Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney
The Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is a sports stadium in Sydney in Australia. It is used for Australian football, Test cricket, One Day International cricket, some rugby league and rugby union matches and is the home ground for the New South Wales Blues cricket team and the Sydney Swans of the Australian Football League. It is owned and operated by the SCG Trust that also manages the Sydney Football Stadium located next door.
In 1811, the Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, established the second Sydney Common, about one-and-a-half miles wide and extending south from South Head Rd (now Oxford St) to where Randwick Racecourse is today. Part sandhills, part swamp and situated on the south-eastern fringe of the city, it was used as a rubbish dump in the 1850s and not regarded as an ideal place for sport. In 1851, part of the Sydney Common south of Victoria Barracks was granted to the British Army for use as a garden and cricket ground for the soldiers. Its first user was the 11th North Devonshire Regiment which flattened and graded the southern part of the rifle range adjacent to the Barracks.
In the next couple of years, the teams from Victoria Barracks combined themselves into a more permanent organisation and called themselves the Garrison Club. The ground therefore became known as the Garrison Ground when it was first opened in February 1854.
Up until that time Hyde Park had been the main sporting and racing ground in the colony but when it was dedicated as public gardens in 1856 city cricketers and footballers had to find somewhere else to play.
In the late 1860s another part of the Sydney Common, the area west of the Garrison Ground to the then Dowling Street, was opened for public recreation. It was named Moore Park after the Mayor of Sydney, Charles Moore, who planted a number of Moreton Bay Fig trees which exist to this day. As well as the location of Sydney's first zoo, Moore Park was a regular venue for games between Sydney rugby clubs Sydney University and the Wallaroos. Sydney at the time was a small, dense city and best navigated on foot and Moore Park was on the outskirts. It was not liked so much by cricketers because it was too far from the city.
When the commander of the Sydney garrison, Lieutenant-Colonel John Richardson, aligned his soldiers to the East Sydney Cricket Club, the Garrison Ground became known as the Civil and Military Ground. In 1870 British troops left Victoria barracks and the future of the Civil and Military Ground became uncertain. However, with the closure of the Albert Ground in the 1870s, the NSW Cricket Association (NSWCA) began regular use of the Civil and Military Ground.
In 1875 the NSW Government began to upgrade the ground. Despite efforts by Victoria Barracks and then the Carlingford, Redfern, Fitzroy and Albert cricket clubs to take control, the then president of the NSWCA, Richard Driver (after whom Driver Avenue outside the ground is named), persuaded the government to let the NSWCA look after the ground's administration. In 1876, the ground was dedicated by Governor Sir Hercules Robinson.
The NSWCA had influential supporters. Driver himself was a prominent MP and solicitor for the City of Sydney Council. The Minister for Lands, Thomas Garrett, was also supportive; his son was about to break into the colonial side. It is hardly surprising therefore that within a couple of years of the NSWCA taking control of the ground, the governor, Sir Hercules Robinson, appointed Driver himself, William W. Stephen and Phillip Sheridan (after whom a grandstand was named), the first trustees. Two trustees were appointed by the government and one by the NSWCA. The close relationship between the Trust and the NSWCA is evidenced by the fact that they pooled funds for the next six years. The military's link with the ground was finally severed when John Richardson and the Sydney garrison went to fight in the Sudan. The trustees then took the opportunity to rename the ground the Association Ground
In 1883 the most prominent trustee, Sheridan, regarding the ground as the responsibility of the trustees, began to act independently of the NSWCA, resulting in the NSWCA losing control of the ground. Over the next century there was constant conflict between the Trust and the NSWCA over whether other sports such as rugby, tennis and cycling, the organisers of which were all keen to use the venue, had access to it. One conflict in 1904, over the Trust's plan to hold a cycling event which clashed with a cricket match, ended up in court. The NSWCA's influence was eventually reduced even further over the years due to changes in the way the State Government appointed trustees.
By the time of the first Sydney cricket test in February 1882, the ground could boast two grandstands; the Brewongle Stand at the southern end and the original Members' Stand, which had been built in 1878 in the north west corner where the current Members' Stand now sits. On opposite sides of the ground to the stands two spectator mounds were built. They became known as The Hill and the Paddington Hill. In 1886, the Members' Pavilion was rebuilt at a cost of £6625. Membership was levied at two guineas.
Between 1888 and 1890 a loop in the tram line, which ran down Randwick Road (now Anzac Parade), was built to service the Ground and the Pastoral and Agricultural Society Ground (later the RAS Showgrounds and now Fox Studios) next door.
In 1894 the ground finally received its modern name, the Sydney Cricket Ground, which was followed by the opening of the Hill Stand, situated between The Hill and the Paddington Hill. It became known as the Bob Stand during the Depression years because it cost one shilling (a bob) to enter.
