• Stadium welcomes 20,000,000 fans

13 Sep 2013

Nikkie Beltran

LIFETIME Rabbitohs fan Richard Sorak and his young family got the shock of their lives when they walked through ANZ Stadium turnstiles on Friday 13 September to find they had brought up the 20,000,000 fans mark at the venue.

Richard who lives in Willoughby with his wife Anita and their three gorgeous children - nine-year-old Jamie, six-year-old Benjamin and four-year-old Taylor - couldn’t believe his luck on Friday the 13th. Even Anita was surprised, repeatedly asking “are you serious” and looking for the hidden camera that didn’t exist when told the news.

“I’ve been a Rabbitohs supporter since primary school, converted my wife and raised our three children red and green,” said Richard.

As part of ANZ Stadium's 20,000,000th fan celebrations, the Sorak family received a seat upgrade to watch their team defeat the Melbourne Storm 20-10, a $250 food and beverage voucher from ANZ Stadium, a $250 Rebel Sport gift card, and a range of Rabbitohs merchandise including a special 20,000,000th fan jersey signed by Greg Inglis thanks to the South Sydney club.

“I’m in footy heaven,” said nine-year-old Jamie as he was showered with gifts.

A year of milestones

It's been a year of milestones at ANZ Stadium, now including the celebration of 20,000,000 fans since the venue opened in 1999 in the lead-up to the Sydney Olympics.

These fans have shared in the passion and drama of some of the greatest sporting events in Australian history.

There have been a few bumper years since 1999. Of course, none bigger than in 2000 when the Olympics and major football games attracted a whopping 4,170,757 fans through the gates.

2003 – the year of the Rugby World Cup – was a strong sporting year with 1,565,710 fans attending.

And 2010, when 1,601,269 fans clicked through the gates, was another bumper year, featuring as it did a series of AC/DC and U2 concerts ,plus the Ben Hur spectacular.

However, it can be revealed that 2013 is on track to be the biggest year at the Stadium since the Sydney Olympics in terms of sporting event attendances.

ONE MILLION sports fans have already passed through the turnstiles at ANZ Stadium this year following an unprecedented run of major events in Sydney.

The 1m mark for 2013 was reached in the Bledisloe Cup match on Saturday 17 August.

The Stadium hosted five back-to-back sellout events, starting with Origin I on 5 June through to the Manchester United v A-League All Stars classic on 20 July. NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell said these major events were worth $100 million to the NSW economy and attracted 65,000 interstate and overseas visitors.

The biggest crowd for the year so far was the 83,813 at State of Origin III on 17 July – a new reconfigured ground record here at ANZ Stadium.

BIGGEST CROWDS IN 2013:

  • 83,813 NSW v Queensland, State of Origin III, Wednesday 17 July
  • 83,702 Wallabies v Lions, Tour decider, Saturday 6 July
  • 83,127 Manchester United v A-League All Stars, Saturday 20 July
  • 80,523 Australia v Iraq, Word Cup qualifier, Tuesday 18 June
  • 80,380 NSW v Queensland, State of Origin I, Wednesday 5 June

But it’s not only sporting events driving attendances at ANZ Stadium in 2013.

On the entertainment front, Members and guests have already watched heavy metal group Metallica at Soundwave in February, plus Aerosmith, Van Halen and Billy Joel at the Stone Music Festival in April.

Still to come is supergroup Bon Jovi on Saturday 14 December, as well as the motorsport extravaganza that is Monster Jam on Saturday 19 October.

This is the perfect time to secure your ANZ Stadium Membership, which will guarantee you prime seating and access to exclusive areas EVERY single event. Normally $1,949 now only $1,349.

Start taking advantage of the perks, click here to become a Member today.

You could also experience Sydney’s biggest events in a VIP style that is tailored to you from the comfort of your own corporate box, private suite or dining table.

To impress, entertain and indulge your loved ones or clients click here.

Have you been among the 1 million sports fans so far in 2013? Tell us via Facebook or Twitter

STADIUM AUSTRALIA (ANZ STADIUM) CROWD RECORDS

  • STADIUM all-time crowd record: 114,714 Closing Ceremony 2000 Olympics, 1 Oct 2000
  • CURRENT Stadium crowd record (since ground was reconfigured 2002): 83,813 NSW v Queensland State of Origin III 2013
  • OLYMPIC record crowd for a single session: 112,524 (Cathy Freeman’s gold medal race) 23 Sep 2000
  • WORLD record rugby union crowd: 109,874 at 2000 Bledisloe Cup
  • WORLD record rugby league crowd: 107,558 at 1999 NRL Grand Final
  • AUSTRALIAN record football crowd: 104,012 at 2000 Olympic men’s final
  • AUSTRALIAN record State of Origin crowd: 88,336 in 1999
  • AFL record crowd outside Victoria: 72,393 Swans v Collingwood in 2003
  • AUSTRALIAN record aggregate concert crowd: 213,045 for three AC/DC shows in 2010
  • SYDNEY record for international cricket crowd: 59,656 Australia v India T20 INTL