Canberra Stadium

Canberra Stadium

stadium_name = Canberra Stadium
nickname =

location = Bruce, Canberra
broke_ground =
opened = 1977
closed =
demolished =
owner = Australian Sports Commission
lessee/operator = ACT Government
surface = Grass
construction_cost =
architect =
former_names = Bruce Stadium
tenants =
Canberra Raiders (NRL) (1990 - )
ACT Brumbies (Super 14) (1996 - )

seating_capacity =

Canberra Stadium (originally known as Bruce Stadium) is a facility primarily used for rugby league and rugby union games, located adjacent to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, the capital of Australia. Bruce is the Canberra suburb where the stadium is located, and in turn Bruce was named after Stanley Bruce, Australian Prime Minister 1923-1929.

Capacity is a nominal all-seated 25,011, the largest crowd being 28,753 for the 2004 Super 12 Final. The main grandstand is named after Canberra Raiders and Australian rugby league player Mal Meninga, and a statue of another Raiders and Australian league representative Laurie Daley adorns the main grandstand entrance. The eastern grandstand was named the Gregan/Larkham Grandstand on 28 April 2007, after Brumbies and Australia rugby union greats George Gregan and Stephen Larkham. Both ended their international careers after the 2007 Rugby World Cup as the two most-capped players in Wallabies history, with Gregan at a world-record 139 and Larkham at 102.

The stadium is currently owned by the Australian Government through the Australian Sports Commission and leased to the Australian Capital Territory Government. While the current lease is due to expire in 2010, the ACT Government is seeking ownership of the stadium through a land transfer with the Australian Government.


Constructed in 1977 for the Pacific Conference Games, it also was the venue for the 4th IAAF World Cup in Athletics. At the latter meet, the fastest 400m for women was recorded by East German Marita Koch - a time that still stands today.

The stadium has played host to several local sporting teams such as the Canberra City Arrows, 1977 - 1986 and Canberra Cosmos, 1995 - 2001 (football (soccer)) and the shortlived Canberra Bushrangers, 1993 - 1995 (baseball). In 1990 the athletics track was removed, and the ground then became the home of the Canberra Raiders (rugby league) and, in 1996, the ACT Brumbies (rugby union).

Further renovations occurred in 1997 in preparation for staging football (soccer) matches as part of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, which also in turn shrank the size of the playing field preventing any future Australian rules football games being played on the field. The final cost of the renovations was more than seven times what was originally anticipated by the territory government of the time, and the subsequent controversy ended the career of then Chief Minister Kate Carnell. During the lead-up, on 29 May 2000, unseasonal snow fell during a match between the Raiders and the Wests Tigers, the only such event in National Rugby League history, with the snow causing frost damage to the turf intended for the Olympic football tournament.

Olympic football in 2000 has initiated a stadium facelift converting the playing surface from oval to rectangular and bringing the crowd closer to the action. The only downside to this revamp is the stadium can no longer host AFL games. It is now an all-seater rectangular stadium with two main grandstands on either side of the playing field.

Other events

* Super 12 Rugby union Final 2000, 2001, 2004
* Four Group Matches from the 2003 Rugby World Cup were also played at the stadium.
* In 1990, the stadium hosted an International Rules match (a combination of Gaelic football and Australian rules football) between Ireland and Australia.
* Kanga Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament.

External links

* [ Official site]

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