Monday, 16 March 2015

1988: First NSWRL Game at the Sydney Football Stadium

I love my Rugby League, and to mark off the start of the NRL season, why don't we mark it by sharing some articles of the very first game to be held at the new Sydney Football Stadium all the way back on March 4 1988. The stadium had been built at a cost of $65 million.

The match was between Eastern Suburbs and St George. The visitors (St George) won the game 24-14 before a crowd of 20 000.  This was despite wet weather.

SFS Opens March 5 1988 daily telegraph

Source: Anonymous. 1988. "Saints shine at league's new home." The Daily Telegraph, March 5: 1.

The back page of the same paper  with coverage by Ray Chesterton.

St George Win 1st SFS Game March 5 1988 daily telegraph 

Source: Chesterton, R. 1988. "Saints Draw First Blood." The Daily Telegraph, March 5: 142 & 144. 

 The captains of both teams posed at the new stadium ahead of the game.

SFS First NRL Game March 4 1988 daily telegraph

Source: Anonymous. 1988. "It's kick off time for a spectacular stadium." The Daily Telegraph, March 4: Page unknown. 

I came across this Youtube video posted by "rugbyleaguevideos" of highlights from that match, screened on Channel Ten. It doesn't even look like there are 20 000. The problem with the stadium has been the lack of shelter for fans. Some would have been forced to go under whatever shelter was available.