Adelaide Oval is a stadium in Adelaide, South Australia, located in the parklands between the city centre and North Adelaide.
The stadium is mostly used for cricket and Australian rules football, but also plays host to rugby league, rugby union, soccer, and concerts. Its record crowd for cricket was 52,633 during the 2014–15 Big Bash League season semi final between the Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers, and its overall record attendance was 62,543 at the 1965 SANFL Grand Final between the Port Adelaide and Sturt.
The Oval has been headquarters to the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) since 1871 and South Australian National Football League (SANFL) since 2014. The stadium is managed by the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority (AOSMA). Redevelopments between 2008 and 2014, costing $575 million, increased the stadium's seating capacity from 34,000 to 53,583 (including standing room). The Adelaide and Port Adelaide Football Clubs also returned to the stadium, leaving Football Park.
In 2010, Austadiums.com called the Adelaide Oval "one of the most picturesque Test cricket grounds in Australia, if not the world". In December 2009 South Australian Premier Mike Rann announced a $450 million government commitment to redevelop Adelaide Oval to enable AFL Football to be played there. In May 2011 Treasurer Kevin Foley announced an increase in government funding to $535 million. After the redevelopment, sports journalist Gerard Whateley described it as "the most perfect piece of modern architecture because it's a thoroughly contemporary stadium with all the character that it's had in the past".
1871 - The ground was established in 1871 after the formation of SACA. Among those responsible for the original construction were John Pickering (son of Hon. John Pickering) and Henry Sparks.
1877 - The first South Australian Football Association match (later renamed the SANFL) that took place on the ground was between Adelaide Football Club (1860–1893) and the Bankers (1877). Adelaide won the match 4 goals to 1.
1877 – The first first-class cricket match played at the ground between South Australia and Tasmania on 10 and 12 November 1877. South Australia was victorious, winning by an innings and 13 runs.
1878 – The first century (102 not out for North Adelaide against the Kent Club) was scored by John Hill on 30 January 1878. John was the father of the great Clem Hill.
1884 – The first Test match played at the Oval was held from 12–16 December 1884. England beat Australia by eight wickets. (Scorecard)
1885 – The first football game lit by electric light was conducted on the evening of 1 July 1885.
1889 – The first Grand Final in a major Australian rules football competition was played between Norwood and Port Adelaide. Norwood won the game 7.4 (7) to 5.9 (5).
1894 – In 1894–95 Albert Trott collected 8/43 on debut against England, the best ever single-innings Test match figures at the ground.
1900 – The picket fence was put up surrounding the Oval (then with a cycling track) in 1900.
1911 – From 5–12 August 1911 the Australian Football Council Carnival was played at the ground, won by South Australia. The competing sides were SA, VFL, VFA, Western Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales.
1911 – The Adelaide Oval scoreboard, designed by architect Kenneth Milne, began service on 3 November 1911. The clock was added in 1912 and the windvane in the 1930s.
1914 - The Port Adelaide Football Club defeated the Carlton Football Club for their fourth Championship of Australia title defeating the Victorian side by 34 points, 9.16 (70) to 5.6 (36).
1931 – In 1931–32 Donald Bradman scored the highest score ever at the ground in Test Cricket, compiling 299* against South Africa. In the same game, Clarrie Grimmett collected fourteen wickets, the most ever taken in a Test match at the ground by a bowler.
1932 – In 1932–33, the Bodyline affair reached its lowest point at the ground when Bill Woodfull and Bert Oldfield were struck, and on the third day mounted police patrolled to keep the 50,962 spectators in order (a record crowd for cricket at the ground). The total attendance for the match was 174,351.
1946 – In 1946–47, Arthur Morris of Australia, and Denis Compton of England both made centuries in both innings of the Test.
1947 – In 1947–48 Australia scored 674 against India, the highest team total at the ground in Test matches.
1958 – In 1958 Blackpool Football Club beat Australia 1–0 during the first Association football match on the ground.
