Sat 05 March 2022 | 5:30

Top facts about Lang Park, The Australian Stadium Built in 1911

The Australian stadium has a lot to say about its history and matches since it was opened a very long time ago in 1914 and we are here today to talk about that rich background.

Lang Park, popularly known as Brisbane Football Stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, located in the Milton area. It is sponsored by Suncorp and is nicknamed 'The Cauldron.' The current structure consists of a three-tiered rectangular sporting stadium with a 52,500-seat capacity.

With a rectangular playing surface of 136 by 82 meters, it is mostly used for rugby league and rugby union (446 by 269 ft). The Brisbane Broncos, Queensland Reds, and Australian Wallabies are the stadium's main tenants. Lang Park was founded in 1914 on the site of the former North Brisbane Cemetery, and it was home to a variety of sports in its early days, including cycling, athletics, and soccer.

The Brisbane Rugby League took over the lease of the park in 1957, and it became the home of the game in Queensland (remaining so to this day). Since its modern redevelopment, it has also hosted key rugby union and soccer games in Queensland, including the Queensland Reds and Brisbane Roar, as well as several Wallabies and Socceroos matches.

It hosted the Rugby League World Cup Finals in 2008 and 2017, as well as the NRL Grand Final in 2021. In addition, the stadium has hosted the Rugby World Cup quarterfinals and two Super Rugby Grand Finals, both of which the Queensland Reds won.

The facility will host a number of matches for the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2023, including the third-place match, as well as the football tournament at the 2032 Summer Olympics, which will include gold medal matches in both the men's and women's events. Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park) was named one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland in 2009 for its role as a "structure and engineering feat" as part of the Q150 celebrations.

Top facts about Lang Park You Didn’t Know

We will start from the very beginning and work our way up to the present circumstances of the venue.

Lang Park History – 1911 to 1970s

Lang Park was built on the site of the North Brisbane Cemetery, which served as Brisbane's major cemetery until 1875.

Because the area had become overcrowded by 1911, the Paddington Cemeteries Act (1911) was passed, and the cemetery was converted to a recreational park. It was fenced off in 1914 and given the name Lang Park after John Dunmore Lang.

The Queensland Amateur Athletics Association (QAAA) leased the ground in the 1920s. The Queensland Soccer Council (QSC) became a sub-tenant of the QAAA in 1935, with the intention of using it as a home ground for Brisbane soccer matches (leaving its former home, the Brisbane Cricket Ground).

The Latrobe Soccer Club became a sub-tenant of the QSC and played its home games there.

By 1937, however, the QSC was considering subleasing Lang Park to "another code of football" (most likely the Western Suburbs Rugby League) because it was "dissatisfied with the financial returns... under the sublease to the Latrobe-Milton club."

Latrobe, in turn, responded that 'If no action Is taken to introduce the Ipswich clubs into the Brisbane competition this season ... the Latrobe-Milton Club cannot accept an increase in rental for Lang Park. Give us competition play with Ipswich and my club will hold the ground as headquarters for the code."

The Lang Park Police Citizens Youth Club was officially opened on February 11, 1950, and youth activities began in response to worries about the rise in juvenile misbehavior, one of the Top facts about Lang Park.

To this day, boxing, wrestling, basketball, and gymnastics are all held on these grounds. Despite the lack of contemporaneous data, it appears that the QSC did not extend the lease on the ground after World War II.

Brisbane Rugby League (BRL) and Queensland Rugby League (QRL) merged in 1953. In order to provide the QRL with a financially viable base of operations, QRL secretary Ron McAullife negotiated a 21-year lease with Brisbane City Council.

The park had only the most basic amenities when it opened, and the QRL helped fund its expansion with £17,000. Lang Park staged its first first-grade rugby league match in the 1930s, and regular BRL matches began in 1955.

Brothers defeated Valleys 22 points to 7 in the first Brisbane rugby league grand final in 1958. Northern Suburbs defeated Fortitude Valley in the BRL grand final at Lang Park in September 1961 in front of a record crowd of 19,824 fans, another one of the Top facts about Lang Park.

After being carried away wounded in a match for Norths against Redcliffe in the 1960s, Fonda Metassa famously burst from the back of an ambulance to return to the field.

Due to the deterioration of the running track as the ground was increasingly used by the QRL, it was no longer sustainable for use as a public recreation facility.

An act of Parliament established the Lang Park Trust in 1962. The Frank Burke Stand (1962), Ron McAuliffe Stand (1975), and the Western Grandstand were all built as a result of this (1994).

One member of the Queensland Government, one member of the Brisbane City Council, two members of the Queensland Rugby League, and one member of the Brisbane Rugby League served on the board of the Trust.

Lang Park has held interstate and international rugby league matches since the 1960s, including the first State of Origin match. It was the home ground of the Western Suburbs Panthers until 1972.

