skip to content

Sydney 2000


As part of Sydney’s candidature to host the Olympic Games 2000, the plan was to build an Olympic Park and an 80,000-capacity Olympic Stadium on a 16-hectare site – located 19 kilometres from the city centre – that had been used as cattle-holding yards for the abattoirs of Homebush.

The winning tender project was announced on 23 January 1996 by the Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr. The final version included plans to construct a stadium with a capacity for 110,000 spectators during the Olympic Games. In an effort to design a multipurpose structure that would leave a lasting cultural and sporting legacy, the project provided for a reconfiguration of the stadium after the Games, with a new capacity of 80,000.

An unusual feature of the project’s funding was that the general public were offered the chance to buy in to the stadium, with 30,000 memberships sold and each member owning an equity share in the stadium.

Allsport / WILSON, Nick


Designed to resemble the shape of a traditional Australian Akubra hat, the 30,000m2 roof, installed at a height of 58 metres, is supported by huge white arches and structures behind the stands. It was equipped with transparent polycarbonate to reduce glare and shadow on the field of play.

During the Games, the two white arching structures that constituted the roof covered the two permanent main stands, which contained approximately 60,000 seats. The temporary north and south stands, which held 30,000 spectators, were not covered.

The stadium design and construction incorporated a number of environmentally friendly features. In order to save energy, the stadium was built in such a way as to maximise ventilation and natural light. Rainwater is collected from the roof and stored in tanks for irrigation of the pitch all year round. The use of PVC was kept to a minimum.



Spectators access the stands via four ramps positioned around the building. These spiral-shaped pedestrian ramps were one of the distinctive architectural features of the Olympic Stadium.

I love the way it looks and feels, the colours and especially the aromas. Cathy Freeman Australian track & field athlete and double Olympic medallist (400 metres).

The total capacity of the stadium was reduced to 80,000 following the removal of the temporary seating at the top of the north and south stands. These stands were subsequently equipped with a polycarbonate roof, meaning that all spectators would now be covered. Certain sections of the lower seats move, allowing the field to change shape from a rectangular playing field for national and international football matches to an oval one for Australian football games. Events organised in the stadium since the Olympic Games have included rugby league, rugby union and cricket matches, as well as cultural events such as concerts by celebrated artists.



- Students from the Homebush Bay area helped to paint the logo of the Sydney 2000 Organising Committee on the site of the future Olympic Stadium. The emblem could be seen from planes landing at and taking off from the city’s airport.


- “ANZ Stadium Fast Facts”, “Our Design” and “Our History”, website of the ANZ Stadium.
- “Leading the world in sustainable design ten years on: ANZ Stadium”, website of Populous.
- Official Report of the XXVII Olympiad: Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, 15 September – 1 October 2000, The Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, 2001, vol. 1, pp. 17, 61, 64-65, 84, 105-106, 292, 356-357, 376.
- Sydney 2000, Dossier de candidature, Volume 2 Renseignements olympiques, Sydney Olympics 2000 Bid, 1993, pp. 117, 123.
- Sydney's Olympic Stadium Australia Stadium 2000 proposal, Olympic Co-ordination Authority, pp. 93-95.
- “Sydney’s Olympic Stadium”, press release published by the executive office of the New South Wales’ Prime Minister, 23 January 1996.
- “Sydney Telstra Stadium”, SB, special issue, IOC IAKS AWARD 2003, 2003, p. 6.

Name: Also called Stadium Australia during the Games. It was subsequently renamed Telstra Stadium before acquiring its current name, the ANZ Stadium.
Location: Sydney Olympic Park, Homebush Bay, Sydney, Australia
Status: Built for the Games. In use today.
Designers: Bligh Lobb Sports Architecture
Multiplex and Hambros Australia Consortium (construction and investment)
Cost: 690 million Australian dollars
Capacity: 110,000 spectators
Dimensions: 120m wide, 197m long (track and competition area), 58m high.
Additional information: 16 ha (site), 90,000m3 of concrete, 12,000 tonnes of structural steel, 10,000 tonnes of reinforcing, 1 million masonry blocks, 180km of electrical cabling
Construction: September 1996 to February 1999
Official opening: 12 June 1999
Events during the Games: Athletics (including the start and finish of the 20km and 50km race walks and the finish of the marathons) and final of the men’s football tournament.
Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

back to top Fr