1960 – Australia played the West Indies in the fourth test of the Frank Worrell Trophy, 1960–61. The match ended in a draw, with the West Indies unable to take the final wicket of the fourth innings, as the last batsmen Ken Mackay and Lindsay Kline held out for 109 minutes. West Indies bowler Lance Gibbs took the only ever Test cricket hat trick at the ground in Australia's first innings. (Scorecard)
1965 – The ground record attendance of 62,543 people was recorded for the 1965 SANFL Grand Final between Port Adelaide and Sturt.
1972 - The North Adelaide Football Club defeated the Carlton Football Club to be crowned Champions of Australia defeating the Victorian side by one point 10.13 (73) to 10.12 (72) in what would be the last time a non-Victorian football side won a national championship until the West Coast Eagles won the 1992 AFL premiership.
1975 – In 1975–76 the ground hosted its first One-Day International match. The match was between Australia and West Indies (40-over match), and Australia won by 5 wickets. (Scorecard)
1978 – In 1978, the ground hosted the first concert by David Bowie in the Southern Hemisphere. It was the first large scale outdoor concert he had ever played.
1982 – In October 1982, vs Victoria, David Hookes hit a 43-minute, 34 ball century – by some metrics the fastest hundred in history. (Statistics)
1990 – The Sir Donald Bradman stand was built in 1990 to replace the John Creswell stand and provided up to date facilities for spectators.
1991 – South Australia compiled the highest fourth innings winning total in Sheffield Shield history, reaching 6/506 (set 506 to win) against Queensland in 1991–92.
1992 – In 1992–93 the West Indies defeated Australia by one run in the fourth test of the Frank Worrell Trophy, when a bouncer by Courtney Walsh brushed Craig McDermott's glove to end a 40-run last-wicket partnership. It was the narrowest victory ever in Test cricket. (Scorecard)
1997 – Lights were constructed at the ground in 1997, allowing sport to be held at night. This was the subject of a lengthy dispute with the Adelaide City Council, due to environmental issues relating to the parklands area. The first towers erected were designed to retract into the ground; however one collapsed and they were replaced with permanent towers. The first cricket match under lights was a One Day International between South Africa and New Zealand on 6 December 1997. (Scorecard)
1999 – In 1999, Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was called for throwing by umpire Ross Emerson in a One Day International against England. The Sri Lankan team almost abandoned the match, but after instructions from the president of the Sri Lankan cricket board (relayed to captain Arjuna Ranatunga by mobile phone) the game resumed.
2003 – In 2003, two matches of the Rugby World Cup were played at Adelaide Oval, with Australia thrashing Namibia 142–0, and Ireland defeating Argentina by one point.
2003 – Two grandstands, named the Chappell Stands, after the South Australian cricketing brothers Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell and Trevor Chappell were completed.
2006 – During the 2006/2007 Ashes series, many temporary stands were erected to cope with the demand for tickets. Stands were put between the Chappell stands and on the top of the hills. Australia beat England by 6 wickets on a remarkable last day. (Scorecard)
2009 – On 2 December 2009, the South Australian government announced it would commit funding to redevelop Adelaide Oval into a multi-purpose sports facility that would bring AFL football to central Adelaide. Announcing an agreement negotiated with SACA, SANFL and the AFL, Premier Mike Rann committed $450 million to the project. Making the announcement Mr Rann said that "Adelaide Oval is an icon of this city and this State. Rather than building yet another stadium at massive cost, the South Australian government will contribute significantly to this upgrade". Mr Rann also gave an undertaking that the historic Oval's key heritage features-including the century old scoreboard, Northern mound 'outer', open 'cathedral end' and Moreton Bay Fig trees would be retained in the redevelopment.
2009 The three original western stands were demolished in 2009 (George Giffen stand (1882), Sir Edwin Smith stand (1922), Mostyn Evan stand (1920s)).
2010 – In late 2010, the Western Grandstand with a seating capacity of 14,000, was completed.
2011 – In May 2011, following a vote by SACA members in favour of the redevelopment of the oval, the South Australian government increased its funding commitment to $535 million.
2011 – The first AFL game at the venue was played between Port Adelaide and Melbourne.
