our heads say it's time to move.". The year before the Reds' move, the newly established football team Queensland Roar of the A-League also elected to play their home games at Suncorp Stadium.
New Zealand rugby journalist Wynne Gray called Suncorp Stadium perhaps the best rugby stadium in the world. "It is so intimate you can hear the smack of bodies, the boot on leather, you feel the power and rhythm of the games."
On 29 July 2006 the Bledisloe Cup clash between the Wallabies and the All Blacks returned to Brisbane for the first time in over a decade for the 2006 Tri Nations Series. Though Australia narrowly lost the match, the game saw a new ground record set.
A month later on 7 October the stadium hosted a 1–1 friendly soccer game between Australia and Paraguay in which Tony Vidmar, Stan Lazaridis, Zeljko Kalac and goal scorer Tony Popovic all retired from international football.
On Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 December, Suncorp Stadium hosted its first music concert since the 1980s and the stadium's redevelopment when Robbie Williams performed in front of two 52,413 sell-out crowds during his "Close Encounters" tour of Australia, and was the venue for the U2 360 tour in December 2010. That same month the stadium hosted Bon Jovi as part of The Circle Tour.
Suncorp Stadium was also the site of the 2011 A-League Grand Final, drawing a crowd of over 50,000 for the climactic football event. The match was one of the dramatic in A-League history, with the Brisbane Roar scoring two goals in the last five minutes to level the scores with the Central Coast Mariners after several hundred home supporters had left the stadium early, many returning after hearing the stadium erupt while waiting for the train. The Roar went on to win 4–2 in the penalty shootout, making for an incredible victory.
The stadium is also home to the Lang Park Police Citizens Youth Club.
|Queensland Maroons||Rugby league||52,500||2015 (one game)|
|The Wallabies||Rugby union||47,444||2012 International Rugby Union Tests|
|Brisbane Broncos||Rugby league||35,354||2014|
|Queensland Reds||Rugby union||28,500||2014 Super Rugby season|
|Brisbane Roar||Association football||14,128||2012–13|
In the 1980s Brisbane rugby league icon Wally Lewis became known as The Emperor of Lang Park after his performances in State of Origin matches played at the ground. Brisbane-based beer XXXX, which is brewed at the nearby Castlemaine Brewery, ran a television advertisement celebrating this title in song:
- Here's to Wally Lewis for lacing on a boot
- Sometimes he plays it rugged, sometimes he plays it cute
- He slices through a backline like a Stradbroke Island shark
- There's glue on all his fingers, he's the Emperor of Lang Park— Castlemaine Perkins XXXX advertisement
In 2006, Queensland Minister for Sport, Tom Barton introduced the Stadium's Sports Media Hall of Fame which honours the achievements of media representatives who have covered the two major football codes (Rugby League and Rugby Union) played at this historic ground over the past 40 years. So far there are five inductees: rugby league commentator George Lovejoy, rugby league journalists Jack Reardon and Steve Ricketts, Gerry Collins and Frank O'Callaghan.
|13–14 December 2006||Robbie Williams||104,992|
|22 January 2008||The Police||25,391|
|3–4 December 2008||André Rieu||46,835|
|8–9 December 2010||U2||84,011|
|14 December 2010||Bon Jovi||40,520|
|21 November 2012||Coldplay||52,497|
|7 December 2013||Taylor Swift||38,907|
|17 December 2013||Bon Jovi||41,376|
|20 February 2014||Eminem||43,339|
|11 February 2015||One Direction||32,889|
|24 February 2015||Foo Fighters||39,851|
|28 November 2015||Ed Sheeran||46,135|
|5 December 2015||Taylor Swift||46,881|
|6 December 2016||Coldplay||51,059|
|13 March 2017||Justin Bieber||41,000|
|9 December 2017||Paul McCartney||-|
|25 January 2018||Foo Fighters||-|
|20 & 21 March 2018||Ed Sheeran||—|
Controversially, the redevelopment was the first major sporting facility in Australia with no car parking, primarily due to concerns with traffic congestion in the surrounding residential neighborhood. The stadium's proximity to pubs, restaurants, cafes, bars, and the XXXX brewery, together with dedicated pedestrian links to Milton railway station and Brisbane CBD, adds to the match day experience and is seen as a model for new stadiums and large entertainment venues. The stadium redevelopment has been the catalyst for the Barracks urban renewal development at Petrie Terrace midway along the dedicated pedestrian link to the CBD.
