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SUMMER 2014

Urn Returns

Aussies’ Ashes Whitewash

Hello Buddy Swans’ Star Recruit

NEW Roosters’ ERA Back to Defend Title

Bring on Les Bleus Wallabies v France


19461930

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1923

1966

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Postcards 1955 1921 from our history 1923

Our famous SCG has one of the longest and most diverse histories of any sports ground in the world. This is celebrated in a new series of postcards produced from rare images sourced from the SCG Museum and newspaper archives. Among the memories captured in the collection are the sportsmanship of Don Bradman being carried off by opposition players after scoring 452 not out in 1930 − still the highest first class innings at the ground. There is a scene from the 1965 rugby league grand final, when 78,506 Dragons and Rabbitohs fans threw health and safety rules to the wind to pack the boundary and even climb onto grandstand roofs to view the classic. Another postcard shows rows of (what would now be) classic cars parked in front of the Driver Avenue Members’ entrance in the post-war period, and of course no collection would be complete without including ‘The Hill’.

Car park at the Syd ney Cricke January 195 t Gro 1.

und during

the third cric

ket Test, 8

The historic postcards are available from the Venue Services Office in the Allianz Stadium forecourt for $2.


Contents Introduction

Taylor Swift’s Spectacular Red Concert

Dragons & Rabbitohs Join Our Home Teams

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02

36

From the CEO

Preview 04

14

Swans’ New Buddy

Sydney FC in Finals Chase

Roosters Back to Defend Title

Member News & Features

16 38

SCG Ready for World’s Best Baseball

06

'Sports Central' Development Progresses

Review

41

SCG XI makes Ashes 6 - 0

Historic Ashes Whitewash

42

20

Gym’s Xmas Masquerade 47

08

Coat of Arms Heritage Restored 22

49

Members’ Test Events Photos

Country Cup Dreams Come True

24

53

Pink Test Charity Record

Private Event Bookings Open in New Stands

26

Wallabies Prepare for France 10

55

Debut for New SCG Stands

Legendary Curator ‘Grassy’ Watt Remembered 57

34

Full Winter Fixtures Calendar

Sixers’ Finals Fling

Waratahs Target Top-Two Finish

Contact Us Phone

Street Address

Postal Address

Email

Online

Membership Services Membership Events Venue Services Fitness Centre Gold Membership Sales

Membership & Venue Services Main Entry, Allianz Stadium

GPO Box 150 Sydney NSW 2001

membership@scgt.nsw.gov.au venueservices@scgt.nsw.gov.au sales@scgt.nsw.gov.au

1800 80 11 55 1800 80 11 55 1300 724 737 1300 724 737 1800 88 55 55

Driver Avenue Moore Park NSW 2021

Editor Gary Spink • Design Circus Group Pty Ltd • Photo and production coordination Brae Mort & Caron Lefever

sydneycricketground.com.au facebook.com/SydneyCricketGround.SCG facebook.com/AllianzStadium.sydney @scg @AllianzStadium SCGTrustTV ATG on iPad: Search ‘SCG Trust’ in Apple Newsstand

Google Play


From the CEO After a landmark summer of cricket, that left us celebrating an Ashes whitewash and the opening of our magnificent new SCG pavilions, we find ourselves preparing for some very exciting winter sport across both venues. Before this, one of the world’s biggest sporting encounters is heading to the SCG – the ‘opening series’ of Major League Baseball. The Wallabies are back, Roosters are defending a premiership, the Dragons and Rabbitohs become new home teams, Buddy Franklin comes to the Swans, the Waratahs are targeting a top-two finish and Sydney FC are in the race for the finals. As ATG was going to press, the Trust was preparing to announce an Australia v New Zealand rugby league Test at Allianz Stadium in May. As well as previewing all the upcoming action, this edition of ATG looks back to congratulate the Australian cricket team on winning back the Ashes in emphatic fashion. It was fitting that they completed this achievement in front of the magnificent new MA Noble, Don Bradman and Dally Messenger stands that have totally transformed the match-day experience for

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our Members, and positioned the SCG among the world’s leading sports stadia for spectator facilities. We have dedicated eight pages in this edition to reviewing the debut performance of the new stands (see pages 26 to 33), exploring the reaction from Members, media and sports administrators. We had a camera crew circulating through the Members’ precinct during the Test to record your initial reactions, and you can view these on the Trust’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/SCGTrustTV. The Trust is continuing to gather feedback through Member surveys, but so far I’m delighted that the consensus has been overwhelmingly positive. You clearly appreciate the fantastic views of the field the new stands offer, (with more seats closer to the ground), and the breadth and quality of our ‘Taste of Sydney’ food and beverage on offer. We have established a new standard of sports ground catering, with legendary providores Doyles Seafood opening up alongside new stores created by SCG caterers Delaware North, such as the Groundsmen Grill, Noodle Shack, Pizza Quarter and the Pie Emporium.

The Food Court was a spectacular success with choices that ranged from gourmet pies, wagyu beef burgers and wood-fired pizzas to Asian noodles and a selection of Doyles seafood. Overseeing the Delaware North menus was their Regional Executive Chef, George Fouskarinis, whose talents were recently recognised when he was named as one of only seven ‘real’ Master Chefs in Australia. See page 29 for the full story about George’s accolade. You also clearly appreciated the wider selection of bars on offer, including the stylish Brewers Pavilion with its range of eight Matilda Bay craft brews, the Sports Bar with TAB facilities and fantastic field views from Level 2, the roof terrace bars with CBD skyline outlook and the Pimms and Peroni Bar in the Village Green. The fresh-look Village Green thrived in its new location on the plaza. The sunny weather and market umbrellas created an outdoor party atmosphere. Relocating it here also allowed us to provide alternative post-match entertainment to the Stumps Sessions in the Indoor Centre, with free music performances from Sony artists Taylor Henderson, Dami Im and Samantha Jade. It’s a good example of how the Trust has recognised that we need to cater for a wide range of interests and demographics within our membership. This has driven our planning of facilities in the new SCG


development and will continue to do so as we move to the next stages of achieving our longer term vision to transform our grounds into a world-leading, 365-days-a-year, sports and entertainment precinct on the doorstep of Sydney’s CBD. I’m pleased to announce that we recently gained NSW Government consent to pursue the next step in that vision − a ‘Sports Central’ public plaza between our grounds, with an ANZAC memorial and a Museum of Sport, alongside expanded Member facilities. Go to page 38 for the full story. We hope to get this development underway in May next year after the Cricket World Cup. Perhaps one of the greatest innovations of the new stands is the digital capabilities we have built in − the most advanced of any major stadium in the southern hemisphere. At any time during the Test, record numbers of you were logged into the complimentary Wi-Fi. During peak times, a new user connected every three seconds. The system coped with this load without falter, providing download speeds up to ten times faster than most home internet connections. In the words of Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall, who was our guest ahead of the opening series of the 2014 MLB season coming to the SCG in March, “the connectivity it offers fans rivals that of the best stadia in the US”. The January Test was also our first chance to make use of the Internet Protocol TV

system that kept Members linked to the onfield action via hundreds of plasma screens positioned throughout the new stands, as well as showing bespoke content ranging from historic SCG footage to sports trivia.

now have 20. Four bars have become 14, and we have more than 120 additional toilets – this is well in excess of the building code requirements, and done to minimise queuing.

“the connectivity the SCG offers fans rivals that of the best stadia in the US.” This is a very exciting development for the SCG, and one that will be expanded for the coming AFL season. See the story on pages 32 and 33 for details on how we are using the Wi-Fi platform to introduce inseat ordering of food and drink and many other services.

Thousands of you chose to buy reserved seats for the Test, and we have had quite a bit of feedback about where you would prefer these to be located. We will make changes for future events after seeking further feedback from Members in coming surveys.

Among all the enthusiasm for what the new stands bring, I’d like to acknowledge that there are things we are reviewing and we commit to tackling any issues that would prevent this spectacular development from living up to its potential.

Several of the food and beverage areas weren’t finished in time for the Test, including the new Members Dining Room, and had to be replaced with temporary facilities. All of these have been contracted with AW Edwards for completion in June, giving you even more food options at future events.

Despite the dedicated efforts of the construction company AW Edwards, strong winds in November and December prevented us from completing the roof sheeting. AW Edwards worked tirelessly on this since. As ATG was going to press, it was on track to be completed in time for the first AFL and NRL games of the season. When complete, 85% of the seats will be under cover. This compares to 57% in the old stands. It’s one of the comparisons we make in the table on page 27. It’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the facts and figures within it. In an area of our ground where we once had two food stalls, we

I hope you continue to enjoy all the new facilities in the coming months, and I wish you happy viewing at the SCG and Allianz Stadium in the seasons ahead.

Jamie Barkley Chief Executive Officer

SUMMER 2014

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PREVIEW

G'day Buddy For the second year running, the Swans have pulled off the recruitment coup of the off-season. In bringing Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin to the club, where the Hawthorn legend will team up with last year’s star recruit Kurt Tippett, the Swans are equipped with potentially the two best tall forwards in the game. When you surround those two with the likes of Adam Goodes, Sam Reid, Ben McGlynn, Lewis Jetta and Ryan O'Keefe, there are a lot of goal-scoring options in 2014. Buddy brings a pedigree of two premierships, two Coleman medals for topping the league’s goal scoring and a career tally of 580 majors − so far! It's official: Buddy joins Longmire's Swans

into the preliminary final against Fremantle with an injury list that robbed them of nine key players including Goodes, Tippett and Reid. With many of the nine also missing large chunks of the regular season, the club was impressed with the performance of their young players who stepped up to new levels. They gave debuts to a record six players, and Dan Hannebery joined Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh as Swans representatives on the 2013 All Australian list. Longmire believes the potential showed by the younger members of his squad will be very important in 2014. Despite recruiting well at the top end, they have an experienced hole to fill with hard-tackling veteran Jude Bolton retiring after 325 games. “There have been some changes to the team as there always is at the end of each season, but we’re really excited about the players we’ve brought in both through free agency and particularly through the draft period as well,” Longmire said.

