There’s nothing quite like having a home of your own, as fans of Tottenham Hotspur will undoubtedly agree: they spent almost two full seasons as tenants at Wembley, before finally taking residency at their fabulous new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The rebuild project was fraught with difficulties, overshooting the original scheduled completion time by several months.
Chelsea had hoped to be the next Club Tenants at Wembley Stadium, with planning already approved for the demolition of Stamford Bridge and construction of a new 60,000-capacity venue. However, their project now seems to be indefinitely on hold, with estimated costs having exceeded the £1 billion. The Daily Mail reports that the club is now looking at alternative locations, in order to reduce costs.
Premier League clubs in England aren’t the only ones affected by the need for change, with sides recognising that facilities must be improved. Football in Australia continues to grow in popularity, especially amongst the clubs based in major cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. Did you know that 61,888 fans watched the Sydney derby game this season between Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC? Whilst Perth Glory, Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United have all pulled in more than 50,000 for a match this season. Gone are the days when football was almost a minority sport in Australia, best known at one time in Britain for appearing on the Summer Football Coupons.
The Proposed New Allianz Stadium
The above artist's impression of the new stadium courtesy of Sydney FC website.
Since the competition was founded ahead of the first 2005-06 season, Sydney FC have consistently been one of the A-League betting favourites and most successful teams in Australian football, winning three regular-season Premiers titles and two Grand Final Champions crowns. Work has now begun in demolishing their Allianz Stadium in Moore Park, which was only built in 1988. This venue in Moore park located next to the Sydney Cricket Ground had been the habitual home of not only Sydney FC, but also the rugby union team NSW Waratahs and rugby league side Sydney Roosters. Inevitably, this led to all the affected teams having to seek alternative venues, until 2022 when the new stadium is planned to open.
The old Allianz Stadium had a capacity of 44,000 seats, and although plans for its replacement incorporate greatly improved ultra-modern facilities, capacity will only increase by 1,000 seats. Which doesn't seem a lot considering that the stadium is costing around £400m to build. A lot of effort has been made to keep the stadium design in keeping with the existing Sydney landscape. Apart from state of the art facilities, what really makes the stadium interesting is its roof. Able to be lit up externally and internally in almost any combination of colours, this stadium is sure to be an eye-catching one and will contribute to the matchday experience. See the video below to see it in action:
Video Showing The Proposed New Stadium And That Roof
But in the meantime Sydney FC will share three venues whilst it is being built…
Whilst fans of English clubs such as Tottenham have sometimes grumbled about the inconvenience of going to Wembley for home games, spare a thought for Sydney FC supporters because their A-League home games have been spread amongst three different stadiums during the current season. That inconvenience may well continue until 2022 before the new venue is scheduled to open.
Until their new home is available, and as they have throughout the current season, Sydney FC will continue playing their home games at the 48,000-capacity Sydney Cricket Ground, along with the use of smaller suburban venues including the 20,500 Jubilee Stadium and 22,000 Leichhardt Oval.
Use of three different venues is hardly ideal, but with so many other sporting teams playing at the same venues, the continual clash of events has meant that using just one venue would prove impossible throughout the year. Insofar as Sydney FC fans are concerned, it will be a huge relief when the new stadium is finished, and they can finally move back into a place they can truly call home once again.