|Car||There is no public parking at the Stadium. However, paid parking stations are available within 10-minute walking distance in the CBD.|
|Record crowd||52,540 – Rugby League, 12 July 2017|
Queensland vs New South Wales
2017 State of Origin series
|Video screen||Yes (x2)|
|Sports played||Rugby league, Rugby union, Soccer|
|Annual events||State of Origin series, Queensland Cup Grand Final|
|Historic events||1968 Rugby League World Cup|
1975 Rugby League World Cup
1977 Rugby League World Cup
1980 State of Origin game
1993 FIFA World Youth Championship*
* The first golden goal since the 1993 rule change by FIFA was in March 1993 by Australia against Uruguay in a quarterfinal match at the FIFA World Youth Championships at Suncorp Stadium, Qld, Australia
2003 Rugby World Cup
2008 Rugby League World Cup (plus the Final)
2011 Super Rugby Final
2011 A-League Grand Final
2012 A-League Grand Final
2015 AFC Asian Cup
Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn
2017 Rugby League World Cup.
2015 AFC Asian CupEdit
|Date||Time (UTC+10)||Team #1||Res.||Team #2||Round||Attendance|
|10 January 2015||19:00||Saudi Arabia||0–1||China PR||Group B||12,557|
|12 January 2015||19:00||Jordan||0–1||Iraq||Group D||6,840|
|14 January 2015||19:00||China PR||2–1||Uzbekistan||Group B||13,674|
|16 January 2015||19:00||Iraq||0–1||Japan||Group D||22,941|
|17 January 2015||19:00||Australia||0–1||South Korea||Group A||48,513|
|19 January 2015||19:00||Iran||1–0||United Arab Emirates||Group C||11,394|
|22 January 2015||21:30||China PR||0–2||Australia||Quarter-finals||46,067|
On Saturday, 16 June 2011, The Weekend Australian revealed that Suncorp Stadium was in danger of either losing the hosting rights to all Queensland based NRL finals matches to Sydney, or having its capacity limited to 25,000 seats, due to a condition included in the legislation regarding the Stadium's redevelopment that only 24 'special events' (i.e. with attendance in excess of 25,000) a year can hosted at the venue. This number of special events was reached when the Brisbane Broncos faced the Manly Sea Eagles in Round 26 of the 2011 NRL Telstra Premiership Season. On 6 September 2011, legislation was passed to lift the crowd capacity limit to 35,000 for those 24 events, enabling the Broncos to host finals matches should they progress that far. 
Rugby league test matchesEdit
|30 July 1962||Great Britain||10–17||34,766||1962 Ashes series|
|22 June 1963||New Zealand||13–16||30,748||1963 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|20 July 1963||South Africa||34–6||10,210|
|4 July 1964||France||27–2||20,076|
|16 July 1966||Great Britain||6–4||45,057||1966 Ashes series and pre redevelopment attendance record|
|1 July 1967||New Zealand||35–22||30,122||1967 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|1 June 1968||31–12||23,608||1968 World Cup|
|8 June 1968||France||37–4||32,664||1968 World Cup|
|6 June 1970||Great Britain||37–15||42,807||1970 Ashes series|
|15 July 1972||New Zealand||31–7||20,847||1972 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|1 June 1975||36–8||12,000||1975 World Cup|
|22 June 1975||France||26–6||9,000||1975 World Cup|
|18 June 1977||Great Britain||15–5||27,000||1977 World Cup|
|15 July 1978||New Zealand||38–7||14,000||1978 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|16 July 1979||Great Britain||35–0||23,051||1979 Ashes series|
|18 July 1981||France||17–2||14,000|
|3 July 1982||New Zealand||11–8||11,400||1982 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|9 July 1983||12–19||15,000||1983 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|26 June 1984||Great Britain||18–6||26,534||1984 Ashes series|
|18 June 1985||New Zealand||26–20||22,000||1985 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|29 July 1986||32–12||22,811||1985-88 World Cup and 1986 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|21 July 1987||6–13||16,500|
|28 June 1988||Great Britain||34–14||27,130||1988 Ashes series|
|31 July 1991||New Zealand||40–12||29,139||1989-92 World Cup and 1991 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|3 July 1992||Great Britain||16–10||32,313||1989-92 World Cup and 1992 Ashes series|
|30 June 1993||New Zealand||16–4||32,000||1993 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|23 June 1995||26–8||25,309||1995 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|14 July 1995||46–10||20,803||1995 Trans-Tasman Test series|
|11 July 1997||Rest of the World||28–8||14,927||Only test match played for the ARL test team for 1997|
|9 October 1998||New Zealand||30–12||18,501|
|22 October 1999||Great Britain||42–6||12,511||1999 Tri-Nations|
|25 April 2005||New Zealand||32–16||40,317||2005 Anzac Test|
|5 May 2006||50–16||44,191||2006 Anzac Test|
|18 November 2006||Great Britain||33–10||44,358||2006 Tri-Nations|
|20 April 2007||New Zealand||30–6||35,241||2007 Anzac Test|
|23 November 2008||20–34||50,599||2008 World Cup Final. Record Test attendance at Lang Park|
|8 May 2009||38–10||37,152||2009 Anzac Test|
|13 November 2010||12–16||36,299||2010 Four Nations Final|
|25 October 2014||12–30||47,813*||2014 Four Nations|
|3 May 2015||12–26||32,681||2015 Anzac Test|
|23 Nov 2017||Fiji||54–6||22,073||2017 Rugby League World Cup Semi-Final|
|2 Dec 2017||England||6-0||40,033||2017 Rugby League World Cup Final|
It also hosted three non Australia matches. Incidentally, they were all England matches. The first was a 1975 Rugby League World Cup match against Wales on 10 June 1975 with 6,000 in attendance and lost 12 - 7. The second was a 2008 Rugby League World Cup match against New Zealand on 15 November 2008 with 26,659 in attendance and lost 32 - 22. The third and final to date was a 2014 Four Nations match between against Samoa with 47,813 in attendance and was a double header which was followed by the Australia New Zealand match. England won 32 - 26.