He described his last experience of playing at the SCG, as a Hawthorn player in 2012 as an experience he’d never forget. “The SCG crowd that night was amazing and was one of the best crowds I’ve played in front of. The atmosphere was amazing.” Coach John Longmire has no doubts that Franklin can reproduce his best form for Sydney. “Lance is obviously a quality player who has been able to play at the highest level for a fair while now and we believe he’s got a lot of good footy ahead of him,” Longmire said. “His ability on the training track, his athleticism, his speed and his size, all of these things will really benefit our team and will help the development of players like Sam Reid.” The Swans fell one step short of making backto-back grand finals last season, which was an impressive effort given that they headed

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“We’ve got some quality at the top end and we believe the younger kids we’ve got coming in have got really big futures ahead of them, so we’re really pleased with the position of our list heading into the new season.” The Swans have obviously retained a lot of experience in their ranks with seven players due to pass milestones between 100 and 300 games this season. Evergreen Goodes, as well as recently being named Australian of the Year, continues to set new club game records and, injury-permitting, he will notch up 350 before the end of the year. Another two big milestones could potentially be achieved in the Swans Friday night home game against Essendon at the SCG on 1 August. If they play all the games beforehand, that match will be Buddy’s 200th and number 300 for popular midfielder Ryan O’Keefe.

Star recruit: Buddy's goalkicking talent has won two Coleman Medals


SCG crowd that “ The night was amazing

Power forwards: Swans' other attack options include Reid (top), Tippett (right) and Goodes (left)

and was one of the best crowds I’ve played in front of.

“ Don't Miss v North Melbourne SCG, Sunday 13 April (1.10 pm first bounce) This is the first of eight Sydney Swans games at the SCG for the season, and your first chance to watch AFL from the spectacular new Members’ stands. The Kangaroos are an emerging side, unlucky not to make the finals last year, and are widely expected by the competition to finish in the top-eight this season.

v Geelong SCG, Thursday 29 May (7.10 pm first bounce) These two clubs have a history of spectacular close finishes and this game kicks off the AFL Indigenous Round with the Sydney Swans’ first Thursday night match at the SCG.

v Carlton SCG, Saturday 12 July (7.40pm first bounce) The Sydney Swans have ended Carlton’s finals campaigns twice in the last four seasons, and this match replays last year’s semi-final. The Blues are looking to avenge that loss and this has all the makings of a tight tussle with the impact of Goodes, O'Keefe and Buddy up against that of Judd, Murphy and Gibbs.

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PREVIEW

Era of the Rooster

The Roosters are reigning premiers. Now they want to build on that platform of achievement. Coach Trent Robinson had the dream debut season last year, leading the club to the top of the NRL after they slid dangerously towards wooden spoon territory in 2012. He has set his players the challenge of continuing that success in 2014 and beyond. While stopping short of calls for ‘back-toback premierships’, he is clearly determined to avoid any return to the rollercoaster performances that plagued the club in recent years. “Consistency within seasons is the mark of a team, so that’s what we’re looking for now,” he told ATG. “When you’re a footy team, people think it’s what’s at the end of the year is all that matters, and sure, we were really focussed on that, but that’s not the only thing that defines us. “We don’t want to have one good year and one bad year, we’re about trying to build something. We want to be a top team year after year. That’s what a top team means and obviously finals have to be a part of that, and that’s all a part of what we want to define us.” Winning consecutive grand finals would indeed be a triumph, but one that hasn’t

been achieved in the NRL era. You have to delve into NSWRL history to find the last club to do so − Brisbane Broncos in 1992 and 1993. However Roosters’ fans have a lot of positives to pin their dreams on. Not least of which is that the club has retained its entire 2013 Premiership-winning squad, apart from retired prop Luke O’Donnell. They will be led again by their popular captain Anthony Minichiello, who could potentially break the Tricolours’ games-played record if he has a long season. The strong retention started with secondrower Mitchell Aubusson signing a new four-year contract last season, despite him reportedly being the subject of a lucrative offer from the Dragons. Adding to that power, they have recruited one of the most dangerous forwards in the European Super League, Rémi Casty. The French international comes to the NRL champions from the Catalan Dragons, where he has won the club’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year for the past two seasons. He has developed a reputation for his strong and powerful tackling style. Sonny Bill Williams will again be a key factor

in continuing the Roosters’ renaissance but, as we saw last season, his value isn’t limited to his individual power and aggression. His ball-playing skills were a bonus, and his trademark off-loads allowed his team mates (particularly a reinvigorated Michael Jennings) to have a major impact on games. The Rooster’s will be hoping that Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney can reproduce the partnership in the halves combination that saw the duo called up to the NSW Origin squad. They, like hooker Jake Friend, have stepped their game up a gear under Robinson and the club is also expecting big things in 2014 from their established youngsters Boyd Cordner, Roger TuivasaSheck and Daniel Tupou. While the Roosters retain the skills and power to score tries across the park, it was their relentless defence that laid the foundation for last year’s success and allowed them to host the World Club Challenge against Wigan in February. At one point last season, they held their opposition scoreless for three consecutive games at Allianz Stadium, and a record six shut-outs throughout the season, and the club believes that sort of performance will be key to their chances of defending their premiership.

Don’t Miss...

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v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

v Canterbury Bulldogs

v South Sydney Rabbitohs

Allianz Stadium, Friday 28 March (7.40pm kick-off) Watch the feathers fly in this 2013 grand final re-match. This will be the first time these sides have met since the Roosters claimed the premiership.

Allianz Stadium, Friday 4 April (7.40pm kick-off) This game commemorates the 40th anniversary of the 1974 grand final between these sides. The Roosters will be hoping to repeat the 10-point victory.

Allianz Stadium, 4 to 7 September (TBC) These clubs played two heart-stoppers in 2013, with the Roosters clinching the minor premiership from their traditional rivals in the final game.

SUMMER 2014


SBW factor: Sonny Bill Williams has been key to the Roosters' renaissance

Captain courageous: Anthony Minichiello could break the club games record in 2014

Offer for Trust Members The Sydney Roosters have a unique membership package ideal for Gold and Platinum Members who already have access to the Allianz Stadium games. For just $49.95 if purchased online, Members can purchase a Sydney Roosters Supporter Membership package for the 2014 season. Benefits include: • 2014 Sydney Roosters Membership Kit including Members’ cap, lanyard, membership card and holder, Roosters enviro satchel bag, Roosters sticker and 12-month membership to Easts League Club. • Invitation to attend exclusive ‘Members Only’ events with NRL players

To purchase this membership, go online at http://membership.roosters.com.au and follow the links to ‘Supporter Membership’.

SUMMER 2014

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Israel Folau: record try-scorer in debut season

PREVIEW

Wesley Fofana: dynamic talent setting French rugby alight

Quade Cooper: “We want to be the best in the world” 8

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Bring on

Les Bleus A rejuvenated Wallabies face France at Allianz Stadium in June, and hope to continue the revival they have shown under Ewen McKenzie. It’s not been an overnight success story for the Wallabies coach, who took over after the deflating finale to the British and Irish Lions series, but fans were inspired by the way the team left 2013 as they won the final four Tests of the European spring tour. The attacking play they displayed on that tour was a far cry from the preceding whitewash losses to the All Blacks and Springboks at the Rugby Championships, where McKenzie’s Wallabies only managed two wins against Argentina (and one of those was by a single point). McKenzie is credited with bringing a harder edge to his side and improving team culture. He will miss his captain Ben Mowen, who made the surprise announcement to quit international rugby for family reasons in January. Mowen, who only made his Wallabies debut last year and had just six caps as captain, was seen as one of the major positives for Australian rugby in 2013 and an instrumental part of its revival. However, he still has Quade Cooper who has undergone a revival of his own to be one

Don’t Miss

of the star performers of the European tour. Add to this the continued rise of Waratahs full-back Israel Folau who has become one of the most dangerous attacking players in the game after a single season in the code. In 2013, he equalled fellow dual international

Part of the SCG Trust’s 10-year agreement for international rugby to be played annually at Allianz Stadium. Lote Tuqiri's Wallabies record of 10 tries in a calendar year. That’s one more than the great David Campese ever scored. Speaking after the European tour success, Cooper said: “we want to be the best in the world, we're not hiding that, but we know that path is a long and a tough path”. The coming series against France is seen as an important test of that progress (the Wallabies were humbled 33-6 in their last meeting with ‘Les Bleus’ in Paris in November 2012) and crucial preparation for the 2015 World Cup campaign.

v

The Saturday afternoon match at Allianz Stadium on 21 June is part of the SCG Trust’s 10-year agreement for international rugby to be played annually at the ground. The Trust is planning to repeat the successful off-field events for Members that added to the atmosphere of last year’s Lions visit. The ‘Club XV’ sports bar will be back in the Indoor Centre with large screen TVs, billiard tables and a pre-match event offering expert commentary on the chances of both sides. The bar will stay open after the game with music and other post-match entertainment. An alternative pre-game meeting point will be Azure café, which plans to open the terrace above its poolside bar and run its famous gourmet Burger Bar that has become a popular fixture at rugby events. International rugby always attracts a large Members crowd at Allianz Stadium, so the Trust will organise a ballot for purchasing reserved seats. Details of this will be communicated to you via the weekly Member e-newsletters and our website closer to the time. Due to the expected high demand for seats, Club cards will not admit for this game.

Allianz Stadium Saturday 21 June (3pm kick-off) See a re-energised Wallabies take on Les Bleus in a crucial test of their preparation for the 2015 World Cup.

SUMMER 2014

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PREVIEW

Tahs Target Finals The re-signing of Israel Folau and the acquisition of two recruits with Wallaby pedigrees in Kurtley Beale and Nick Phipps, plus the marquee signing of Springbok Jacques Potgieter, has Waratahs coach Michael Cheika confident his team will be playing finals footy in 2014. It’s no secret Cheika and his Waratahs have their sights set on a top two finish in this season’s Super Rugby campaign and an extremely tough pre-season has them ready to go, says the coach. “We’ve trained harder in the lead up, and started our contact work a lot earlier, this time round”. Cheika’s debut season as coach brought a new style of play to the Waratahs that saw them double their wins from the previous year and finish four places higher in the table. Only the eventual champions, the Chiefs, scored more tries and the Waratahs led the league for passes, offloads, run metres and line breaks. That improvement saw them turn Allianz Stadium into something of a fortress where they won five of their six home games but they struggled to replicate that success elsewhere. The Waratahs told ATG that the key lesson they took from 2013 was that they had to take advantage of the opportunities they created to become winners and not just good players. It was a point Cheika was making straight after last season.

