ANZ Stadium


  • Services

    Architecture, Event, Overlay, Master Planning

  • Typologies


  • Building Activities

    Australian Football, Concerts, Cricket, Events, Rugby, Soccer

  • Location


  • Completion


One of Australia’s busiest sports and entertainment venues, ANZ Stadium is a powerful icon on the Sydney landscape. Designed by Populous in joint venture with Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture, it is one of the largest capacity Olympic stadium ever built.

CHALLENGE. The challenge was to design a venue which could accommodate 118,000 people during the Olympics but which could be reduced down afterwards to operate as a sustainable long term venue of 85,000 seats.

An additional challenge was to design a distinctively Australian building which would live up to the Olympic Opening Ceremony and also provide a legacy for Sydney and the existing infrastructure of the city.

Sydney had two internationally recognized man made icons: the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. ANZ Stadium is a sports and leisure venue to compliment these existing structures. The distinctive white steel trusses that support the roof of the stadium, each 295 metres long, half the span of the Harbour Bridge, are deliberate symbols of power.

  • Populous Event staff played a major role in the successful staging of the 2000 Olympic Summer Games. Team members established and answered the needs for 30 functional areas. They provided turnkey management for each, from document preparation to fit-out. They also prepared documents for temporary adjustments to ANZ Stadium.

INNOVATION. The stadium is a model of green, functional, cost effective design and is still regarded as one of the most environmentally sustainable stadia in the world. The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) wanted the Sydney Olympics to be the ‘Green Games’. Innovative environmentally sustainable measures that were introduced into the main stadium included recycling rainwater from the roof into underground storage tanks to irrigate the pitch and a range of passive design measures including ventilation and natural cooling/heating.

Moveable seating tiers on rails were also installed to enable spectators to be brought in closer to the action, and allow for a variety of sports. The stadium can be easily transformed from athletics to rugby, cricket, soccer and AFL, as well as used for concerts and trade shows. The design solution was the removal the upper end tiers and the addition of end roof post-Games. This was the first time that a stadium of this scale had been designed to be re-configured post event.

ANZ Stadium was designed with the digital revolution in mind. The stadium was future proofed with the necessary infrastructure and cabling so it could respond to ongoing future advances in technology. The roof design and material used not only provide maximum weather protection, but also an improved television picture for the at home viewers.

IMPACT. The Sydney 2000 Games were highly successful and often regarded as one of the best Olympic Games in history. The Park, where ANZ stadium is located, has provided a lasting legacy for Sydney and helped to regenerate an industrial area of the city, becoming an international centrepiece of a new community. The Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA) 2030 Masterplan is calling for major commercial and residential upgrades around ANZ Stadium to “support Sydney Olympic Park’s role as Australia’s premier major events precinct”.

Since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, ANZ Stadium has held major international sports events including the Rugby World Cup in 2003, World Masters Games in 2009, FIFA World Cup Qualifying Games and the 2015 AFC Asian Football Cup. It has also hosted some of the world’s biggest entertainment names such as AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, U2, Bon Jovi, Taylor Swift, Guns and Roses, and Adele.

Gold Award, IOC/IAKS
Australian Steel Award, BHP
Finalist, World Architecture Awards
Bradfield Award for Engineering Excellence, British Construction Industry
Energy Efficient Award, National Master Builders Association
Exemplary Sports & Leisure Facility, IAKS
Sporting Facility over AUD$50 Million Award, National Master Builders Association
Project Team

Paul Henry

Rod Sheard

Christopher Lee

Shaun Gallagher

Warrick Chalmers

Belinda Goh

Megan Ashfield

Richard Breslin