2012 – The two grandstands, named the Chappell Stands, after the South Australian cricketing brothers Ian Chappell, Greg Chappell and Trevor Chappell along with The Sir Donald Bradman were demolished.
2014 – In March 2014, the new Eastern Stand was fully completed with a total capacity of 19,000, bringing the overall seating capacity of the stadium to 50,083.
2014 – The first AFL game and Showdown post redevelopment between Port Adelaide and the Adelaide was played on 29 March 2014, Port Adelaide won the game by 55 points.
2014 – On 7 September 2014, the ground hosted its first ever AFL finals game, an Elimination Final between Port Adelaide and Richmond. Port Adelaide won by 57 points in front of 50,618 fans.
2014 – On 10 December 2014, Michael Clarke scored his 7th century on the ground, the most test cricket centuries by any player on the oval.
2015 – The Adelaide Oval hosted the first ever day/night Test match, when Australia play New Zealand on 27 November 2015.
2016 – The Adelaide Oval hosted its first ever national association football grand final with the 2016 A-League Grand Final between Adelaide United and the Western Sydney Wanderers. Adelaide United won in front of 50,119 fans.
2017 - The Adelaide Oval will host the first day/night Ashes Test on December 2, 2017
The oval dimensions were originally 190m x 125m, both unusually long and unusually narrow for an Australian cricket/football ground. The arrangement was highly favourable for batsmen who played square of the wicket, and heavily penalised bowlers who delivered the ball short or wide so that the batsman could play cut, hook or pull shots. Before the far ends in front of and behind the wicket were roped off, making the playing area shorter, it was not uncommon for batsmen to hit an all-run four or even occasionally a five.
Historically, the Adelaide Oval's integral pitch was generally very good for batting, and offering little assistance to bowlers until the last day of a match. Since the redevelopment in 2013, a drop-in pitch has been used at the venue.The playing area is surrounded by a white picket fence and advertising billboards.
The Hill was created in 1898 with earth from the banks of the River Torrens.
The scoreboard was first used in 1911 and still shows its original Edwardian architecture.
The scoreboard is listed on the City of Adelaide Heritage Register, helping to maintain the charm of the ground.
With the 2011–2014 redevelopment completed, the oval dimensions changed to 183m x 134m, making it more suitable for Australian Rules Football, for which the playing field dimensions will be 167m x 124m.
Western stand redevelopment
In August 2008 the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) announced that it had approved plans to redevelop the ground, involving expanding its capacity to 40,000. Development plans showed a reconfiguration of the playing surface and a remodelled western stand. The redevelopment would make the ground a viable option for hosting Australian Football League games as well as international soccer and rugby. The state and federal Governments each pledged $25m to the project, leaving the SACA to raise at least $45m. The SACA planned for the new stand to be ready in time for the 2010–11 Ashes series. The Western grandstands were torn down in June 2009 and a single Western stand was developed in its place ahead of the 2010-11 Ashes series. The new Western stand incorporates 14,000 individual seats and features improved shading conditions and amenities for SACA members.
In the lead up to the 2010 South Australian state election, the opposition Liberal Party announced that, if elected, it would build with a new stadium with a roof, located at Riverside West at the site of the state government's new hospital location. The incumbent Labor Party subsequently announced it would fund a $450 million upgrade and redevelopment of the whole of Adelaide Oval, rather than just the Western Grand Stand. Labor narrowly won re-election at the 2010 state election, resulting in its Adelaide Oval upgrade policy going ahead though eventually for a steeper $535 million, of which this deal included the State Government clearing the SACA's (South Australian Cricket Association) $85 million debt.
SACA and SANFL joint redevelopment
The Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority (AOSMA), a joint venture of SACA and the South Australian National Football League (SANFL), was registered as a company on 23 December 2009 following the re-announcement of the plan. The AOSMA has eight directors, four associated with SACA (Ian McLachlan-Chair, John Harnden, Creagh O’Connor & John Bannon) and four with SANFL (Leigh Whicker-CEO, Rod Payze, Philip Gallagher & Jamie Coppins).