“We scored more tries but didn’t kick our goals. We’re still in the infancy of learning how to win,” he said at the time. Certainly a major factor in the Tah’s improvement was the success of rugby union debutant Israel Folau. In his first season of Super Rugby, he was the club’s joint top try-scorer with Cam Crawford and ran more metres than any other player in the competition (averaging nearly 100 per match). Not to mention he did also earn his first Wallabies cap. It was a big plus for the Waratahs’ pre-season when he squashed speculation he might return to rugby league and signed a new two-year contract. Also committing to the NSW cause was South African international Potgieter, who joined the Waratahs as a lock after playing the past two seasons with the Bulls. After playing his last game for the Bulls in their semi-final loss to the Brumbies, Potgieter completed his club season in the Japanese Top League with Fukuoka Sanix Blues before joining his NSW team mates. The uncompromising 28-year-old is expected to add some toughness to the Waratahs pack.

Beale rejoins the Waratahs after two years away at the Rebels. Time will tell how he best slots into the squad. He can play at fly-half, where young Bernard Foley excelled last season, or at full-back, a position occupied by Folau. Whatever the outcome, he gives Cheika depth and options in these key roles. Phipps also joins from the Rebels, and is described by the Waratahs as “one of the best scrumhalves in Australia”.

That improvement saw them turn Allianz Stadium into something of a fortress where they won five of their six home games.

Don’t Miss v Melbourne Rebels

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v Bulls

v Lions

Allianz Stadium, Friday 21 March (7.40pm kick-off)

Allianz Stadium, Saturday 19 April (7.40pm kick-off)

Allianz Stadium, Sunday 18 May (4.05pm kick-off)

It’s Sydney versus Melbourne rivalry with two of the Waratahs’ star recruits, Kurtley Beale and Nick Phipps, going head to head with their former team mates.

It will be an Easter break to remember with the Waratahs taking on last season’s top South African outfit. This will be a good test of the Tahs’ aspirations to compete with Super Rugby’s elite.

The Lions return to Super Rugby and they are the unknown factor in this year’s competition. They have struggled for success at this level before but they enter 2014 with a new team, strengthened by the recruitment of Springboks Elton Jantjies, Franco van der Merwe and Lionel Mapoe.

SUMMER 2014


Success Dream debut: Israel Folau

Great promise: Bernard Foley excelled at fly-half last season SUMMER 2014

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PREVIEW

New Dragons Den

& Bunnies Burrow St George Illawarra Dragons and South Sydney Rabbitohs are returning to our grounds for home games in 2014.

Dragons and Rabbitohs: part of our heritage, part of our future

Stop Press australia V new zealand Test in May As ATG was going to press, details were being finalised for a rugby league international between Australia and New Zealand at Allianz Stadium in May. The Friday night Test on 2 May will replay December’s World Cup final when the likes of Jonathan Thurston and Billy Slater ran riot to demolish the Kiwis and take the title. As further details become available, we’ll post them on the Trust website and communicate them via the weekly Members’ e-newsletters.

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The Dragons, in partnership with the NRL, have released a Right Game, Right Venue strategy that will see the historic club play key marquee matches at the SCG and Allianz Stadium. South Sydney will also play the Sydney Roosters, the Dragons and Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at our grounds this year. The two new tenants come together for the first of the Dragons’ home games with a huge Saturday night Heritage Round clash on 5 April under lights at the SCG. This will be the inaugural game of what is planned to become an annual event between these heritage clubs with the league’s most impressive SCG pedigree. The Dragons have won all but one of their 16 premierships at the SCG, including the unprecedented 11 consecutive titles between 1956 and 1966. Bookending that record run of grand final victories were the Rabbitohs’ hat-trick of premierships at the

SCG from 1953-55 and consecutive wins here in 1967-68. They won a further six SCG grand finals in the early ‘30s, ‘50s and ‘70s. South Sydney will be returning to the SCG in August with a home game of their own against Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, in a replay of last year’s semi-final. While in April, the Dragons are back at the neighbouring Allianz Stadium for one of the biggest events of the NRL season – the ANZAC Cup against the Sydney Roosters. This traditional classic is a favourite match for the players and fans alike. A record crowd turned out last year to honour the ANZAC spirit and witness the eventual premiers win the cup for the first time in five years. Taking back the trophy would make a major statement about the Dragons’ ambitions this season. Dragons captain Ben Creagh said playing such major matches at our grounds was a thrilling prospect.

“I've been lucky enough to play the ANZAC game with the Dragons the past 10 years,” he said. “It's a big occasion to play in front of 40,000 fans on such a special day in Australia and all the players feel very privileged to be a part of it.

“The prospect of beginning an annual Heritage Round clash with the Rabbitohs at the Sydney Cricket Ground is another match that we will definitely look forward to in 2014." “As players we are well aware of the history and tradition of rugby league at the Sydney Cricket Ground, especially with the Dragons, so that will no doubt be another great occasion.”

Don’t Miss v SCG, Saturday 5 April (7.30pm kick-off) Under lights, this blockbuster kicks off what is likely to become an annual Heritage round classic between two of the clubs with the greatest pedigree in the NRL.

ANZAC Cup v Allianz Stadium, Friday 25 April (4pm kick-off) The traditional ANZAC Day clash is always a spectacle, and this year has the added spice of the current premiers taking on a club that could be one of their major challengers. Expect a massive crowd and the special atmosphere that comes with the moving tributes to our armed forces and veterans.

v SCG, 8 – 11 August (TBC) This match replays the semi-final that ended the Rabbitohs’ 2013 season. But this one is on the SCG, where these clubs have met in three grand finals. If you are looking for an omen, South Sydney have won them all.

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PREVIEW

Riding the Sydney FC Rollercoaster Sydney FC have had a season of highs and lows, but they are working on taking their best form into the finals.

At one point this season they watched their team go on a victorious run of four consecutive wins (equalling the club record), at another they felt the pain of a hat-trick of losses.

Sydney FC were in command and led 1-0

As we approach the final rounds before the finals, the top six is far from certain.

Ranko Despotovic, on debut in a Sky Blue

Reflecting on Sydney FC’s rollercoaster season so far, one of the most cherished memories would have to be the dramatic Big Blue at Allianz Stadium in November and the home team’s record run of victories that it kick-started.

as he slotted the ball home in the 94 minute

They put three goals past arch rivals Melbourne Victory, conceding two before favourite adopted son Alessandro Del Piero slotted home the decisive penalty. By the way, all that happened in the first half, as did the red card handed out to Marc Warren which left the Sky Blues playing with 10 men for the last hour. If the second half was less dramatic, it was no less tense. Pedj Bojic wrote his name into Sydney FC and Allianz Stadium folklore with a last ditch sliding tackle to deny Melbourne Victory an equaliser in what was the final play of the match. Continuing their jubilant interstate rivalry, fans travelled to Melbourne to see them dispatch Heart 2-0, before another thriller was on the cards at home against Wellington Phoenix. 14

SUMMER 2014

thanks to a stunning Richard Garcia strike, but the visitors equalised in stoppage time. However, up stepped Serbian striker shirt, to send the home support into raptures th

to claim the three points. Despotovic, whose previous clubs include Rapid Bucharest and Urawa Red Diamonds, has been one of the success stories of the season. He is averaging a goal every second game and releasing some of the pressure up front that inevitably falls on the shoulders of Del Piero.

The Italian superstar may have passed his 39th birthday but he still appears among the A-League’s top scorers. A week after the Phoenix game, it seemed like Frank Farina’s men could do no wrong when the defeated Newcastle at Allianz Stadium for the second time this season to make it four wins in a row.

All that joy came to an end in the following away game against the Mariners. But spirits lifted as the festive season approached, and Sydney FC returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over the Melbourne Heart. Del Piero and Despotovic were both on the score sheet as their team climbed to third on the ladder. The win meant the Sky Blues had won 11 out of their last 13 games at Allianz Stadium. However, from that high, one of the season’s lowlights would follow with a six–match winless stretch that included the 5-0 home loss to Brisbane Roar. In the typical up and down pattern of the current season, they broke that win drought by travelling to Melbourne to thump the Victory 5-0. During the lows, Sydney’s defensive record continues to be a frustration, and one they will need to rectify to make a serious impact on the finals. The good news in that department has been the performances of Nikola Petkovic, the Serbian central defender recruited from Red Star Belgrade at the start of the season. The club regard him as their standout new acquisition and he can take a lot of the credit for keeping Sydney FC in good final contention.


Striking success: Ranko Despotovic PHOTO: MIKE MCCOY

Outstanding defender: Nikola Petkovic

Don’t Miss... v Brisbane Roar Allianz Stadium, Friday 14 March (7.30pm kick-off) To come up against one of the most in-form teams in the league is always special, and it always means something more when we defeat the Queenslanders. Sydney FC would like nothing more than to start reversing some of the nine goal deficit from the last two games.

v Perth Glory Allianz Stadium, Sunday 13 April (5pm kick-off) The final home game of the season. This could play a crucial role in the make-up of the final six, and could be Alessandro Del Piero’s final regular season game at Allianz Stadium. Italian style: Del Piero remains among league’s top scorers

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PREVIEW

Excitement Builds for MLB Opener

The SCG chalks up another piece of sports history this year when it becomes the first venue in the southern hemisphere to host Major League Baseball. The eyes of the world will turn to our ground as the LA Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks come face-to-face for the 2014 MLB season-opener in Sydney – one of the biggest sporting events in Australia this year. Attracting some of the world’s best baseball talent here certainly got sports fans excited, with the initial allocation of tickets for the MLB games sold out within days and only a sprinkling of seats from later allocations remaining as ATG was going to press. The huge crowds are likely to be a mixture of MLB enthusiasts and other fans who would flock to see the world’s best in any competition. For the less initiated amongst the latter, here is a guide of what to expect.

