Girish Mahajan

Cazaly's Stadium

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Capacity  13,500
Opened  1957
Owner  AFL Cairns
Surface  Grass
Phone  +61 7 4054 1464
Cazaly's Stadium
Former names  Bundaberg Rum Stadium Australian Football Park
Location  344 Mulgrave Road, Westcourt, Cairns, Queensland
Address  Mulgrave Rd, Westcourt QLD 4870, Australia
Similar  Marrara Oval, Carrara Stadium, York Park, Manuka Oval, Kardinia Park
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Cazaly's Stadium, formerly known as Bundaberg Rum Stadium, is a sports stadium located in Westcourt, a suburb of Cairns, Australia. It is named after the former VFL player Roy Cazaly.

Contents

The stadium is the largest oval stadium in Cairns and features a main grandstand relocated from the Brisbane Cricket Ground in the late 1990s. It is used by the Queensland Cricket Association, Queensland Rugby League and AFL Cairns. The stadium hosted its first A-League game on 12 December 2015.

History

In 1957 the Australian National Football Council, through Bruce Andrew, purchased land in Cairns for the first dedicated field in regional Queensland which became Cazaly's Stadium. The Cairns Australian Football League, led by Kevin Crathern (then president of the CAFL), helped clear the land of trees, filled in the dense bushlands and turned the land into a suitable playing field. In 1984 the CAFL began negotiations with the ANFL in a bid to purchase the freehold of Cazaly's Stadium. The bid would prove successful and the CAFL would make the final payment on the ground in 1994. From 1997 to 1998, $2.4 million was spent upgrading the stadium, which included acquiring the western grandstand from the Gabba and the installation of 4 light towers. In 1999 the CAFL purchased the 51st battalion barracks housing property adjacent to grounds, which later became the headquarters for AFL Cairns. In 2008, $3 million was spent upgrading the stadium including lighting to AFL television standards, new entrance gates on Till street, increasing the size of player dressing rooms, providing adequate first aid and medical facilities and improved coaching facilities. In 2011 a $15 million stadium redevelopment was completed which included new grandstand and players facilities, media box and upgraded lighting.

Stadium name

In 1957 the Cairns Australian Football League named the newly opened ground after legendary VFL player Roy Cazaly. Although Cairns had traditionally been a rugby league dominated area, the CAFL settled on the name in an attempt to expose locals to Australian rules football. The stadium was briefly known as Bundaberg Rum Stadium between 2001-2003 after being officially sponsored by Bundaberg Rum.

Cricket

In July and August 2003 Australia hosted Bangladesh in an out of season series in Cairns and Darwin. Cazaly's Stadium hosted the 2nd Test and the first two One Day Internationals while Marrara Oval in Darwin hosted the 1st Test and 3rd ODI. Australia won all matches comfortably. In July 2004 Australia hosted Sri Lanka in a two test series with matches again in Cairns and Darwin. However, due to disappointing attendances in both series, Cairns has not hosted Australian international cricket matches since, despite the fact that, according to cricket historian Gideon Haigh, "Almost a quarter of the combined populations of Cairns and Darwin attended the cricket" during the Bangladesh Test and ODI series. In October 2008 the venue hosted a Ford Ranger Cup match between Queensland and New South Wales

Rugby league

In 2001 the stadium hosted two National Rugby League matches, both involving the North Queensland Cowboys. Crowds of 13,000 and 6,113 attended the matches.

Australian rules football

Cazaly's Stadium hosts Australian rules football matches during the winter. AFL Cairns is headquartered at Cazaly's Stadium; the league's Manunda Hawks plays its home matches at the stadium, and all AFL Cairns finals are played at the stadium.

The venue hosted AFL pre-season matches each season from 2000 until 2007; and its first Australian Football League match for premiership points in 2011. The Richmond Football Club played a home-away-from-home match against the newly established Gold Coast Football Club in each of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 AFL seasons; sellout crowds of 10,382, 10,961 and 11,197 attended the three matches. The Western Bulldogs replaced Richmond in 2014, playing one home game against Gold Coast in 2014, and winning the match by 28 points.

Soccer

Cazaly's Stadium hosted its first A-League match between Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix on Saturday, 12 December 2015. Brisbane won the game 2-1.

Other events

In June 2013 the stadium hosted a Nitro Circus Live show during its 2013 Australian Regional Tour. A crowd of around 10,000 people attended the event.

Notable games

  • Australia hosted the first International Test cricket match played outside of an Australian capital city against Bangladesh from 25–28 July 2003. Australia defeated Bangladesh by an innings and 98 runs.
  • Australia hosted the 2nd Test in its series against Sri Lanka from 9–13 July 2004. The match ended in a draw.
  • AFL club Gold Coast Suns won their third AFL home and away season game on 16 July 2011, winning a tough and hard fought game against Richmond 12.13 (85) to 9.16 (70)
  • Gold Coast Suns won its first match of the 2012 AFL home and away season on 14 July 2012, ending a twenty-one match losing streak by defeating Richmond 13.12 (90) to 13.10 (88). With 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter the Gold Coast Suns trailed by 10 points, but kicked two goals including one after the siren by rugby league convert Karmichael Hunt to win the match.
  • Attendance records

    Last updated on the 12 of July 2015

    References

    Cazaly's Stadium Wikipedia


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