The first SCG scoreboard was built in the two weeks leading up to the 1895-1896 inter-colonial match between New South Wales and Victoria. Although it was Sheridan's idea, the design was Ned Gregory's who believed that English scoreboards were inadequate. Requiring two men to operate it, the new scoreboard was hailed as one of the wonders of the cricket world. Boards with players' names on them were placed in different slits alongside scrolls of canvas with numbers painted on them which were rolled up and down to show the changing score. Under the scoreboard was a refreshment stall which sold, among other things, oysters.
In 1896 the Ladies' Stand was opened, along with a concrete cycling track which circled the inside of the ground. One of the carpenters who built the formwork for the track was George Bradman, father of Don Bradman. In 1898 floodlights were built over the cycling track so that night events could be held. In 1904 the scoreboard was rebuilt at the top of The Hill and in 1909 the Sheridan Stand, named after Phil Sheridan, was opened at the southern end, replacing the earlier Smokers' Stand.
In the period up to World War I the SCG was used for a wide variety of sports including athletics, tennis, baseball, football and cycling. The cycling track however was removed in 1920. In 1924 Ned Gregory's scoreboard was closed and the concrete scoreboard at the back of the Hill opened.
During the 1920s and 1930s crowds packed into the SCG to see Don Bradman play for New South Wales and Australia. Many of the huge gate takings that Bradman brought in for the NSWCA were spent on developing the ground. A large new stand was built at the northern end in two stages. It replaced the Northern Stand and was intended to also replace the Members' and Ladies' Stands. The first stage, begun while Bradman was still playing for New South Wales, was opened in 1936 at a cost of £90,000 and named the ‘M.A. Noble Stand' after the great Australian captain Monty Noble. The second stage, completed in 1973 at a cost of $2 million, was named the Bradman Stand after the great man himself.
Further redevelopment of the ground began in 1978 with the advent of World Series Cricket and games played at night. When media giant Kerry Packer failed to obtain the television broadcast rights for cricket, he bought the top 30-40 players in the world and staged his own competition, World Series Cricket (WSC).
Packer applied to use the SCG for WSC in 1977 but the SCG Trust, which administered the ground, refused. To please the powerful Packer, the NSW Labor Government under Premier Neville Wran, simply amended the Sydney Sports Ground and Cricket Ground Act. This removed the Trust's power to decide who played at the SCG and the NSWCA's traditional right over the ground. A new Trust was established with 12 members appointed by the Government and two elected by SCG members. The new Trust had no WSC opponents, and although legal action by the NSWCA stopped WSC games being played at the SCG in 1977, they were played there in 1978.
In the years since WSC the character of the SCG has somewhat changed. Six light towers were built in 1978 at a cost of $1.2 million so that cricket could be played at night, and two huge new stands were constructed at the southern end of the ground. The new Brewongle Stand was built on the site of the old Brewongle Stand at a cost $8.9 million and opened in 1980. The Churchill Stand, named after rugby league legend Clive Churchill, replaced the Sheridan Stand at a cost of $8.2 million and was opened in 1986.
The old concrete scoreboard was closed in 1983 and a new electronic board erected above The Hill. This board allowed the crowd to see video replays and provided more scope for advertising.
The Bob Stand has also gone, to North Sydney Oval, replaced by the Bill O'Reilly Stand. This stand was originally named the Pat Hills Stand, after the NSW Labor Government Minister and SCG Trust member, when it was opened in 1984. However, the incoming State Liberal Government changed the name to the more appropriate O'Reilly Stand after the legendary spin bowler.
The Hill also has gone but the reason for that is a little harder to pin. Up until the 1990s the Hill was a grassy slope without seating. It was the 'outer ground' costing the least to get in and attracting working class patronage. The invention of the beer can and the portable cooler in the 1960s increased alcohol consumption at cricket matches which in turn fuelled bad crowd behaviour. In the 1970s the advent of limited overs games held partially at night attracted a different kind of crowd to cricket at the SCG. They were less interested in the subtleties of the game and more in the excitement and spectacle. Brawling and excessive drinking were features of the crowd on the Hill at this time. Even the introduction of individual seating on the Hill failed to completely eradicate crowd misbehaviour. Stricter measures such as banning alcohol were later implemented with greater success.
Further developments have taken place in more recent years with the internal reconstruction of the M.A. Noble stand completed in 1994 and the opening of the NSW Cricket Centre in 1997. This facility includes indoor training wickets and administrative offices for Cricket NSW (formerly NSW Cricket Association). In 1999 the original electronic scoreboard was replaced by a new higher-definition video screen. In the 21st Century the Hill has been completely redeveloped with a new 12,000 seat Victor Trumper Stand, completed in 2008. This stand brings the SCG's capacity to 46,000 spectators.