MLB Explained For historical reasons, there are two major leagues in MLB − the American League and the National League. Each league has three divisions of five teams. The Dodgers and the D-backs belong to the National League West Division. During the regular season, each team will play a staggering 162 games − almost a game a day for six months!

D-backs sensation: Paul Goldschmidt hit a league-leading 36 home runs last season PHOTO: JORDAN MEGENHARDT

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About half of these games are played against the four other teams in the same division, 66 are against opponents from other divisions within their league and 20 are ‘interleague’ games. Despite the schedule crossing those boundaries, there are separate division tables. Each team's first aim is to finish top of their table or as the best runner-up in their league. Those four teams play off for the league pennant, and then the two league champions compete for the famous World Series. For a summary of the basic rules of baseball, see www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball_rules.

Club History You could hardly put together a greater contrast. The Dodgers are one of the oldest and most recognised brands in world baseball. They joined the National League as the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1890, before the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Along the way they have won six World Series Championships (most recently in 1988) and 21 National League pennants. They are the reigning NL West Division champions. They

have

nearly

50

representatives

enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, including the legendary Jackie Robinson who became the first African American player in the majors when he started his 10-season career for the Dodgers in 1947. The D-backs are MLB’s new kids on the block, but they have certainly shaken up the neighbourhood. With Tampa Bay, they were the last club to join MLB in 1998 (they didn’t exist at all until 1995). Four seasons later, they took the NL pennant and went on to win the World Series. They haven’t repeated that success since, although they have won their division five times in their short history.

Key Players Diamondbacks #44 Paul Goldschmidt − First Base Goldschmidt has been described as a baseball sensation. In only his second full MLB season last year, he hit 36 home runs to lead the league and finish runner-up in the NL’s Most Valuable Player voting. He hit three ‘grand slams’ (home runs with the bases loaded) in 2013, becoming the first player to do so in club history.

#15 Mark Trumbo − Outfielder Trumbo begins his first season with the D-backs after being acquired from the Anaheim Angels. He has led the Angels in home runs for the past three seasons, and is ranked fifth across MLB during this time with 95 home runs.

Dodgers #22 Clayton Kershaw – Pitcher Kershaw became the highest paid player in baseball history in January when he signed a seven-year deal guaranteeing him just short of $US31M a season. He cemented his position as one of the game’s best all-time pitchers last season by winning his second Cy Young Award for the best pitcher in the league. Since making his debut in 2008, he has proven to be the most difficult pitcher to score against in MLB. #23 Adrian Gonzalez – First Base Gonzalez is a 10-year MLB veteran, who ranks among the finest hitters in the majors. He led the club for hits and home runs in 2013, and has produced some of MLB’s best batting statistics for the past eight seasons.

Don’t Miss... Arizona Diamondbacks v

Dodgers weapon: No pitcher is more difficult to hit than Clayton Kershaw

LA Dodgers Game 1: SCG, Saturday 22 March, 7pm Game 2: SCG, Sunday 23 March, 1pm

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PREVIEW

MLB Puts SCG & Sydney on Global Stage Brad Thomas: only Australian to play in world’s top four leagues

There will be no bigger show in town, possibly in the world, when the MLB carnival rolls into Sydney in March. Any way you look at this event, it’s a big deal. There are some staggering facts and figures from behind the scenes to illustrate this. The two games between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the LA Dodgers are close to a sell-out, with a massive response to the Members pre-sale, but those crowd figures are dwarfed by the estimated global TV audience of 165 million that are expected to tune into the SCG fixtures on 22 and 23 March. Apart from the marketing bonus that generates for future tourism, nearly half of the seats for the two MLB openers have been bought by overseas and interstate visitors. NSW can expect $13M in immediate economic benefit. Simply staging the games has been a massive logistical exercise. Nearly 1,000 airline seats and hotel rooms have been booked for the players, officials and administrators making the trip from the US. On top of that, there are 150 journalists, photographers and other media staff coming from across America and Asia to cover the games. The SCG playing field is being transformed with grounds teams descending after the T20 Big Bash semi-final to construct a baseball diamond, pitchers mound, team dug outs, club houses and a bull pen at the southern end of the ground where the relief pitchers will warm up.

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The specific MLB regulations don’t stop there. The playing surface is being revamped with 30 shipping containers of quarantine-approved infield clay brought in from San Diego (the required gradient of soil specified for MLB venues wasn’t available in Australia) being sown with new grass grown here from seeds especially imported from the US West Coast. SCG Curator Tom Parker has been working closely with MLB officials to ensure the ground replicates the surface of famous baseball venues like Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park and Chase Field. Securing the MLB games has involved a partnership between the NSW Government, the SCG Trust and promoter Moore Sports. Trust Chief Executive Jamie Barkley was confident the outcome was worth the effort. “This is history in the making for the MLB and for sport in Australia, and I congratulate the MLB and the NSW Government for having the foresight and confidence to play two showcase games at Australia’s most internationally recognised venue, the SCG,” he said.

Opportunity for Aussie Talent Ahead of their MLB games, the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers will each play an exhibition game against Team Australia. Team Australia will be made up of some of the best home-grown talent playing in the US minor leagues, or for the strong Japanese and Korean competitions.

Many are gunning for the rare chance to pit their skills against the sport’s elite and impress the 50 major league talent scouts attending the SCG games. Among the hopefuls will be Tim Kennelly who is currently with the Perth Heat but until last year played in the US minor leagues with the Philadelphia Phillies organisation as a pitcher, catcher and third base after being recruited as a teenager. There will also be plenty of experience in the Team Australia ranks with veteran pitcher Brad Thomas, who has five MLB seasons on his CV after playing more than 100 games for the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers.

"This is history in the making for the MLB and for sport in Australia."

Thomas is the only Australian to have played in all four of the top leagues in the world: MLB, Nippon Professional Baseball, Korean Baseball Organization and the Chinese Professional Baseball League (Taiwan). The 36-year-old still plays in the Japanese league, but said it was great to be returning to Australia in the twilight of his career to be part of such a major baseball event. Tickets are still available for the two Team Australia exhibition games and are on sale through ticketek.com.au from just $31 plus booking fee.

Don’t Miss... LA Dodgers v

Team Australia SCG, Thursday 20 March, 7pm

Don’t Miss... Arizona Diamondbacks v

Team Australia SCG, Friday 21 March, 7pm SUMMER 2014

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REVIEW

Field of Ashes Dreams Our SCG was the scene of victory this summer − most memorably, for where Australian Test cricket completed a renaissance by claiming just the third series whitewash in Ashes history.

The Australians did so in emphatic fashion, wrapping up the Test in three days. Only the most optimistic of the sell-out home crowd would have predicted it would all be over so quickly. At lunch on what would be the final day, England’s second innings hadn’t begun and the Trust sent an e-newsletter to Members with the gate and seating arrangements for Day 4. Less than four hours after the English openers left their dressing room, their last batsman was heading back in that direction. Michael Clarke’s men were being photographed under green and gold tickertape, while signalling ‘5’ with outstretched palms towards the cameras. The euphoria of that 5-0 dominance was still bubbling when the Australians returned to the ground two weeks later to seal the ODI series. That win would lead to us recapturing the international number one

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ranking for 50-over cricket: a positive omen ahead of next year’s World Cup. Key to the transformation of our Test fortunes, less than six months since the Ashes series loss in England, were the personal performances of Mitchell Johnson. The ferocious pace and new-found accuracy of his bowling totally intimidated the English batting line-up. His 37 wickets, at an average of 13.97, won him the ‘Man of the Series’ award. His haul was 15 wickets more than the next best Australian bowler (Ryan Harris); 16 more than England’s most successful (Stuart Broad). The turnaround in Johnson’s career is even more remarkable when you reflect that 32-year-old was dropped from the team on the tour of India only 10 months earlier and wasn’t even invited on to the plane for the 2013 Ashes tour in England. He considered quitting the game in 2011.

He picked up the key wicket of Alastair Cook on four of the 10 occasions that the English captain came to the crease. Cook had plenty of teammates producing equally poor performances, but his horror tour symbolises how far the balance of Ashes power has shifted. On the last tour to Australia, Cook was an immovable force, averaging nearly 128 with the bat. That dropped to 24 this summer. To put that into some team perspective, the only English batsman to average more than 30 was the debutant all-rounder Ben Stokes. Stokes, who etched his name on to an SCG honour board for his 6-99 in the first innings of the January Test, was one of the few positives that England can take from the series. His century in Perth was the only one scored by the tourists all summer. That compares to ten centuries from the Australian batsmen, despite the


Whitewash Euphoric: Aussies complete whitewash in three days

Victory lap: thank you SCG

First innings rescue: Steve Smith SCG century: Chris Rogers

inconsistency shown by our top order at times.

Middle-order saviour: Brad Haddin topped the batting averages

Brad Haddin was arguably a close second for the player of the series for the way he stepped up with the bat to save Australia from an innings disaster in four of the five Tests. This included the first innings at the SCG where Australia’s total would have been 136 without his rescue effort with Steve Smith. Haddin finished the series on top of the batting averages with 61, scoring at least a half-century in six of his eight innings. It may not have changed the Ashes outcome, but he consistently batted away threats of English advantage whenever they occurred.

Dominant bowler: Mitchell Johnson SUMMER 2014

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REVIEW

View From the Members

The on-field action is never the limit of entertainment for Members at a SCG Test, and this year saw some new events added to the traditional schedule of favourites. Starting with the sell-out Members’ Breakfast on day one, the daily agenda of popular off-field activities included the Stumps Sessions at the end of each day, the Curator’s Breakfast pitch inspection for 50 lucky Members and their guests, the Country Members Reception, the morning tea for 50/70 Year Members as well as the Ashes exhibition in the SCG Museum, Sports Sculpture Tours, Kids’ Cricket Clinics on Allianz Stadium and the Spartan bat and ball making displays. There was a special focus at the cricket book marquee on day two with former Test captain Steve Waugh signing copies of his latest book, The Meaning of Luck, and relating a few favourite SCG memories. The Village Green’s new home behind the MA Noble Stand created a summer party atmosphere with the Pimms and Peroni Bar. It

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allowed the Trust to introduce some alternative post-play entertainment with free music performances from X-Factor stars Taylor Henderson, Dami Im and Samantha Jade. Of course, the opening of the new stands offered plenty of other new activities and options for Members. See pages 28 to 31 for more detail of how they were enjoyed at their first Test. Visit the Trust’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/ SCGTrustTV to relive some highlights from the Test match Members events.


