GMHBA Stadium is one of the most impressive and appealing venues within Victoria.
Originally built in 1941, GMHBA Stadium (2017 – present) as we currently know it due to naming rights, has previously been known as:
- Kardinia Park Stadium;
- Shell Stadium from 1999 – 2001;
- Baytec Stadium from early 2001 for two months and;
- Skilled Stadium from 2001 – 2011
- Simonds Stadium from 2012 – 2017
GMHBA Stadium is the heart and soul of AFL within the Geelong community as it plays host to the well-known Geelong Football Club and has done so for the past 60+ years. GMHBA Stadium is known to many passionate supporters as ‘The Cattery’.
Even though it is the home of the Geelong Football Club, it is also the pride of the Kardinia Park Precent and has a great ability to bring people together. Within Kardinia Park there are a number of amenities such as:
- 9 netball courts, inclusive of one premium show court with lighting;
- Kardinia Aquatic Centre;
- Playground facilities for children and BBQ perfect for family gatherings;
- Fitness equipment;
- Legends Plaza;
- Senior Citizen centre;
- 1 football oval and;
- 1 cricket oval
An Amazing Multipurpose Venue
GMHBA Stadium is more than meets the eye; even though it proudly plays host to the Geelong Football Club there are so many more reasons to come and be a part of this extraordinary community based facility.
Throughout the years, Simonds Stadium had undergone a number of redevelopments and upgrades, which has enabled the Stadium to become a first-class multipurpose venue and putting it in good stead for the future.
The Stadium is capable of providing an experience that is inclusive and enjoyable. Some events that have been held are:
- Super Rugby
- Melbourne Rebels v. NZ Hurricanes – 8th of February, 2014
- National A-League and W-League Matches
- W-League: Melbourne Victory v. Canberra United – 13th of December, 2014
- Melbourne Victory v. Perth Glory – 2nd of January, 2015
- Melbourne Victory v. Central Coast Mariners – 8th of January, 2016
- Melbourne Victory v. Newcastle – 2nd of January, 2017
- Melbourne Victory v. Central Coast Mariners – 6th of January, 2018
- The Big Bash Exhibition Match also known as Summer Smash, saw Melbourne Renegades take on Melbourne Stars – 11th of December, 2015
- BBL/WBBL, saw Melbourne Renegades take on Sydney Sixes – 3rd of January, 2018
- International Tour Cricket Matches
- West Indies v. Victoria XI – 19th and 20th of December, 2015
- T20 Tour Match Australia v. Sri Lanka – 19th of February, 2017
- International Friendly Events
- Saudi Arabia v. Bahrain – 30th December, 2014
- Atletico de Madrid v. Melbourne Victory – 31st of July, 2016
- Westfield Matildas vs China – 26th November 2017
- A Show for Casey (Charity Concert) – 29th September, 2013
- Nitro Circus – 20th March, 2013
- Australasian SuperX Motorcycles – 24th October, 2009
- Two visits from the Dalai Lama
- 23rd of May, 2002
- June, 2007
- Asian Football Confederation Championship Match; Melbourne Victory v. Muangthong United
- And many more
Past Redevelopments and Upgrades
Some of the amazing projects that have been undertaken are:
- The picturesque and renowned ‘Cat Claw’ Reg Hickey Stand which has an overall capacity of 6,098;
- The magnificent Premiership Stand which also encompasses the Geelong Football Club department and has an overall capacity of 4,714;
- The Players Stand which is a stunning structure and was most recently completed and hosts an overall capacity of 9,701.
- The Brownlow Stand was officially opened in 2017 and hosts a capacity of 6,500.
One of the major and most vital upgrades to the stadium was the introduction of the light towers in 2013. The four incredible light towers stand an approximate 73 meters tall and dominate the Geelong skyline.
Each tower contains 101 light fittings but can cater for up to 130 for future proofing. They are capable of producing high definition broadcast quality lighting levels of 1400 lux.
The first night game under the light towers took place on the 1st of June, 2013 at 7:40pm where the Geelong Football Club took on the Gold Coast Suns in front of 30,082 spectators and fanatical supporters. This was a huge mark in history for Simonds Stadium and Geelong alike as it was the first night match in the AFL Premiership season to take place in Victoria outside of Melbourne. The Stadium has been host to an increasing amount of night and twilight games giving an atmosphere like no other.
The Playing Surface
Quality of surface and the overall appearance of the field is of vital importance. Pitchcraft is the current curator of GMHBA Stadium and has been since 2008; they take enormous pride in what they do and this is reflected by how impeccable the grounds presentation is each and every day. The arena itself is couch base over-sown with rye grass and is maintained as a rye-based field.
The total playing area is a huge 20,000 square metres with oval dimensions of 170 metres x 115 metres.