Sydney Olympic Park


Sydney Olympic Park

Sydney Olympic Park is a 640-hectare site located in the suburb of Homebush Bay in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. It was built for the 2000 Olympics and continues to be used for sporting and cultural events, including the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney Festival, Big Day Out and a number of world class sporting fixtures. It is served by the Olympic Park railway line and station. There are also regular ferry services to the nearby wharf which run to and from from various points around Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Olympic Park is managed by the Sydney Olympic Park Authority. The site was previously intended for a massive urban renewal project of the Homebush Bay area, prior to the Olympic bid, so the renewal masterplan was altered to accommodate venues for the 2000 Olympics.

History

The Wann-gal clan of Indigenous Australians lived in the area before British settlement. The area was called "The Flats" by a scouting party shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. It became part of the Newington Estate in 1807 which was acquired by John Blaxland. The Government acquired some of the land for an aged women's home in the late 19th century. Much of the land was reclaimed from the river and wetlands by landfill. [ [http://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/education_and_learning/history/site_remediation] ]

In the mid-1980s an area bounded by Australia Avenue and what are now Herb Elliott Avenue and Sarah Durack Ave was promoted as a 'technology park' called the Australia Centre. However, apart from a few relatively high tech businesses like AWA Microelectronics, BASF, Philips and Sanyo, the idea did not catch on and the Australian Technology Park is now in Eveleigh. In any event, a decade later the entire area became the site for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

Before its transformation, a large part of Olympic Park was an industrial wasteland after more than a century of industrial and military ventures on the site. The site was once home to a brickworks ["The State Brickworks' Tramway, Homebush Bay" Eardley, Giff Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, May, 1972 pp109-114] , abattoir and an armaments depot as well as being the site for eight of Sydney's rubbish dumps.

With the successful completion of the 2000 Olympics, Sydney Olympic Park has undergone a significant amount of development work to support its conversion to a multipurpose facility with a number of businesses re-locating to the area. In addition the long term plan for the area envisages the site becoming home to 16,500 residents with another 24,500 workers and students commuting to the Park daily.

The Park is home to a significant arts and cultural program including regular events, the largest single precinct public art collection in Australia, the Armory Gallery which is the largest single room permanent art exhibition space in the Southern Hemisphere, a new theatre and an artist studio facility at Newington Armory.

Recent Developments

Recent years have seen a surge in development. The first of three major Commonwealth Bank office buildings has completed construction, with the first of 3,500 staff commencing relocation from September 2007. A five star Pullman hotel and a two star Formule 1 hotel are under construction with completion scheduled for mid-2008.

An education facility is planned to be built within the Park's urban core, tenders have been called for two serviced apartment complexes and the first of a number of residential developments is planned to start construction in 2008.

The parklands at Sydney Olympic Park are also undergoing development with Blaxland Riverside Park (formery Blaxland Common) being transformed into an urban park along Parramatta River. The Park opened on March 3, 2007. In addition the Wentworth Common area is being upgraded with significant adventure playground facilities for children aged 8-13 years.

Events

Currently there are more than 1800 events held at the park each year, including the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Rugby Union, National Rugby League, Australian Football League and Australian Rugby League games at ANZ Stadium, and athletics and swimming events. It hosts the Big Day Out music festival and has been the venue for free, open air performances as part of the Sydney Festival such as Movies in the Overflow and Music by Moonlight.

The Newington Armory is the venue for the "Great Escape" and "Acoustica at the Armory" music festival, both held during the Easter long weekend. Some venues function have changed from the original uses in the 2000 Olympics, such as the Baseball stadium shown on [http://www.ltl.com.au/Maps/webmaps/Olympics/olympicsite.htm this map] which has become the Sydney Showground, the former Sydney Superdome is now known as Acer Arena and the Olympic Stadium has been renamed ANZ Stadium, following on from its prior sponsor Telstra. The latter two venues are now very successful in their own right, with the stadium serving as the venue for 49 major sporting events in 2007 and the Arena being the world's second-highest grossing venue of its type in the world in 2005 - behind only Madison Square Garden.

As of December 2009 a V8 Supercar event will also be held on the streets of the Olympic preccinct.

Management

* Prior to 1995 (Pre Olympic Site) - Homebush Bay Development Corporation
* 1995 to 2001 - Olympic Co-Ordination Authority
* 2001 to present - Sydney Olympic Park Authority

Facilities

Sydney 2000 Olympics venues

* Stadium Australia - Currently officially known as 'ANZ Stadium' and formerly 'Telstra Stadium' Capacity 110,000 at time of Olympics, now 83,500) [http://www.austadiums.com/stadiums/stadiums.php?id=121]
* Acer Arena (formerly Sydney Superdome) (capacity: Concert 21,000 Basketball 18,000; Gymnastics 15,000)
* Sydney Showground - Home of Sydney's Royal Easter Show
* Sydney Olympic Park Athletic Centre (capacity: Grandstand 5,000; Grass 10,000)
* Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (capacity 17,500)
* Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre (capacity 16,200)
* Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre (capacity 15,000)
* Sydney Olympic Park Archery Centre (capacity 4,500)
* Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre (capacity 5,000)
* Sydney Olympic Park Sports Halls

Non-Olympic facilities

* Sydney Olympic Park Golf Centre
* Monster Mountain X - Mountain Biking
* Monster BMX
* Monster Skate Park
* Armory Gallery
* Armory Theatre

Accommodation

* Novotel and Hotel Ibis, Sydney Olympic Park
* Pullman Hotel, Sydney Olympic Park (Opening Mid 2008)
* Formule 1, Sydney Olympic Park (Opening Mid 2008)
* Sydney Olympic Park Lodge - Newington Armory
* Former Olympic Village - now suburb of Newington, Sydney

Transport

* Olympic Park Railway Station
* Sydney Olympic Park Ferry Wharf, at the end of Hill Road, is serviced by Sydney Ferries.

Parklands

* Bicentennial Park - 40 Hectares of Parkland, opened in 1988 to celebrate Australia's Bicentenary
* Wentworth Common
* Archery Park
* Blaxland Riverside Park along Parramatta River
* The Brickpit
* 425 Hectares of Parkland, throughout the Sydney Olympic Park site

Restricted areas

* Newington Armory - Former Armory Store for the Royal Australian Navy- limited public access related to events and Sunday open days
* Newington Nature Reserve

Gallery



References

External links

* [http://www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au/ Sydney Olympic Park Official website]


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