Milestone: Trust Chairman Rodney Cavalier congratulates Walter Ryan and John Morrison on 70 years of SCG membership

Our New 50/70 Year Member s Congratulations to our new 50/70 Year Members at this year’s Test. We hope you enjoy the special privileges that come with joining this elite group for many Tests to come.

70 Year Members Mr John Morrison Mr Walter Ryan Mr Joseph Gibson

50 Year Members Robert Aldridge John Aston Graeme Bailey Denis Bowles Richard Church Peter Crew Douglas Crosby Oam Paul Crowe John Darling Wayne Dickinson Ian Donaldson John Dower Keith Dowsett Richard Ferguson

Warren Foley Michael Glenday Anthony Grose Mikal Halvorsen Paul Hills Jnr Graham Hughes Anthony Hurrey Anthony Hutchinson Warwick James David Jeavons Fellows Richard Julian Peter Laforest John Langley Bruce Love

James Loxton Joseph Lynch John Macleay John Maitland Paul Manion Paul Mannix Ian Miller James Murphy David Murphy Douglas Newton Warwick Nosworthy John O Brien William Peattie Felix Prentice

Michael Riley John Riordan David Smith Gregory Solomon John Sprouster John Taylor Brendan Vernon Christopher Walsh David Wilson John Wood Pamela Massie-Green

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REVIEW

January’s Ashes Test marked the sixth Jane McGrath Day at the SCG, while producing record donations and a special milestone for cricket’s popular breast cancer charity. The McGrath Foundation raised a record $800,000 from the Pink Test, coming close to doubling the amount put into collection tins, spent on merchandise or bid at the post-match auctions of memorabilia like the players’ pink caps last year. Supporters were reminded where the money goes, with the foundation announcing that they were now funding

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100 breast care nurses across Australia. Foundation President Glenn McGrath described the record donations as “astonishing”. “This result will help us fund at least two full-time McGrath Breast Care Nurses for three years to help other families in need,” said the former Test bowler. Apart from the value of Pink Test activities, Members and the Sydney sporting public clearly immersed themselves into the spirit of the event with the ground filled with a sea of pink clothing, hair and some very creative outfits.

The sell-out Jane McGrath High Tea was a stylish and entertaining affair and another major success. Glenn and Jane McGrath created the charity after Jane was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. Jane lost her cancer battle in 2008 but her legacy is an organisation that has helped more than 10,000 families. Visit www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au for more information about the foundation’s work.


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REVIEW

The new stands can lay claim to delivering the most advanced digital services of any stadium in the southern hemisphere.

Impressive on Debut The Ashes Test proved to be an impressive and fitting debut for our new MA Noble, Don Bradman and Dally Messenger stands. Initial feedback from Members has been extremely positive, and you clearly appreciate the step-up in facilities compared to those in the stands they replaced. However we need to balance that enthusiasm and acknowledge that, like most debuts, there are things we could do better. The Trust has committed to tackling any issues that would prevent this spectacular development from living up to its potential. Strong winds in November and December prevented us from completing the roof, but hopefully the free sun hats and sunscreen the Trust provided made the situation more bearable. Even so, the roof covered 65% of seats. When the final roof sheets are added in time for the first AFL and NRL games of the season, 85% of spectators will be under cover. 26

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We’ve recorded some Member reactions of their first taste of the new stands on our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/ SCGTrustTV and it’s clear that the views from the seats (being closer to the field and free of obstructions) are one of the major highlights. Thousands of Members opted to purchase reserved seats in the new stands. Several of you have expressed various preferences about the location of reserved seating. We will make changes for future events after seeking further feedback from Members in forthcoming surveys. The new Village Green thrived in its location behind the stands. The sunny weather and market umbrellas created an outdoor party atmosphere. Relocating it here also allowed us to provide alternative post-match entertainment to the Stumps Sessions in the Indoor Centre, with free music performances from Sony artists Taylor Henderson, Dami Im and Samantha Jade.

We know the bars and food stores were popular, particularly the stylish Brewers Pavilion and Sports Bar. Maybe this can be attributed to the broader ‘Taste of Sydney’ food choice, the availability of craft beers or simply the views of the ground from the Level 2 bars.

It’s clear that the views from the seats (being closer to the field and free of obstructions) are one of the major highlights.


"The new stands put the SCG on par with some of the best stadiums in the world. There isn't a bad seat in the house and the connectivity it offers fans rivals that of stadia in the US, including Yankee Stadium." – Derrick Hall, President & CEO, Arizona Diamondbacks

Several of the food and beverage areas weren’t finished in time for the Test, including the new Members Dining Room, and had to be replaced with temporary

New Stands v Old Stands Feature

New

Old

Number of seats

13,360

11,300

Percentage of seats undercover

85%

57%

Food stores

20

2

nearly a third of Members at the Test logged

Bars

14

4

in. Features of the system will be expanded

Toilets

233

111

Plasma screens to keep in touch with the action

420

56

Advanced free Wi-Fi and IPTV

Yes

No

content, such as SCG historical footage,

Size of video scoreboard

272m²

127m²

across hundreds of plasma screens, the

Escalators with access to all levels

Yes

No

new stands can lay claim to delivering

Seats in Members Dining Room

700

0

Overall size of stands

35,000m2

10,000m2

facilities. So there will be even more food options at future events. The complimentary Wi-Fi was a huge success and usage figures suggest that

in the future to allow in-seat ordering of food and drinks. With the IPTV system, which broadcast live action and special

the most advanced digital services of any stadium in the southern hemisphere. All the remaining work on the stands is three weeks ahead of schedule, with everything contracted for completion by mid-June.

As well as the spectator improvements listed above, the stands will give the SCG significant upgrades in media and corporate facilities, a more attractive public plaza leading to the ground, new AFL changerooms and an increase in the length of the field. The 2,000 additional seats are an average 13m closer to the field of play. SUMMER 2014

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REVIEW

Members Embrace New Stands in Record Numbers

The expanded Members’ reserve, made possible with the creation of the new SCG pavilions, led to record attendances on the first day of the Ashes Test. Of course numbers are boosted when the home team is surging towards a 5-0 series whitewash, but no doubt there were many Members keen to get their first taste of the experience from the new Don Bradman, MA Noble and Dally Messenger stands. With 2,000 additional seats that are closer to the field and free of any sight obstructions, the stands offered superb ‘behind the bowler’s arm’ views of the action. Members also embraced the off-field facilities and activities throughout the stands and behind them in the Village Green. Short videos recording Members’ initial reactions to the new stands and Village Green are among the Test collection on the Trust’s YouTube channel at www.youtube. com/SCGTrustTV. Here, we look at how you responded to the ‘Taste of Sydney’ food selection while on the following pages we do the rounds of 28

SUMMER 2014

the new bars. See page 32 to read about the massive take-up of the complimentary Wi-Fi and how you will soon be able to use it for in-seat ordering of food and drinks.

Among the most popular dishes were

SCG Serves Up ‘Taste of Sydney’

and chips.

One of the most popular features in the new pavilions was the larger and more diverse choice of cuisine options offered in the Level 1 Food Court and on the roof terrace. With the focus on establishing a new standard of sports ground catering with a uniquely Sydney influence, Doyles opened up in the food court alongside new outlets created by SCG caterers Delaware North, such as the Groundsmen Grill, the Noodle Shack, Pizza Quarter and the Pie Emporium. The result was a menu of lunch choices that ranged from gourmet pies, burgers and wood-fired pizzas to Asian noodles and a selection of Doyles signature seafood.

a wagyu beef burger with special SCG sauce, a lamb shank and Guiness pie with preserved lemon and Doyles’ barramundi Visiting England fan Tom Gannon told ATG that the food available to SCG Members was good enough to compensate for his team’s performance.

“The barramundi alone is worth the trip from the UK, even if we are getting slaughtered in the cricket.” Overseeing the Delaware North menus, and applying his sophisticated twist, was their Regional Executive Chef George Fouskarinis who has just joined an elite group by being named as one of only seven ‘real’ Master Chefs in Australia.


You will soon be able to use Wi-Fi for in-seat ordering of food and drinks.

George received the accolade from the Australian Culinary Federation last December. They described him as “a skilled artisan at the pinnacle of his career”. George, whose background includes working at several European five-star hotels and Michelin-star restaurants, is transforming the formal dining and casual catering offered at the SCG and Allianz Stadium with his ‘modern Australian’ style that is a fusion of his classical training and the sourcing of the highest quality local ingredients.

Gourmet choice: Doyles Seafood, one of the popular new Food Court options

Win a Master Chef Dinner Party To celebrate the SCG scoring Master Chef number seven, one lucky Member could win a night with George Fouskarinis cooking a dinner party in their home. See page 53 for further details.

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REVIEW

Members Toast Success of New Bars The bars in and around the new MA Noble Stand and Don Bradman Stand reported record sales at the January Test. Members clearly appreciated the availability of Matilda Bay craft brews from the stylish Brewers Pavilion and the excellent views of the field extending from the nearby Sports Bar along Level 2. Matilda Bay head brewer Scott Vincent ran free samplings and information sessions on the first two days of the Test to introduce Members to the brews on tap, discuss the different styles of ales, stouts and lagers and recommend food matches with each style. As well as the field views from Level 2, Members had a new outlook from our 30

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precinct, with the cafes and bars from the Level 4 terrace offering vistas across the Village Green to the CBD. The Village Green hosted a Pimms and Peroni Bar at the back of the new pavilions, which proved to be a popular location throughout the three days. The fine weather, market umbrellas, large screens and live entertainment creating a summer party atmosphere. The Village Green was also one of several areas across the Members’ precinct doing a brisk trade in barista coffee.


