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Norwood Oval (currently known as Coopers Stadium due to sponsorship from the Adelaide-based Coopers Brewery) is a suburban oval in the western end of Norwood, an inner eastern suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. It is owned by Norwood, Payneham & St Peters Council but managed by the Norwood Football Club. Though mainly used for Australian rules football, the oval has been used for a variety of other sporting and community events including baseball, soccer, rugby league and American football. It is the home ground for the Norwood Football Club ("The Redlegs") in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL) and the primary home ground of the Adelaide Crows in AFL Women's (AFLW).

Norwood Oval
Norwood Oval NAB cup.jpg
View from the northern end, March 2015
Locationcnr The Parade and Woods St, Norwood, South Australia
Coordinates34°55′11″S 138°37′50″E / 34.91972°S 138.63056°E / -34.91972; 138.63056Coordinates: 34°55′11″S 138°37′50″E / 34.91972°S 138.63056°E / -34.91972; 138.63056
OwnerNorwood, Payneham & St Peters Council
OperatorNorwood Football Club
Capacity22,000
Record attendance20,280 – Norwood vs Port Adelaide, 1971
Field sizeFootball: 165m x 110m
Baseball:
Left Field - 320 feet (98 m)
Center Field - 390 feet (119 m)
Right Field - 290 feet (88 m)
SurfaceGrass
Construction
Broke groundLate 1890s
Opened1901
Tenants
Norwood Football Club (SANFL) (1901–present)

Adelaide Crows (AFLW) (2017-present)

Adelaide Bite (ABL) (2009–2016)
View towards the grandstands from the park on The Parade, January 2012

The oval is one of two sporting venues in Adelaide to carry the name of Coopers Stadium. The other is the soccer specific Hindmarsh Stadium which also has naming rights sponsorship from Coopers Brewery.

Australian Rules FootballEdit

The Oval has a capacity of 22,000 people, with grandstand seating for up to 3,900. The ground record crowd was set in 1971 when 20,280 turned up to watch an SANFL match between Norwood and their traditional SANFL rivals Port Adelaide. Norwood Oval's dimensions are 165m x 110m making it the narrowest ground in use in the SANFL.

In the 1950s the Norwood Football Club received permission from the then City of Kensington & Norwood to install six light towers at the oval.[citation needed] This allowed Norwood to host not only night football matches but also night baseball.{{cn Regular night SANFL night series matches were played at the oval until 1984 when all night games were transferred to the SANFL's own Football Park when construction of that grounds light towers was completed.

In 1973 the SANFL introduced the 5 team finals for the first time and Norwood Oval holds the distinction of hosting the first ever SANFL Elimination Final when home team Norwood defeated rivals Port Adelaide by 6 goals.[citation needed] The First Semi-final was also held at Norwood in 1973 when reigning premiers (and 1972 Champions of Australia North Adelaide, led by 3 time Magarey Medallist Barrie Robran, defeated Norwood in a close game bringing an end to the Redlegs 1973 season.[citation needed]

Norwood Oval was also the scene of Norwood's triumph over East Perth in the 1977 National Football League grand final.[citation needed]

Night football returned to Norwood Oval during the early 2000s and Friday night games at the oval (mostly featuring The Redlegs, though in 2013 Sturt will also use the venue for night games after previously using the Adelaide Oval) have been a regular feature in the SANFL ever since. With the popularity of the Friday night games, other clubs have started installing lights at their grounds with Elizabeth Oval (Central District), Richmond Oval (West Adelaide), Hickinbotham Oval (South Adelaide) and Glenelg Oval (Glenelg) all having installed lights, while Woodville-West Torrens will also play selected night games at the Thebarton Oval (the former home ground of West Torrens) after the ovals six original light towers were replaced with four modern ones by the grounds major tenant, the South Australian Amateur Football League.

The light towers were upgraded at Norwood Oval in 2010.[citation needed] The six light towers that had been in place since the 1950s[citation needed] were replaced with 4 light towers of television standard positioned at the 'corners' of the oval.

The Adelaide Crows women's team played one game at the venue in the AFLW's inaugural 2017 season; the other two games held in Adelaide were played at Thebarton Oval.[citation needed] All three home games held in Adelaide during the 2018 season were played at Norwood Oval.[citation needed]

BaseballEdit

Norwood has also hosted Baseball since 1951 with the South Australian Baseball team being tenants until 1988.[citation needed] Between 1951 and 1988 Norwood Oval hosted the Claxton Shield competition on six occasions (1951, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1971, 1976 and 1981) with the winners being NSW (1951), Victoria (1956 and 1981) and SA (1961, `66, `71 and `76).[citation needed]

The original Australian Baseball League (ABL) started in 1989 with Adelaide represented by the Adelaide Giants.[citation needed] The ABL ran from 1989 until it folded in 1999 with the Giants playing all of their home games at Norwood Oval with most being under lights.[citation needed] During their time in the ABL the Giants were affiliated, as were every other team in the league, with a team from Major League Baseball.[citation needed] In a massive coup the Giants managed to get themselves affiliated with the 1988 World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers with the team receiving 3-4 'import players' a season from the Dodgers Minor League system to complement their array of 'local' talent.[citation needed] During the ABL the Giants never made the ABL's championship series.[citation needed]

Following the collapse of the ABL after 1999 and the short lived International Baseball League of Australia (IBLA) which ran from 1999-2000 until the 2002 the Claxton Shield was revived in 2003 with South Australia playing their games at the Thebarton Oval before moving back to Norwood Oval in 2009.[citation needed]

In August 2010 it was announced that there would be a new Australian Baseball League and that Norwood Oval would be the home ground of Adelaide Bite, the team representing Adelaide in the ABL.[1]

Prior to 2009, the baseball diamond at Norwood Oval was located closer to the Wood Street stand.[citation needed] The third base line ran almost parallel to the stand, with the first base line running east towards the outer side of the ground.[citation needed] The diamond was then moved to its present position in 2009.[citation needed]

As of February 2012 Norwood Oval's field dimensions for baseball are:[2]

Left Field - 320 feet (98 m)
Centre Field - 390 feet (120 m)
Right Field - 290 feet (88 m)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Stockman, Jennifer (6 August 2010). "Adelaide takes a BITE at new ABL". Adelaide Bite. Australian Baseball League. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  2. ^ Norwood Oval baseball dimensions

External linksEdit