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New Allianz Stadium welcomes first sporting events

Allianz Stadium today (Friday) staged its first major event following a A$874m (£515.9m/€595.7m/$595.2m) revamp, with the Sydney Roosters claiming a 26-16 NRL Premiership win at their new home over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.

A crowd of 41,906 watched on in what was a rugby league double-header, with the Roosters earlier securing a 34-6 women’s NRLW win over the St. George Illawarra Dragons. The new Allianz Stadium is opening with a triple-header of sporting events.

Following the rugby league games, Australia’s men’s rugby union team, the Wallabies, will then take on Rugby World Cup winner South Africa tomorrow. The week will be rounded off on September 6 when Australia’s women’s football team takes on Canada in a friendly match.

Fans have also benefitted as exclusive hospitality experience partner Merivale, which has been working behind the scenes for over a year in an effort to create an unrivalled food and beverage offering at Allianz Stadium, is offering 49% off all drinks from 5pm to 7pm across the opening two nights.

While today witnessed the first sporting events at the new Allianz Stadium, an official opening event was held on Sunday as more than 50,000 people attended a free community day and night. The 42,500-seat stadium has a 360-degree open concourse inside and outside the venue and steep seating angles providing unrivalled views of the field.

The wrap-around design enhances the atmosphere inside the stadium, which now features 51 suites, two outdoor terraces, 84 outdoor boxes and seven private function rooms.

As well as serving as the home of the Roosters, Allianz Stadium will host games played by Super Rugby’s New South Wales Waratahs and A-League football team Sydney FC. It will also be a host venue during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia.

Allianz first secured naming rights to the old stadium in 2012 and a new agreement announced in March extended its association with the Moore Park venue.

Work commenced in earnest on the construction of the new-look venue, otherwise known as Sydney Football Stadium, in August 2020. The project is part of what has been a controversial masterplan to overhaul Sydney’s sporting venues.

In May 2020, the New South Wales government announced that it would no longer proceed with plans to upgrade Accor Stadium, with funds to be redirected towards job-creating infrastructure projects in a bid to boost the local economy amid COVID-19.

Accor Stadium, then known as ANZ Stadium, had been due to undergo redevelopment as part of the wider infrastructure project in Sydney that has resulted in the rebuilding of Allianz Stadium. While the government said that the refurbishment of Accor Stadium, also known as Stadium Australia, was a sensible project backed by the people of New South Wales, it decided the health and economic climate at that time meant the project “no longer made sense”.

In December 2019, the government selected Chinese-owned John Holland to deliver the new Sydney Football Stadium, as it emerged that the price tag for the project had risen by A$99m to A$828m. In its election manifesto, the government had pledged to complete the project for A$729m.

Image: Allianz Stadium