Simonds Stadium – Kardinia Park
Simonds Stadium in Kardinia Park is Geelong’s biggest sporting arena and home to the mighty AFL Geelong Cats. This recently redeveloped stadium has a seating capacity of 33,500 people and is used primarily for AFL football in the winter or cricket in the summer months.
Simonds Stadium has hosted several rugby games and is also regularly used by Melbourne Victory Football Club for soccer.
Several large events have also been held at the stadium including motocross and a number of concerts. It is hoped the venue will become a regular concert venue with its new facilities and increased seating capacity.
The Geelong Cats have used the venue as their home ground since moving from their previous ground located in Eastern Park back in 1941. Since then it has had several redevelopments but the most recent $28 million redevelopment has been the most dramatic. A large portion of the stadium was rebuilt and new lighting towers were installed that have become a dominant landmark that are visible from most points of Geelong. The towers and redevelopment were completed in 2013 with the aid of funding from the club, local, state and federal governments. The redevelopment was officially opened by the then Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard in front of over 30,000 fans in a match against the Gold Coast Suns on the 1st of June 2013. The lighting fixtures now give the ground the capability of hosting night time football, a popular timeslot for many of Geelong’s recent games.
There was plans to redevelop the ground even further as part of Australia’s World Cup bid for 2018 / 2012. This saw the Kardinia Park stadium being used as one of the soccer fields for the cup. As the bid did not eventuate the redevelopment was toned down with much of the northern end of the ground missing out on major redevelopment, a plan that may be addressed at a later date.
This state of the art stadium has a field size of 170 by 115 metres, with the goal posts running north to south. Simonds Stadium is one of only three stadiums used for AFL home and away matches in Victoria and the only AFL ground in Victoria that has only one team tenant.
Due to the selling of naming rights for the ground, it has had several identities over recent years including Shell Stadium, Baytec Stadium, Skilled Stadium and now Simonds Stadium. The stadium took on the Simonds name in late 2011.
The ground is located in South Geelong, south of the city centre on Moorabool Street bounding La Trobe Terrace. It is easily reached by public transport including VLine’s South Geelong Station that is only a short walk away.