Our story begins in 1854 when the Sydney Cricket Ground was established by British troops stationed at the nearby Victoria Barracks.
Today, and through the formation of Venues NSW in December 2020, we continue that legacy as custodians of the most significant sporting and entertainment precincts in NSW – all within a short distance of more than 80 per cent of the State’s population, and in the heart of the Newcastle-Sydney-Wollongong cultural, social and economic belt that drives eastern Australia.
Over the years, our venues have hosted the biggest sporting and live entertainment events in the world, including the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the 1938 Empire Games, multiple World Cup fixtures, grand finals, Tests and interstate matches, as well as visits by the biggest names in world sport and entertainment from Muhammad Ali, Don Bradman, Betty Cuthbert, Cathy Freeman and Maradona to Adele, U2 and Ed Sheeran.
We care for and operate our five distinct precincts, six stadiums and two entertainment centres for and on behalf of the people of NSW. Venues NSW is a NSW Government agency which works closely with partner agencies, the private sector, sports partners, and charity and community partners to reinforce NSW’s position as Australia’s premier state and build its reputation around the world.
Venues NSW is a major employment, tourism, social and economic engine of growth for NSW and Australia. The Venues NSW network comprises more than $4bn of public community assets, which host some 500 major sport and entertainment events in undisrupted years, attracting upwards of five million attendees each year.
In Sydney, Venues NSW owns the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Football Stadium in Eastern Sydney, ANZ Stadium and CommBank Stadium in Western Sydney, on behalf of the NSW Government.
In the Illawarra, it owns WIN Sports and Entertainment Centres.
In the Hunter, Venues NSW owns McDonald Jones Stadium, and the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Showground. Venues NSW has developed A Vision for the Hunter Sports & Entertainment Precinct – a long-term plan for a sustainable, exciting sporting and entertainment precinct for Greater Newcastle.
Stadium Australia is a multi-purpose outdoor stadium in Sydney Olympic Park, and is operated by VenuesLive Management Services on behalf of Venues NSW.
It opened in 1999 in time for the 2000 Olympics. Built as an oval to host more than 110,000 athletics spectators, a reconfiguration of the Stadium in 2003 reduced capacity to 83,500 including 18,000 stadium Members, and 6,000 corporate seats.
Stadium Australia hosts some of Australia’s biggest rectangular code matches including the State of Origin, the NRL Grand Final and the Bledisloe Cup, and is NSW’s premier outdoor concert venue for the world’s biggest entertainment. The Stadium has set international and Australian attendance records with some 25 million fans sharing in the excitement of great events and iconic sporting moments.
Opened in April 2019, CommBank Stadium is a new 30,000 seat stadium in Parramatta made for the fans. The stadium brings fans closer to the action featuring the steepest grandstands in Australia and creating an awesome live event experience.
CommBank Stadium will deliver a range of events that will engage communities across NSW and is the long term home of the Parramatta Eels (NRL) and the Western Sydney Wanderers (A-League).
McDonald Jones Stadium
McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle is a multi-purpose outdoor stadium which seats up to 33,000 spectators and includes a 500-capacity function centre. Opened in 1970, it underwent major grandstand additions in 2005 and 2011, and a pitch upgrade in 2014. It is a multi-sport event venue, with the rectangular field accommodating international standard rugby league, rugby union and football.
McDonald Jones Stadium is the centrepiece of a sports precinct that includes the Newcastle International Hockey Centre and Newcastle International Paceway. It is home to the Newcastle Knights (NRL) and the Newcastle Jets (A-League).
Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Showground
Newcastle Entertainment Centre and Showground are operated by ASM Global on behalf of Venues NSW. The Entertainment Centre has a capacity of up to 7,500 spectators and a flexible configuration that allows for concerts, sports, exhibitions and conferences.
The Showground features a show ring with seating for 3,000 people, an exhibition pavilion and stables. It is home to the annual Newcastle Regional Show and the regular Newcastle Farmer’s Market, and is also used for a range of exhibitions, sales and shows.
Sydney Cricket Ground
The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is one of Australia's premier sporting and entertainment venues. The historic Moore Park-based venue originally opened in 1886, and has been developed over time to become the great stadium it is today. It boasts an impressive list of credentials, encompassing Cricket, Australian Rules Football, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Football, and even Baseball and Cycling, as well as major concerts.
The primary tenants at the SCG is Cricket (Internationals, Sydney Sixers & NSW Blues), the Sydney Swans (AFL) and currently the Sydney Roosters (NRL) and NSW Waratahs (Super Rugby) while the Sydney Football Stadium is being rebuilt.
Sydney Football Stadium
The NSW Government is redeveloping the Sydney Football Stadium into a modern, world-class, 42,500 seat venue, to ensure Sydney has a sporting and entertainment precinct of international standard and that NSW remains the number one choice for sporting and entertainment events.
Investing in a new state-of-the-art stadium at Moore Park will drive growth in the visitor economy, promote a strong culture and sporting sector, and make NSW more liveable.
WIN Sports Stadium and Entertainment Centres
These two Wollongong venues provide the Illawarra community with exceptional sports and event spaces. WIN Stadium has a capacity of 23,000 spectators and facilities include a function centre for social and business events.
The WIN Entertainment Centre is a multi-purpose arena. The main auditorium has a capacity of 6,000 with flexible configurations for hosting concerts, dinners, seminars, conferences, school formals and exhibitions.