Lang Park History – Late 20th Century and the Upgrades Following

The Brisbane Broncos, along with the Gold Coast Chargers and Newcastle Knights, entered the NSWRL Premiership in 1988. From 1988 until 1992, the Broncos were based at Lang Park, before moving to the 60,000-seat ANZ Stadium, which hosted the 1982 Commonwealth Games.

The change was made due to a disagreement over the Broncos' sponsor, Power's Brewery, competing with the QRL's sponsor, XXXX.

When the South Queensland Crushers joined the newly established Australian Rugby League premiership in 1995, the professional rugby league returned to the stadium. The Crushers had a mediocre first season, winning only six of their 22 games and finished 16th out of 20 teams.

Their second season, which began in 1996, was full of promise. The squad won their first two games and led big brother Brisbane 8-6 at halftime in front of their largest-ever home crowd of 34,263, despite losing round three.

The Broncos, however, scored four tries in the second half to defeat the Crushers. They only won two more games that season (rounds 13 and 14) and were given the wooden spoon, a disappointing finale to a season that had begun so promisingly.

In their final season, 1997, they competed in the ARL's part of the 1997 split tournament, winning another wooden spoon by finishing 12th out of 12 teams. After failed merger talks with the Gold Coast Chargers, they were liquidated at the end of 1997.

When Suncorp, a Queensland financial corporation, acquired naming sponsorship in 1994, the stadium's name was changed to Suncorp Stadium, one of the

Top facts about Lang Park. 

AEG Ogden is currently in charge of the venue. 1996/1997 National Soccer League Grand Final was held on May 25, 1997, in front of a crowd of 40,446, with Brisbane Strikers FC defeating Sydney United FC 2–0.

Brisbane decided in the late 1990s that it needed a state-of-the-art rectangular stadium. Suncorp Stadium was selected as the site. After Game One of the 2001 State of Origin series, the $280 million reconstructions began in July 2001.

The redevelopment was finished in time for the Brisbane Broncos' game against the Newcastle Knights on June 1, 2003, which was Brisbane's first game at Suncorp Stadium since 1996.

The stadium is currently a state-of-the-art all-seater rectangular stadium with a capacity of 52,500, a far cry from the original Lang Park oval with two grandstands set back from a perimeter road.

The Western Grandstand is the only intact stand from before the reconstruction. A number of structures along Milton Road, including the historic Brisbane City Council trolley-bus depot, were demolished as part of the facility's upgrade, another one of the Top facts about Lang Park.

The Broncos only won one game at the venue during their relocation year, against the Sydney Roosters in Round 16, 2003, compared to one loss at their previous home, ANZ Stadium, against the New Zealand Warriors in Round 5, 2003.

Following its redevelopment, concerns were expressed regarding the quality of the playing surface, which was soft underfoot and sandy, and was blamed for a number of injuries sustained by rugby league players who used it (temporarily earning the stadium the nickname "Sandcorp Stadium"). 

Prior to the renovation, the stadium was dubbed "The Cauldron," and Queensland fans had a reputation for loudly supporting their teams, adding to the myth.

In October 2006, Suncorp Stadium hosted an international soccer match between Australia and Paraguay. During the Queensland floods of 2010–2011, Suncorp Stadium was severely damaged, with floodwater covering the whole playing surface, one of the Top facts about Lang Park.

Water penetration caused an electrical fire in a transformer room; however, the incident caused no significant damage. Brisbane Roar's match against Wellington Phoenix, which had been scheduled for the 14–16 January weekend, was rescheduled for the 26th, and the other Brisbane Roar home games were moved to Skilled Park on the Gold Coast.

Suncorp Stadium was closed until late February before being reopened in time for the start of the 2011 NRL season. Because the original changing rooms were devastated by the floods, temporary change rooms were set up. In time for the start of the 2012 NRL season, the original locker rooms were restored.

The video screens, which were erected in 2003, were scheduled to be replaced in September 2016. The new video screens were built in March 2017 and finished in early May 2017, just in time for an NRL doubleheader.

Lang Park, The Contemporary Era

Although the stadium has long been the home of Queensland rugby league, it has also become the state's main soccer and rugby union arena. The redeveloped Suncorp Stadium initially held rugby union matches during the 2003 Rugby World Cup, and when the Queensland Reds moved from Ballymore Stadium in 2005, it became the new home of the Super Rugby side.

This decision caused significant concern among rugby purists, but Queensland Rugby Union CEO Theo Psaros accepted it, saying, "Our hearts may be at Ballymore, but our heads say it's time to move." The newly created football team Queensland Roar of the A-League chose to play their home games at Suncorp Stadium a year before the Reds did.

One of the

Top facts about Lang Park

is that the New Zealand rugby journalist Wynne Gray called Suncorp Stadium perhaps the best rugby stadium in the world. "It is so intimate you can hear the smack of bodies, the boot on leather, you feel the power and rhythm of the games."

