CHALLENGE. The new Metricon Stadium, home to the Gold Coast SUNS AFL team, is Australia’s greenest and most cost effective stadium. Completed in May 2011, the challenge was to build it quickly and efficiently to meet the start of the AFL season timetable, yet still provide the best in a 21st century venue from corporate hospitality to environmentally sustainable design.
Metricon Stadium’s green credentials are particularly demonstrated through its solar halo and its intelligent public transportation planning. It is the first stadium in Australia to have a solar halo of photovoltaic cells integrated into the roof design, providing the stadium with 20% of its energy needs.
A wide range of stakeholders were involved in the project, so it called for a disciplined consultation process in addition to a fast track delivery program. Everyone’s needs were considered and included and the project was completed in just 350 construction days.
The stadium’s capacity was set at 25,000-seats. A further challenge was to future proof it to ensure capacity could be increased to 40,000 seats to host larger events. Since it was built, the Gold Coast has won the bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and Metricon Stadium will stage the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the track and field events.
The bowl has been designed in a horseshoe shape, to allow for the installation of a temporary end stand, and to facilitate an athletics program, a temporary track can be located within the main stadium.
INNOVATION. Stewardship and sustainability were the guiding principles of the environmental design. By integrating the solar panels into the roof design and making them visible to all spectators, it is also educating the public of the positive benefits of solar power.
Metricon Stadium offers a step forward in corporate hospitality. Stylish and contemporary suites and lounges, with informal seating and coffee tables, have been designed to create an atmosphere of ‘watching from home’ at the live match experience. Open corporate barbeque terraces provide a more relaxed corporate environment and reflect the Gold Coast lifestyle. The Coaches Field Club is a new concept in fan experience in Australia. Members have direct viewing access into the Club’s warm-up areas, and can even high-five the players as they run out onto the pitch, providing a real connection between the fans and the players.
IMPACT. The new stadium, which allowed for the development of a new team within the Australian Football League, has been embraced by its local community, as well as lifted the bar on cost effective environmental stadium design. It regularly attracts a large number of fans from other cities at the games, so much so that the AFL considers Metricon Stadium to be a ‘blueprint’ for future stadium developments.