ANZ Stadium looks forward to a massive 2016
After enjoying a massive year in which hosted a historic NRL Grand Final, the Socceroos winning the AFC Asian Cup and concert events with major acts AC/DC, Taylor Swift and the Foo Fighters, Sydney’s ANZ Stadium is already looking forward to a ‘blockbuster’ 2016.
2016 will see former Olympic venue host twoState of Origin rugby league blockbusters, a US College Football extravaganza, the Liverpool Legends v Australian Legends football classic, Bledisloe Cup Test match rugby, an Easter Footy Fest and the NRL Grand Final.
Anticipating a great sporting years at ANZ Stadium, the first release of the venue’s 2016 event calendar reveals a phenomenal line-up of major events across five football codes following confirmation that the opening regular-season game of the 2016 NCAA College Football Championships will be played on Saturday 27th August.
The clash between two of the great American college teams, the University of California Golden Bears and University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, will double as the College Football Sydney Cup and will be the first American Football action on Australian soil since 1999.
The whole college football experience – complete with marching bands, cheerleaders, American Football colour and excitement – is coming to ANZ Stadium.
ANZ Stadium Media & Communications Senior Coordinator Crystelle Cordero describes US College Football as “the latest jewel in the crown of the 2016 ANZ Stadium Event Calendar with a distinctly international flavour.”
The sporting year kicks off in sensational style with the visit by a Liverpool Legends squad featuring the famous club’s greatest players, Steven Gerrard, Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher and Ian Rush, in a who's who of Reds champions on their way for the Thursday 7th January showdown with an Australian Legends team.
Socceroos greats including Tony Popovic, Craig Foster, David Zdrilic and Brett Emerton have been named in the squad of Australian champions to take on the Liverpool FC Legends at ANZ Stadium.
The Liverpool Legends v Australian Legends match is part of a Family Festival of Football at Sydney Olympic Park this January – with Sydney FC returning to ANZ Stadium for the first time since their back-to-back clashes with Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, this time to take on Newcastle Jets in an important A-League Round 14 match on Saturday 9th January.
Just four months after that unforgettable 2015 NRL Grand Final, Rugby League returns to ANZ Stadium with the annual Charity Shield clash between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday 13th February.
That match starts of a mighty year for rugby league in Greater Sydney – with the highlight being the twin State of Origin blockbusters, with Laurie Daley’s NSW Blues at their spiritual home of ANZ Stadium against the might of Queensland on Wednesday 1st June, before a potential series decider on Wednesday 13th July.
Dotted around the Origin blockbusters will be 26 regular-season NRL games featuring five famous Sydney clubs that call ANZ Stadium home – with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs (nine), South Sydney Rabbitohs (nine), Wests Tigers (four), Parramatta Eels (two) and St George Illawarra (two) all locked in for crucial Sydney v Sydney clashes.
March promises to be a super month of sporting action at ANZ Stadium with an #EasterFootyFest featuring the annual Good Friday grudge match between the Rabbitohs and the Bulldogs on Good Friday 25th March, the Sydney Swans’ Round 1 clash with the Collingwood Magpies on Easter Saturday 26th March, and the Battle of the West – Wests Tigers v Parramatta Eels – on Easter Monday 28th March.
The highlight of the 2016 rugby union season in Sydney will be the Bledisloe Cup clash between the Australian Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks on Saturday 20th August – the first time the Wallabies will line up against the All Blacks since the Rugby World Cup Final at Twickenham on 1st November.
The Wallabies lowered the All Blacks’ colours in the 2015 Bledisloe Cup match at ANZ Stadium, with their 27-19 win also securing the 2015 Rugby Championship crown.
Greg Sleigh – ANZ Stadium’s General Manager of Events and Business Development, said Sydney sports fans could look forward to one of the great event years at ANZ Stadium in 2016.
Sleigh stated “with a double serving of State of Origin action, the opening round match of the US College football season, Liverpool Legends versus Australian Legends, NRL and AFL blockbusters including the NRL Grand Final and Bledisloe Cup rugby, there’s a smorgasbord of footy action across five codes at ANZ Stadium in 2016.”
Sleigh expects more major events at the ANZ Stadium to be confirmed as the year progresses.
It has also been announced that venue will host English Premier League giants Arsenal in 2017, with the current FA Cup holders playing back-to-back matches against Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers. Arsenal will become the fifth European superclub to play at ANZ Stadium since 2013, following Sydney visits by Manchester United (2013), Juventus (2014), and Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea in 2015.
Click here to see the full 2016 ANZ Stadium Event Calendar.
Article amended 10.18am 19th December 2015.
Images (from top): The 2015 NRL Grand Final, AC/DC at the ANZ Stadium and Monster Trucks in action.
25th November 2015 - SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK GEARS UP FOR MASSIVE DAY OF EVENTS
18th November 2015 - AWARDS HONOUR THE BEST AUSTRALIAN EVENTS
14th December 2013 - ANZ STADIUM CELEBRATES A YEAR OF SPORTING DREAMS
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