The stadium has also been compared favorably to the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the Twickenham Stadium in London.

For the first time in over a decade, the Bledisloe Cup match between the Wallabies and the All Blacks was held in Brisbane on July 29, 2006, as part of the 2006 Tri-Nations Series. 

Despite the fact that Australia lost the match by a razor-thin margin, the game set a new ground record.

On October 7, a month later, the stadium hosted a 1–1 friendly soccer match between




, in which Tony Vidmar, Stan Lazaridis, Zeljko Kalac, and goal scorer Tony Popovic all announced their retirement from international football, one of the Top facts about Lang Park.

The Great Britain national rugby league team faced Australia for the final time in front of a crowd of 44,358 at Suncorp Stadium on November 8, 2006.

Suncorp Stadium hosted its first music concert since the 1980s and the stadium's redevelopment on Wednesday, December 13 and Thursday, December 14 when Robbie Williams performed in front of two 52,413 sell-out crowds during his "Close Encounters" tour of Australia and was also the venue for the U2 360 tour in December 2010.

In the same month, Bon Jovi performed at the stadium as part of their Circle Tour. Suncorp Stadium also hosted the 2011 A-League Grand Final, which drew a record-breaking audience of over 50,000 spectators. 

The match was one of the most dramatic in A-League history, with the Brisbane Roar scoring two goals in the final five minutes to tie the score with the Central Coast Mariners after several hundred home fans had left the stadium early, many of whom returned after hearing the stadium erupt while waiting for the train.

The Roar went on to win the penalty shootout 4–2, sealing an astonishing comeback. The Lang Park Police Citizens Youth Club is also based in the stadium.

Taylor Swift, an American singer-songwriter, performed at Suncorp Stadium on December 7, 2013, as part of her Red Tour, one of the Top facts about Lang Park.

The NRL's inaugural Magic Round, in which all eight matches in a single round are played at the same site, was held at Suncorp Stadium in 2019.

The Melbourne Storm played its "home" finals at the stadium in 2020, as the team was unable to play them at their usual home field, AAMI Park, due to the state of Victoria being closed down due to the second wave of coronavirus infections.

The Queensland Maroons hosted the New South Wales Blues in the State of Origin series on June 26, 2021. Queensland lost the game 26-0 and the series as a result. 

The stadium hosted the 2021 NRL Grand Final on 3 October 2021 due to a COVID-19 lockdown in New South Wales, which began on June 26 and lasted until October.

Following the 1997 Super League Grand Final, this was the second time a rugby league premiership Grand Final was held outside of Sydney.

After his performances in the State of Origin matches played at Lang Park in the 1980s, Brisbane rugby league legend Wally Lewis was dubbed "The Emperor of Lang Park."

A television commercial for Brisbane-based beer XXXX, which is brewed in the adjacent Castlemaine Brewery, honored this title in song:

Here's to Wally Lewis for lacing on a boot, Sometimes he plays it rugged, sometimes he plays it cute, He slices through a backline like a Stradbroke Island shark, There's glue on all his fingers, he's the Emperor of Lang Park.

Queensland Minister for Sport, Tom Barton, established the Stadium's Sports Media Hall of Fame in 2006, which honors the contributions of journalists who have covered the two major football codes (Rugby league and Rugby union) at this historic venue over the last 40 years, another one of the

Top facts about Lang Park.

So far, George Lovejoy, rugby league commentator, Jack Reardon, Steve Ricketts, Gerry Collins, and Frank O'Callaghan have all been admitted. Outside the stadium, there are bronze statues. So far, they've all been rugby players.

Lang Park, How to Get There

Surprisingly, the stadium was the first major sporting venue in Australia to have no car parking, owing to traffic congestion issues in the neighboring residential area. Instead, pubs, restaurants, cafes, bars, and the XXXX brewery surround the stadium.

This, combined with dedicated pedestrian links to Milton railway station and the Brisbane CBD, enhances the matchday experience and serves as a model for future stadiums and large entertainment facilities. The Barracks urban renewal development at Petrie Terrace, midway along the designated pedestrian route to the CBD, was sparked by the stadium redevelopment.

One of the Top facts about Lang Park is that Suncorp Stadium was in danger of losing the hosting rights to all Queensland-based NRL finals matches to Sydney or having its capacity limited to 25,000 seats, according to The Weekend Australian on Saturday, June 16, 2011.

This was due to a condition included in the legislation regarding the Stadium's redevelopment that only 24 'special events' (i.e. with attendance in excess of 25,000) can be hosted at the venue per year. The Brisbane Broncos faced the Manly Sea Eagles in Round 26 of the 2011 NRL Telstra Premiership Season, and this number of special events was reached.

On September 6, 2011, legislation was approved to increase the crowd capacity limit for those 24 events to 35,000, allowing the Broncos to host finals games if they advance that far.

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source: SportMob

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