New outlook: Level 4 roof terrace Crowd draw: popular Food Court bars on Level 1

T a i l W a g s i n B r e w e rs P a v i l i o n The search is over. We have a name for the Members’ sparkling lager to be sold exclusively in the Brewers Pavilion of the Don Bradman Stand.

Wagging Tail has been chosen from more than 2000 entries offered by Members and Guests in a ‘Name that Brew’ competition that ran throughout the Test. Our Members proved to be a creative lot, with witty cricket references such as Jardine’s Fly, Yabba’s Shout, Rib Tickler and First Drop among the shortlisted entries. It was a case of great minds think alike with Kieron Fitzpatrick from Balmain and Andrew Richards from Wollongong independently entering the winning title. They shared the prize of a fully catered corporate suite at the ODI in January (with a number of appreciative friends). Wagging Tail now joins the rank of Matilda Bay craft brews such as Fat Yak, Dirty Granny, Itchy Green Pants, Ruby Tuesday and Minimum Chips, on tap in the Brewers Pavilion. SUMMER 2014

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SCG Leads in Digital Era The digital capabilities of the new stands, the most advanced of any major stadium in the southern hemisphere, drew praise from Members and media sampling them for the first time during the January Ashes Test. Usage figures show around a third of Members in the new stands at any time were logged in to the complimentary Wi-Fi. That’s higher than for events such as the 2014 Superbowl. During peak times, a new user connected to the Wi-Fi every three seconds. Download speeds on the new system were up to ten times faster than a standard ADSL 2+ home connection. The popularity of the new system also gave Members and public patrons in other stands more effective mobile phone service, by freeing up demand on telecommunication

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providers networks by more than half a terabyte of data.

that international media attending the

Australian and international media and sports officials praised the stability and speeds of the internet connections.

when they see it," Mr Blundell said.

“The connectivity it offers fans rivals that of the best stadia in the US,” said Derrick Hall, President and CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who was visiting the SCG ahead of the MLB games to be played here in March. MLB Vice President of Media Relations John Blundell described the stands’ press facilities and digital capabilities as “right up there with the best I’ve seen at any ball park anywhere in the world”. “I’d go as far to say it’s right up there with the new Yankee Stadium. I have no doubt

opening (MLB) series will be blown away

Following the initial success of the Wi-Fi system, its uses will be expanded to offer new spectator services such as in-seat ordering of food and drinks.


World’s best: international media “blown away” by press and digital facilities

Complimentary Wi-Fi: ten times faster than home connections

The in-seat ordering will be introduced for the start of the AFL season. Members sitting in the new stands will be able to place and pay for their orders from their smart phones and collect their order a few minutes later from ‘express lanes’ at food stalls and bars. Users will have significantly shorter waiting times because they won’t be queuing while orders are prepared and payments are taken. SCG caterers Delaware North have backed the in-seat ordering initiative enthusiastically. "In seat dining is a natural extension to the acclaimed facilities, services and food and beverage outlets in the new SCG stands,” said Cameron McAlpine, General Manager, Food and Beverage. “Across our international portfolio of stadia - we have tried and tested models of the success of in-seat dining which consistently has led to elevated convenience, speed of service, customer services and guests’

satisfaction. We are looking forward to introducing it at the SCG."

was used during the Test to show historical

AFL fans will also be able to use the Wi-Fi network to stream full HD footage to their mobile devices. This will allow them to see the game from a range of camera angles as well as pause, rewind and replay in real time.

cricket knowledge with trivia questions from

Other new digital features to be introduced in 2014 involve ticketing, social media, statistics and sport trivia. Eventually these services will be expanded across all spectator areas of the SCG and Allianz Stadium.

Trust social media activity such as the

Another popular aspect of the stands’ digital capabilities during the January Test match was the Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) system, which broadcast live action and special content in high definition across hundreds of plasma screens. As well as showing the on-field action, replays and statistical information viewers get from regular TV broadcasts, the system

Staying connected: hundreds of screens broadcasting live action and special SCG content

SCG video and photos and test Members’ past Ashes clashes. It also allowed the Trust to alert Members to special events such as the Stumps Sessions or Steve Waugh book signing, to promote ‘Photo of the Day’ Instagram competition, encourage your participation in the ‘Name the SCG Brew’ challenge in the Brewers Pavilion, and spread the word about the new food outlets, complimentary Wi-Fi or how to donate to the McGrath Foundation. Just as with the Wi-Fi, there are plans to expand the use of the IPTV. For future Sydney Swans matches, the IPTV system will be used to paint the SCG red and white, and take fans behind the scenes into the players’ rooms and warm-up areas.

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REVIEW

Sixers’ Semi-Successful Season

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At the end of a season where they fell just short of making the T20 Big Bash final, the Sydney Sixers can reflect on an eventful and largely successful season.

The home crowd dared to believe as Maddinson hammered five fours and a six to bring his Sixers into contention, but that hope faded when he was run out on the penultimate ball and Brett Lee could not hit the required six off the final delivery.

They produced the closest result in Big Bash history, and nearly pulled off an unlikely win in a semi-final run chase reduced to five overs, but ultimately their nemesis on both occasions was the Perth Scorchers.

The tension and drama was typical of the Sixers’ season. They won three matches by seven runs or less, and a further two matches with wickets in hand but less than an over remaining.

Scorchers opener Craig Simmons hit a record-equalling 11 sixes in the semi-final at the SCG, as he belted a blazing century (112 off 58 balls) to lead the visitors to an imposing total of 193 − the second highest ever scored at our ground. Rain reduced that to a target of 54 off five overs under the Duckworth Lewis system. It was a daunting challenge, but one the Sixers came within five runs of overcoming thanks largely to the heroics of Nic Maddinson who managed to hit 36 of the required runs off 16 deliveries.

The ultimate example of their trademark close finishes was their game against the Scorchers at the SCG two weeks before the semi-final clash. Scores were locked at the end of the regular innings, with Perth eventually claiming victory in the league’s first Super Over decider. While the club are naturally disappointed not to have set up a SCG home final, they certainly gave fans plenty of excitement as they transformed the ground into Sydney’s magenta party central.

more than 50% on last season to an average of around 20,000. The Sixers credit a lot of their growing fan base, and on-field success, to their ability to maintain their core playing group this year. Steve Smith, Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinson, Steve O’Keefe, Mitch Starc, Brett Lee and Josh Hazlewood all returned from BBL02, and this central group was strengthened with the shrewd recruitment of Marcus North, Jordan Silk, Mark Cosgrove and Ravi Bopara. Brad Haddin also returned, but his success at the national level (and the commitments that involved in a busy Ashes summer) meant the captaincy passed to Henriques, and occasionally Smith. North led the team for the semi-final when Henriques’s performances over the summer earned him a berth in the tour squad for South Africa.

That excitement seems to have extended throughout the league, with crowds up

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REVIEW

Swift Revs in the

Red Zone

Taylor Swift proved at her Allianz Stadium concert last December that you can go big on the theatrics and still hold the audience in the palm of your hand.

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In the words of one critic: “Her pyros and set design made the Justin Bieber shows look like a suburban shopping mall talent quest”. Her adoring young fans (and some bemused parents) certainly got a spectacle at the Red Tour performance that made full use of two multi-level stages, elaborate costumes, dancers, aerialists and changing sets. But her musical talent was also on display as the international superstar showed why she is the first artist since the Beatles (and the only female artist in history) to log six or more weeks at number one with three consecutive studio albums. Her 40,000-strong largely teen and tween audience were swept away by her performance energy, powerful vocals and the breadth of musical talent she showed with guitar, piano and banjo. They sung along with some old favourites and the later material from her Red album, while hanging on every word of morality advice she offered in between. All this without removing most of her clothes − no wonder she’s a parents’ favourite.

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‘Sports Central’ The Trust’s vision to transform the SCG and Allianz Stadium into a world-leading sports and entertainment precinct took a significant step forward recently with the NSW Government granting consent for the Trust to progress plans for ‘Sports Central’. ‘Sports Central’ is the next stage of the Trust’s Master Plan for the precinct, and will create a public plaza between the grounds that would host a dynamic fan zone with an ANZAC memorial and Sydney’s first Museum of Sport. Trust General Manager (Major Projects) Piers Thompson said that with the State Government confirming they had no objections to the plans, the next step was to secure project funding. This would be pursued with support from Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW and our other key partners. Under the plans, there would be a new fitness centre with an outdoor 50-metre swimming pool and four on-site tennis courts. This would be part of a new Sports Central Pavilion on the current site of the Venue Services Office that would also house new world-class headquarters for Cricket NSW, other sports administration offices, cafes, sports medicine and child care facilities, and a sports campus established in partnership with one on Sydney’s leading universities. The pavilion would link to an underground Cricket Centre with state-of-the-art training facilities for cricketers ranging from junior to elite levels. There will be a further 20 outdoor practice wickets alongside the Members’ Lawn. Apart from providing new facilities and adding to event atmosphere, opening up this area would remove barriers to crowd circulation around the grounds and improve

access into the venues and into the precinct from Paddington and Moore Park. It would also improve the back-of-house operations for both venues. Mr Thompson said realising the plans would create a dynamic transformation of the precinct. “The plaza will have large video screens, Wi-Fi, cafes and bars that will operate during events and on non-match days, creating a precinct that is active year round,” he said. “Beneath the plaza, the Museum of Sport will vastly expand the exhibition space of the current SCG Museum, make our sports heritage more accessible to a wider public audience, and give Sydney a new major tourist attraction on the doorstep of the CBD.” The plaza and the museum would be connected by a sculptural ANZAC memorial dedicated to the NSW sports men and women that have played at our grounds and also served in the Australian defence forces. It also commemorates the origins of the SCG as the Garrison Ground for soldiers based at Victoria Barracks. The A-shaped memorial will serve as an entry and natural skylight to a ‘Hall of Remembrance’ located in the museum below. Subject to funding being secured, the proposal is to begin construction in May next year, following the Cricket World Cup. This timing would minimise disruption to major events and operations. Dynamic fan zone: public plaza (centre) with ANZAC memorial that serves as an entry to the Museum of Sport (right) below

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Planning Progresses

Sports Central: improved atmosphere and facilities for Members, public, players and administration

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Opposing captains: Neil Maxwell led the SCG XI to victory over Tim Hodgson's MCC

SCG XI Makes Ashes 6-0 Our Members’ social side, the SCG XI, took to the hallowed turf against their equivalents from the touring Marylebone Cricket Club shortly after the Test victory and continued the summer tradition of beating the Poms. In a 45-over game played on the SCG Test pitch (described by the players as “still having plenty in it”), the hosts put on 6-224 compared to the MCC’s 9-202. The SCG XI was captained by former Sheffield Shield player Neil Maxwell, while his opposite number Tim Hodgson has a few first class games on his CV as an opening batsman for English county side Essex. The result reverses the outcome of the match between these sides played at Lord’s on the SCG XI’s first international tour last year during the English summer.