However, in early-mid-2010, prior to the election, it became clear that $450m would be inadequate. Following the 2010 state election, SA Premier Mike Rann capped the State Government's commitment, saying: "It's $450 million – and not a penny more", and set a deadline for the parties to agree. In May, Treasurer Kevin Foley announced that "the Government's final offer to the SANFL and SACA for the redevelopment" was $535 million, and the deadline was extended to August 2010. Simultaneously, the SACA and the SANFL were in the process of negotiating an agreement that would enable Australian Rules Football (AFL) to use Adelaide Oval during the AFL season as their home ground. In August 2010, SANFL and SACA representatives signed letters of intent committing to the project, including the capped $535 million offer from the state government.
The redevelopment included a $40 million pedestrian bridge across the River Torrens to link the Adelaide railway station precinct with the Adelaide Oval precinct, which was partially completed for the Ashes cricket series in December 2013 and fully completed ahead of the 2014 AFL season.
In early 2011, the AFL, SANFL, SACA, the SA Government and the Australian Government reached an agreement to upgrade Adelaide Oval. The SACA and the SANFL proposed, if SACA members vote yes on the upgrade in early May, that the whole Stadium will undergo redevelopment, except for the Northern Mound, the Moreton Bay Fig trees and the scoreboard, which will stay as it is because of it being under heritage listing. A two-thirds majority of SACA members were required to vote in favour of the proposed upgrade for it to ahead, with a successful vote resulting in the SANFL and AFL having control over the stadium for 7 months of the year and SACA having control for 5 months of the year.
SACA members had the choice of voting online on 28 April 2011 or attending in person an Extraordinary Meeting at the Adelaide Showgrounds on 2 May 2011. At 6pm, 28 April 2011, It was announced that 60% of SACA members that voted online voted yes, 15% short of the Majority vote needed for the upgrade to go ahead. At 10.15pm, on 2 May 2011, at the Adelaide Showgrounds, the final result was announced. 80.37% of total votes cast were in favour of Adelaide Oval being redeveloped, resulting in the upgrade and stadium reconfiguration being approved. The upgrade commenced in April 2012, and was finished in time for the 2014 AFL season.
All stands of the Oval were redeveloped and upgraded except for the already rebuilt Western grandstand (SACA and SANFL members only stand), the Northern Mound, the Historic Scoreboard and the Moreton Bay fig trees. The Northern Mound, the Moreton Bay fig trees and the Scoreboard are all heritage listed and will likely never be demolished unless damaged beyond repair.
† Note that a 75% threshold was required in order for approval to be granted
Adelaide Oval hosts the following major sporting events:International cricket — Test and One Day International. Adelaide Oval hosts some of the many exciting events in the cricketing calendar — including the annual Australia Day One Day International on 26 January (replacing a traditional Australia Day test) and every 4 years, one of the 5 Ashes test matches against England. The tests are now normally held in early December and is a clash between Australia and the international touring team of that particular season. In 2011, Adelaide Oval held its first Twenty20 International between Australia and England, a match which England won by 1 wicket.The Adelaide Oval was the host of the first ever day/night Test match, when Australia played New Zealand on the 27th of November 2015.
Domestic cricket — Adelaide Oval is the home ground for the first-class South Australian state cricket team, The West End Southern Redbacks and Twenty20 cricket team, the Adelaide Strikers. The Strikers compete in the Big Bash League. The Southern Redbacks compete in the Sheffield Shield and the Ryobi One Day Cup.
Australian rules football — Adelaide Oval hosts South Australian National Football League (SANFL) matches, including all of the finals. Traditional fixtures include the "Grand Final rematch" between the previous year's Grand Finalists on the afternoon of ANZAC Day, which is well attended due to the venue's close proximity to the Torrens Parade Ground, the end of the ANZAC Day Parade in Adelaide. As of 2014, all of the SANFL Finals Series are played at the ground including the Grand Final. Australian Football League matches at the venue began in 2014, though the first AFL game that took place at the venue was Port Adelaide v Melbourne in Round 24 of the 2011 AFL Season, with Port Adelaide winning by 8 points in front of 29,340 fans.
