Monday, 25 April 2016

1987: What Concord Oval Could have been!!!

I was a toddler when these plans for Concord Oval came out, in 1987 but to discover this about a year ago really impressed me. I had heard over the years especially in the 1990's plans to enlarge it, but this has never happened. 

But the question I might have to ask myself, is why the Australian Rugby Union felt the need to build its own purpose built stadium when Sydney was getting a 45 000 seat football stadium that could accommodate them along with Rugby League and Soccer. The three sports co-exist at Moore Park very well and every weekend has seen one (if not two codes) make use of the ground. 

It was probably about prestige and the fact that maybe one huge 45 000 seat rectangular stadium for Sydney was not enough. The idea of an Olympic Stadium or an ever bigger stadium was yet to emerge. 

Concord Stadium Ad July 11 1987 daily telegraph 0030

Source: Australian Rugby Union. 1987. "Rugby Union announces plans for 39, 800 seat stadium at Concord" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, July 11: 12.

It was the Sydney Football Stadium and Stadium Australia (ANZ Stadium) that killed off the plans ultimately. Apart from the facilities that the stadiums offer, Concord Oval is surrounded by homes which makes expansion difficult along with access to transport. Parramatta Road which runs along the southern side, is Sydney's busiest road. The major stadiums offer better transport options. Stadium Australia is serviced by rail at Olympic Park while the Sydney Football Stadium is served by buses and not far from the Sydney CBD. Stadium Australia is only about five kilometres away as well, and double the size of what Concord Oval might have been.

Canada Bay Council however has expressed its desire to see the venue get a decent upgrade with the hope of attracting some major events like NRL or A-League games. However that will be hard top pursue as the NSW Government injects over $1 billion into ANZ and the Football Stadium along with Parramatta Stadium. Suburban Grounds will still get some funding as part of the plans with a dollar for dollar deal.