Despite their loss in the latest encounter, the English tourists will take a few special memories back with them including having faced Stuart MacGill on the SCG. The former Test spinner, and current SCG Trustee, took 3-32 and three catches for the SCG XI to once again prove his credentials on this ground. There were a few special memories off the field as well, with our hospitable social side hosting the inaugural Marylebone Cricket Club Dinner in the Members Pavilion that evening. Players and fellow cricket tragics rubbed shoulders with some Test legends such as Neil Harvey, Alan Davidson, Arthur Morris, Steve Waugh, Brett Lee, Michael Hussey and Mike Gatting. The event acknowledged the proud history of Test matches between Australia and England played at the SCG and Lord’s. Guests were given insight into the rivalry, with the former Test stars

sharing their memories from both famous cricket grounds. Any Trust Member can join the SCG XI for an annual fee of $150. The club captain is Simon Katich but they welcome cricketers of all standards, and play a series of social games each summer − including on the SCG. You don’t have to take to the field at all if your joy from cricket comes from socialising on the sidelines. Following their successful 2013 Ashes tour, the SCG XI is heading to Hong Kong from 13 to 19 April for a series of matches against the Hong Kong and Kowloon cricket clubs (with some social trips to Macau and Happy Valley in between). Player spots are filled but there are some supporter spaces still available. For further information, email Paula Booth on pbooth@scgt.nsw.gov.au

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Xmas Spirit

Unmasked

Members were maintaining their mystery around the poolside Azure cafĂŠ in December with the Stadium Fitness Centre hosting a masquerade Christmas party. Around 350 Members and guests got into the spirit of the theme, donning masks, some casual style and a sprinkling of more elaborate costumes. They were greeted by entertainers on stilts in period Georgian outfits before moving inside to enjoy the champagne, cocktails and gourmet canapĂŠs. Further entertainment included professional break dancers, cover band Soulganic and some special activities arranged for children. Fitness centre and Azure staff would like to thank all the Members who attended and made the night one to remember.

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Massaging Away Stress Fusion is calling on Gold and Platinum Members to make 2014 the year of the massage. Their team of qualified therapists operate the massage services offered at the Stadium Fitness Centre, and are passionate about the benefits of their treatments. Emma Schibrowski, a leading sports and remedial massage therapist who heads the team, lists these benefits as increasing feelings of wellbeing; maximising physical and mental health; improving productivity; and reducing muscular tension, headaches and stress. “When life gets busy, it’s too easy to be off balance and not pay attention to important areas of our lives which can lead to frustration and intense stress,” Emma says. “Massage therapy can help manage and reduce stress as it improves the function of the body's connective tissues and muscles through increasing circulation and releasing accumulated tension. “Massage will help you be the best version of yourself.” Fusion Massage has a variety of therapists to suit all needs, whether that be for stress, rehabilitation or relaxation. They have recently extended their operating hours to make it easier to book after work or on weekends. Fusion also offers Hi-caps so you may be able to claim back the cost with your health fund.

For bookings or further information, call 1300 064 085 or book online at www.fusionmassage.com.au SUMMER 2014

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Get ATG with video extras on your iPad This Summer edition of Around the Grounds is now available for download at the Apple Newsstand on your iPad. The digital version of ATG boasts 30 minutes of video content, including a mix of key SCG and Allianz Stadium sporting milestones, and more recent Member events from the 2014 Ashes Test match. Relive Steve Waugh’s ‘last ball century’ as he describes that famous innings from his final SCG Test, or see if you can spot yourself enjoying the new Members’ Village Green at the Ashes match in January. Additional features like click throughs to our Membership Services to reserve your seat to the Wallabies v France match in June or sharing ATG with friends via social media are all included.

Simply search ‘SCG Trust’ on your Apple Newsstand to download the free magazine. The digital ATG will work on any iPad version. It is currently not available for Android tablets.

Experience more: relive Member events and famous sports moments on the iPad download

SCGTOUR

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Behind the scenes at the SCG and Allianz Stadium

• Visit the SCG and Allianz Stadium field of play • Walk through the famous SCG Members Pavilion • Sit in the dressing rooms where many sporting legends prepared for their finest moments • Visit the SCG Museum

SCGTOUR EXPERIENCE

• Walk down the Allianz Stadium players tunnel

tours oper ate monday to saturday www.sydneycricketground.com.au

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SUMMER 2014

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SUMMER 2014

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Heritage restored: the coat of arms back as it originally appeared

Restoring Our ‘Cross Gules’ While the glamour of our new SCG stands soaked up much of the off-field attention from the January Test, some eagle-eyed spectators might have noticed some significant changes to the coat of arms on the Members Pavilion. It was repainted in the lead-up to the Ashes to better reflect the colours that it most likely had around the era when the pavilion was built. The project was initiated several months earlier by Trust Member, and Treasurer of the Australian Heraldry Society, Geoffrey Gill who was struck by the unusual and “inappropriate” pastel colours of the arms. That sparked further research by fellow society member Stephen Szabo and, with input from the Trust’s heritage consultants and early black and white photographs from the SCG Museum, he concluded that Before repainting: “inappropriate” pastel colours

the original colours would certainly have been a lot bolder. He believes it is likely that the arms were placed on the pavilion when it was built in 1886 to declare allegiance to the colony of NSW. This was just 10 years after the ‘badge’ that appears on the current state flag was adopted and there are similarities with the red cross with stars on a white background. It was decided by consensus that this was the best option to reflect the historic building’s heritage. Nobody is quite sure how the change of

colours over time to the pastel incarnation occurred, but we now have a white shield charged with a red cross on which five white stars are displayed. The crest wreath consists of alternating strips of white and red, above which a golden or yellow sun appears. The kangaroo and emu are depicted in their natural colours. That is formally described or ‘blazoned’ in the language of heraldry as: Argent on a cross Gules five stars of five points Argent. For crest on a wreath Argent and Gules a demi-sun Or. For supporters an emu and kangaroo proper. Red cross: work in progress

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Crowning glory: Hamwicks captain Josh Trappel (with cup) celebrates with teammates in the Members Pavilion dressing room.

Hamwicks’ SCG Dreams Come True Hamilton-Wickham has set a new SCG Country Cup record after winning the coveted knockout competition for a fifth time in January. The Newcastle club side reached the milestone and became the 2013-14 champions after defeating Tamworth by seven wickets on the hallowed SCG turf. The SCG Country Cup is an annual 50over competition, sponsored by the Trust, for teams representing major regional centres across NSW and the ACT, as well as club sides from Newcastle, Illawarra and the Central Coast. This year, 55 teams battled it out for the right to play on the SCG in the final. Hamilton-Wickham won through to the decider after beating Queanbeyan in their semi-final, while Tamworth got there by beating Lake Illawarra. Fifteen years ago Hamilton-Wickham captain Josh Trappel had played on the

SCG in a junior competition and, in the lead-up to this year’s final, he admitted to be thrilled to be making a return.

Mark Dries was the standout performer for Hamilton-Wickham with the ball, taking 5-22 off 10 overs with three maidens.

“It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it,” Trappel said in the week before the game.

Hamilton-Wickham made light work of the chase, reaching the victory target in 33 overs for the loss of just three wickets. Shane Hughes and Ben Balcomb laid the platform with a 67-run opening stand. Balcomb was the first man out for 26, while Hughes fell for 42. Aaron Hazlewood, the brother of NSW and Sydney Sixers fast bowler Josh, took both wickets.

“The chance to just play a game there is like a dream come true but to lead a team out onto the SCG will be something special. It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity.” Tamworth won the toss and elected to bat first in the final, however, they struggled to score runs and were bowled out for 163 in 47 overs. Nick Pearson (38) top scored for Tamworth before being run out while Cal Rowe (34) was their next best with the bat.

Tamworth claimed a third wicket with the score on 100 when Joshua Trappel (13) was run out, however, an unbeaten 67-run fourth wicket stand between Dries (42no) and David Stevenson (27no) saw them home with no further casualties. Dries was named ‘Man of the Match’. SUMMER 2014

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Food offerings vary between flights, cabin and by time of travel and are subject to availability. Qantas Airways Limited ABN 16 009 661 901. SUMMER 2014 50


SCG & Bradman Reunite The Trust has strengthened its ties with the Bradman Foundation, with the two bodies agreeing to a three-year partnership that will deliver benefits for both organisations and Members. Under a management and consultancy agreement, the Trust will support the Bradman Foundation in areas such as sales, marketing, sponsorship and administration. The plans include collaborating on a range of discounts and special offers tailored for Trust Members. The Bradman Foundation is a non-profit charitable trust that works to promote cricket as a valuable cultural and sporting influence within our community. They are perhaps best known for running the

Bradman Museum and International Cricket Hall of Fame in Bowral. Executive Director Rina Hore said the agreement was a significant step forward in expanding the aims of the Foundation. “This is an opportunity for us to broaden our work within the wider cricket family, while tapping into the expertise of the Trust and establishing closer links with their cricket-loving membership,” she said. To celebrate the partnership, the Foundation is offering Trust Members a 10% discount on kids’ residential cricket camps, museum admission, half-day clinics and other craft activities run during 2014 school holidays. See the other story on this page for details.