Rugby sevens — From 2007 until 2010, Adelaide Oval hosted the Australia Sevens event in the IRB Sevens World Series.
Rugby union — Adelaide Oval hosted two games of the 2003 Rugby World Cup. On 25 October, The Wallabies played their first international game in Adelaide when they defeated Namibia 142–0 in front of 28,196 fans. The next day Ireland defeated Argentina 16–15 in front of 30,203 fans.
Soccer — Adelaide United FC have played a number of A-League home games against Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory FC. Adelaide Oval was the site of an international friendly match between the Socceroos and New Zealand on 5 June 2011. On 25 July 2014, Adelaide United played its first game at the fully re-developed Adelaide Oval when it played host to Spanish La Liga side Málaga CF. In front of 23,254 fans and a television audience in Spain, Málaga defeated the Reds 5–1.
Rugby league – In 1991, the NSWRL came to Adelaide Oval when the St. George Dragons played the Balmain Tigers on a cold and wet Friday night under temporary lights in the first of five games that the Dragons would play at the oval over the next five years. That game, with the Dragons winning 16–2, set a rugby league record crowd for the ground when 28,884 people attended, and was in fact the highest minor round attendance for the 1991 NSWRL season (beaten only by four of the six Finals series games including the Grand Final). In 1997 Adelaide got its own side in the much vaunted (but short lived) Super League competition with the Adelaide Rams. Their first home game attracted their record crowd when 27,435 saw the Rams defeat SL's other new team, the Hunter Mariners 10–8. However, after disputes over money (and dwindling crowds due to poor on-field results) they left the ground in 1998 and moved to Hindmarsh Stadium. In the 2010 and 2011 National Rugby League seasons, Sydney club the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs played home games at the Oval against the Melbourne Storm. The Bulldogs had intended to make Adelaide Oval their second "home" (the club plays its home games at Sydney's Olympic Stadium), but the plan was abandoned after 2010. On November 20, 2016, it was announced that the Sydney Roosters will take on the Melbourne Storm sometime in the 2017 NRL season meaning that top level Rugby league will return to Adelaide for the first time in six years.
Aside from the main sports of cricket and Australian rules football, 14 sports have been played at one time or another at the oval: archery, athletics, baseball, cycling, American football, highland games, hockey, lacrosse, lawn tennis, rugby league, rugby union, quoits, soccer and Motorcycle racing.
Adelaide Oval has hosted major concerts during its time, with some of the most famous acts including Fleetwood Mac (1977 & 2004), David Bowie (1978 & 1983), KISS (1980), Madonna and Paul McCartney (1993), Michael Jackson (1996), Billy Joel and Elton John (1998), P!nk (2002), Pearl Jam (2009), AC/DC and Wolfmother (2010), Foo Fighters (2011), and AC/DC (2010 and 2015).
The Rolling Stones were due to play a concert at the Adelaide Oval on 22 March 2014. This would have been the first major event at the fully redeveloped venue, but it was postponed due to the death of lead singer Mick Jagger's girlfriend L'Wren Scott in New York on 17 March. The rescheduled concert took place on 25 October 2014.
The Adelaide Oval was the 6th venue in the world to host a test match, on 12 December 1884. Since then the venue has hosted test match cricket every summer.
The first senior league Australian rules football match was played on Adelaide Oval in 1877 between the original Adelaide club and the Bankers club. The records below cover senior Australian rules football at Adelaide Oval. These records include the South Australian league football (known as the South Australian Football Association and South Australian Football League and the South Australian National Football League) from 1877 when the first premiership matches were held at the ground till the end of the 1990 SANFL season, the last year that the competition was the highest level of Australian rules football in South Australia. In 1991 the newly created Adelaide Crows entered the Australian Football League subsequently playing the highest level of football in the state. Port Adelaide would join the Australian Football League in 1997.
Adelaide Oval has a long history of hosting international artists in stadium concerts.