Suncorp Stadium will host two matches of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. The venue will play host to the first semi-final on 24 November and the tournament final on 2 December.
Rugby Union InternationalsEdit
- "The Stadium". Suncorp Stadium. Archived from the original on 18 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
Suncorp Stadium provides Brisbane and south-east Queensland with a 52,500 plus seat capacity
- "The Stadium". Suncorp Stadium. Archived from the original on 10 June 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
- Caldwell, Felicity (3 November 2016). "Suncorp Stadium officially becomes Brisbane Stadium (Lang Park)". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 5 January 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
- Suncorp Stadium History Archived 8 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine. retrieved 1 August 2014
- "Paddington Cemeteries". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 13 June 1914. p. 4. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Soccer - LANG PARK FOR CLUB MATCHES Invitation to N.S.W. - The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) - 30 Mar 1935".
- "Soccer - MAY LEASE TO OTHER CODE Lang Park Tenancy In Doubt - The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) - 21 Jan 1937".
- "NO HIGHER BID WITHOUT IPSWICH - Latrobe's Attitude To Lang Park Lease - The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) - 29 Jan 1937".
- Gallaway, Jack Origin: Rugby League's Greatest Contest 1980–2002 University of Queensland Press, 2003 ISBN 0-7022-3383-8
- "Norths thrash Valleys 29–5". The Sun-Herald. Australia. 24 September 1961. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
- McGregor, Adrian King Wally University of Queensland Press, 1986 ISBN 0-7022-2037-X
- "Suncorp Stadium ravaged by floods". The Herald Sun. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "Suncorp Stadium sunk amid devastation and fears worse to come". The Australian. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
- "This will really get the Cauldron pumping". Archived from the original on 7 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- Intimate Suncorp best in world. Wynne Gray, New Zealand Herald, 4:00AM Saturday 13 September 2008 retrieved 14 September 2008.
- Is the optimism in English rugby justified? Garth Hamilton, www.theroar.com.au Archived 7 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine. accessed 19 November 2010.
- "Wally Lewis". Monument Australia. Archived from the original on 27 April 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
- "'Locky' statue to stand at Lang Park". www.abc.net.au. Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
- "Mal Meninga with his statue at Lang Park". ABC News. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
- "Suncorp Stadium :: Arthur Beetson Statue Unveiled at Suncorp Stadium". www.suncorpstadium.com.au. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
- "SPORTS MEDIA HALL OF FAME OPENS AT SUNCORP STADIUM". suncorpstadium.com.au. 28 July 2006.
- Bligh, Anna (10 June 2009). "PREMIER UNVEILS QUEENSLAND'S 150 ICONS". Queensland Government. Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
- "Suncorp Stadium :: Concert Reports". Archived from the original on 23 April 2013.
- Daniel Hurst (6 September 2011). "Suncorp Stadium gets big-game green light". brisbanetimes.com.au. Archived from the original on 8 September 2011. Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- Micallef, Philip (20 January 2015). "Local Asian Cup chief slams state of Brisbane pitch". The World Game. SBS. Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
- Ferguson, Shawn Dollin and Andrew. "Lang Park - Lang Park - Rugby League Project". Archived from the original on 25 May 2014.
- AP. "Manny Pacquiao to fight Jeff Horn in Australia on July 2". Usatoday.com. Archived from the original on 21 April 2017. Retrieved 21 April 2017.