School Holiday Member Offer Cricket and culture come together in Bowral this year, with the Bradman Foundation preparing special kids’ activities for every school holiday in 2014. Trust Members are offered a 10% discount on these activities which range from six-day residential cricket camps to shorter halfday clinics and museum craft programs. The cricket clinics, to be run on selected mornings and afternoons during all school holidays, are geared for children aged six to 14. Regardless of whether they are beginners, developing, or at junior rep standard, all participants will leave with a greater appreciation of the game. Residential cricket camps will be run for six days in the September and summer holidays. Aimed at cricket-loving boys and girls aged 11 to 17, the camps cater for all levels of ability. The Bradman Centre’s

experienced and passionate coaches provide guidance in technical aspects of the game plus key sport science topics such as nutrition, injury prevention and match fitness. For more information call (02) 4862 1247 or visit www.bradman.com.au For the non-players in your family, the Bradman Centre’s Museum Make & Do program offers a variety of craft activities, including building a display box, making movies, learning how to take better photos and delving into the range of cultures and stories of where cricket is played around the world. Visit www.bradman.com.au or call (02) 4862 1247 for more information. The 10% discount offered to Trust Members also applies to museum admission.

“The Bradman residential camp was Erin’s first time away from the family. She had an absolute blast, so good a time she didn’t want to come home. She loves her cricket and found that she was immersed in it at the camp so was in her element. Erin was revealed as a pretty handy leg spin bowler and has been practising this new found art ever since!” — Parent of camp participant SUMMER 2014

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Gear Up for Footy

It’s that time of the year as the excitement of the summer of cricket starts to fade and our thoughts start to turn to the oval ball games. The Stadium Store is preparing for footy too and has stocked up on some new season items, including the 2014 Sydney Swans Ladies Guernsey. This new addition to the Swans range is first official guernsey from our home clubs to be designed specifically for female fans. It’s available now in sizes 8 to 18 for $115, less if you take advantage of the 10% Members’ discount.

ial NEsW offic

To see the full range of new home team items and the SCG Members’ collection, check out the Stadium Store catalogue included with this edition of ATG. Also featured there is the men’s 2014 Waratahs Charity Jersey (sizes S-4XL) for $160, the Roosters Heritage Polo in men’s sizes XS-3XL for $80 and the SCG Members’ Polo (S – 2XL) for just $50.

n Swa ladiesey! rns gue

Waratahs Charity Jersey

SCG Members’ Polo

Roosters Heritage Polo

Available now in sizes 8 to 18

TS INSIGH

BUSINESS

COMMENT

Members are entitled to a 10% discount off these and most other merchandise items. Simply present your Member or Guest card (Club cards are not eligible) at the Stadium Store in the Allianz Stadium forecourt, or enter the code scg2014member if purchasing online from www.stadiumstore.com.au

OMMENTARY

INSIGH FINANCE NEWS BU ( web + tablet + mobile )

BUSINESS


S

New Function Centre of Sydney Over the summer, you may have sampled the special outlook from the new SCG Member stands. Now you can have that for your next corporate or private event. Bookings are open for hosting non-match day functions in unique facilities like the Brewers Pavilion, the Skyline Terrace with views to the CBD or the new Members Dining Room (the latter two will be ready for events from June). The team at SCG Events can manage all your venue and catering needs, and the standard of their cuisine just received greater recognition with Regional Executive Chef George Fouskarinis joining an elite group as one of only seven Master Chefs in Australia. George received the accolade from the Australian Culinary Federation last December. They described him as “a skilled artisan at the pinnacle of his career”.

To celebrate George’s award, and the opening of the dining areas in the new stands, one lucky Member could win a night with the Master Chef cooking a dinner party in their home. Any Member who hires any SCG or Allianz Stadium venue for a non-match day event happening before 14 November this year will automatically go into the draw for this fantastic prize. You must confirm your booking by 30 April 2014 and there are some other conditions that apply. For full details and booking enquiries, phone (02) 9085 7736 or email functions@SCGevents.com.au

The full range of possibilities for your function extends from the new facilities such as the Brewers Pavilion and Members Dining Room to the traditional Members Pavilion Long Bar, Allianz Stadium Trust Suite and many more. Check out the new SCG Events website www.SCGevents.com.au to explore your options.

George leads the catering team at SCG Events, and trained at the acclaimed Pier restaurant in Rose Bay before going on to work at several European five-star hotels and Michelin-star restaurants.

HT

He is transforming the dining rooms and corporate areas of the SCG and Allianz Stadium with his ‘modern Australian’ style that is a fusion of his classical training and the sourcing of the highest quality local ingredients.

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Master Chef No. 7: SCG’s George Fouskarinis SUMMER 2014

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Farewell ‘Grassy’ By Philip Derriman

Master groundsman: Bill Watt (left) during his SCG days and (above) on a 2006 return visit with former Prime Minister John Howard and current SCG Curator Tom Parker.

In his day Bill Watt was by far Australia’s best-known groundsman, and there was a good reason for that. Watt was a master at his craft. The pitches he prepared were consistently excellent: fast, flat, true and so well nurtured that they were known to grow grass on the fifth day of a Test. When Watt died on September 11 last year, aged 95, the SCG lost probably its most valuable link with the past. Watt had joined the SCG’s ground staff as a 17-yearold in 1935. His boss then, groundsman Bill Stuart, had been working at the SCG since 1888, when the ground was really still in its infancy.

So Watt learned his trade from a man who had helped to lay the very first Bullisoil pitch at the SCG. But Watt had to wait his turn to become the SCG’s head groundsman, a job to which he was finally appointed in 1951. His reputation as a pitch-maker spread rapidly after that. The former Test batsman Sid Barnes wrote that Watt could “make couch sprout on grandpa’s bald pate”. The Australian wicket-keeper Wally Grout gave him the nickname ‘Grassy’, by which Watt was universally known thereafter. In 1958, the MCG invited Watt to become its groundsman, and Watt accepted.

At the MCG, hiring Watt was viewed as a coup. Whenever the Prime Minister, Bob Menzies, a Melburnian, saw Watt there, he would greet him by saying, “Ah, Watt, the fellow we pinched from Sydney”. The MCG’s historian, Keith Dunstan, said Watt was “probably the greatest expert” at making wickets at the MCG since the days of Bert Luttrell, a famed pre-war curator. Watt returned to live in Sydney after retiring and was an occasional visitor to the SCG until several years ago. A walk around the ground with him was always a fascinating lesson in history, because he was able to point out precisely where and how things used to be back then at the SCG. Watt’s wife, Jean, died in 2008. They had then been married almost 70 years. He is survived by a son, Ian, and daughter, Carole.

Ca l l f o r T r u s t ee N o m i n at i o n s There will be two vacancies for Member-elected Trustees available from July.

Nominations open on 21 March and close at noon on 15 April. The new Trustees will begin their roles on 13 July for a four-year term.

There are 15 Trustees who oversee the Trust’s management of the SCG and Allianz Stadium. Thirteen are appointed by the NSW Governor, but two are elected by Members. The Electoral Commissioner for New South Wales conducts these elections.

Further details and nomination forms are available from the commission’s website www.elections.nsw.gov.au; their office on Level 25, 201 Kent Street, Sydney, telephone (02) 9290 5924; or from the Trust office on Level 2, Sheridan Building, Moore Park Road, Moore Park, telephone (02) 9360 6601.

Members, other than junior or honorary Members, can be nominated. They must be nominated by six other such Members. If more than two nominations are received, there will be a postal ballot of Members in May.

For enquiries concerning this election, phone Diana Kosseifi at the NSW Electoral Commission on (02) 9290 5924.

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MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY

08 04 02 14

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Sydney Cricket Ground

Arizona Diamondbacks v LA Dodgers

EVENTS calendar March - August 2014

NSW Waratahs v Rebels

21 Arizona Diamondbacks v Team Australia

21

LA Dodgers v Team Australia

20

Sydney Roosters v Parramatta Eels

15

Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar

14

Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers

Allianz Stadium

NSW Waratahs v Bulls

19

Sydney Swans v Fremantle Dockers

19 Sydney Swans v North Melbourne

Allianz Stadium

Sydney Roosters v Canberra Raiders

Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix

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Allianz Stadium Sydney Swans v Geelong Cats

Sydney Cricket Ground

Sydney Swans v St Kilda

Sydney Cricket Ground

Sydney Swans v GWS Giants

Sydney Cricket Ground

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Sydney Cricket Ground

28

Sydney Cricket Ground

NSW Waratahs v Lions Allianz Stadium

Wallabies v France Allianz Stadium

Sydney Swans v Carlton Sydney Cricket Ground

(TBC)

08-11 16 Sydney Roosters v Gold Coast Titans Allianz Stadium

12

Allianz Stadium

Sydney FC v Perth Glory Allianz Stadium

Sydney Cricket Ground

18 21

13

Sydney Cricket Ground

Sydney Roosters v Newcastle Knights

Allianz Stadium

Sydney Roosters v Wests Tigers

HERITAGE ROUND

09 14

Allianz Stadium

NSW Waratahs v Highlanders Allianz Stadium

(TBC)

South Sydney Rabbitohs v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Sydney Cricket Ground

08-11

06

13

Allianz Stadium

NSW Waratahs v Hurricanes Allianz Stadium

Sydney Roosters v Cronulla Sharks

Sydney Swans v Essendon Sydney Cricket Ground

06

Allianz Stadium

03

St George Illawarra Dragons v South Sydney Rabbitohs Sydney Cricket Ground

05

Allianz Stadium Sydney Roosters v CanterburyBankstown Bulldogs Allianz Stadium

Australia v New Zealand Allianz Stadium

Sydney Swans v Port Adelaide Sydney Cricket Ground

05

Allianz Stadium

(TBC)

01-04 01 Sydney Roosters v St George Illawarra Dragons Allianz Stadium

0

AUGUST

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Sydney Roosters v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles

Allianz Stadium

ANZAC CUP

Sydney Roosters v Penrith Panthers

Allianz Stadium

St George Illawarra Dragons v Sydney Roosters

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19

Allianz Stadium

(TBC)

28-01

Sydney Roosters v Melbourne Storm Allianz Stadium


Around the Grounds Summer 2014  

Around the Grounds Members Magazine – Summer Edition