The SCG Trust has announced the MA Noble, Bradman and Dally Messenger Stands will be demolished and rebuilt before the 2015 Cricket World Cup, it will increase ground capacity to 48,000 spectators. Finally after the 2015 Cricket World Cup, the Trust is keen to redevelop the Bill O'Reilly stand, further increasing the grounds capacity. The ground will be a near complete modern "bowl" stadium with the exception of the two heritage listed Members and Ladies stands.
Sydney Cricket Ground Trust
The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust (popularly known as the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust) is an organisation that operates several sporting facilities in Sydney, Australia. The SCG Trust operates the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sydney Football Stadium at Moore Park in eastern Sydney. In mid-2008, its head office The Sheridan Building is opened, making it the third building to erect in the Gold Members Car Park, alongside the Headquarters of Sydney Roosters and New South Wales Rugby Union. Soon after it opened Sydney FC relocated their Headquarters inside the Sheridan Building. The Sydney Swans headquarters are located in the SCG accessible from Driver Avenue. In total, there are 4 different clubs from 4 different codes of sport with their headquarters reside at the ground.
The Trust has commissioned 10 bronze sculpture statues to be placed around the grounds of the SCG and SFS. As of 2010 seven statues have been unveiled.
The first statue commissioned was of bowler Richie Benaud and was unveiled on 4 January 2008 by Benaud himself. Rugby League player Dally Messenger was the next recipient of a statue which was unveiled on 20 March 2008 outside of the SFS. A statue of the fast bowler Fred Spofforth was unveiled a year after the first statue on 5 January 2009. Rugby Union and Rugby League player Trevor Allan was the next to be unveiled on 5 June 2009 followed by the Australian Rules Football player Paul Roos on 29 August 2009. The next cricketer to be immortalised was batsman Stan McCabe unveiled on 5 January 2010. In 2010 a bronze statue of Reg Gasnier was unveiled as the seventh inside the SCG precinct as part of the Basil Sellers Sports Sculpture project.
Aside from the statues honouring sporting champions a statue of famous spectator Yabba was unveiled on 7 December 2009. He is the only statue placed inside the grounds taking over two seats on the concourse in front of the new Victor Trumper stand.
In 1854 the Garrison Club defeated the Royal Victoria Club in the first recorded cricket match to be played at what was then the Garrison Ground. Although major games were played at the Domain, the Garrison Ground was used for practice by the NSW cricket team in 1860 and by the Victorian team in 1861 the before inter-colonial matches in those years.
Cricket was first played in Australia in Sydney's Hyde Park in 1803. However, up until the appointment of trustees to look after the SCG in the late 1870s, several different grounds had been used for major matches. The Domain was first used for inter-colonial games and then the Albert Ground in Redfern but in time both became unavailable, the Domain because of its poor condition and because it could not be fenced in and the Albert Ground because it closed in the late 1870s.
After the closure of the Albert Ground the New South Wales Cricket Association began using the Association Ground. The first major game played there was the final of the Civil Service Challenge Cup on 25 October 1877, between the New South Wales Government Printing Office and the Audit Office, and the first first-class match was the inter-colonial game, New South Wales against Victoria, in February 1878. During the 1878-79 season Lord Harris' England team toured Australia. The feature of the tourists game against New South Wales at the SCG in 1879 was a riot sparked apparently when the crowd disagreed with an umpiring decision by George Coulthard that went against the locals. Lord Harris believed the invasion of the ground by about 2000 spectators was actually started by bookmakers in the stand. One of the umpires for the match was Edmund Barton, later to become Australia's first Prime Minister.
By the time the first test was played at the SCG between 17 February and 21 February 1882 the ground was in fine condition. The NSWCA had appointed Ned Gregory as curator and given him a cottage next to the ground for him and his family. Australia won that game by overhauling England's scores of 133 and 232 with scores of 197 and 5 for 169.
Don Bradman made his first visit to the ground in the 1920-21 season to watch the Fifth Test of the Australia and England series. In that game Charlie Macartney scored 170 to help seal a win for Australia.
Bradman scored the highest ever first-class innings of 452 at the SCG for New South Wales against Queensland in 1928-29. This record was surpassed by Hanif Mohammad who scored 499 run out. It was further bettered by the West Indian Brian Lara who scored 501 in 1994.
The 1928-29 season was a big one for cricket. On 15 December, the largest ever crowd to attend a cricket match at the SCG, 58,446, saw Australia and England play. With changes to the ground seating the record is unlikely to be beaten.
In the last test of the 1970-71 English tour, England fast bowler John Snow struck Australian spinner and tailender Terry Jenner on the head with a bouncer. The Sydney crowd let Snow and the English know they were not happy with his behaviour and when Snow took up his fielding position on the fence a spectator spoke to him and grabbed him by the shirt. Cans were thrown onto the field and England captain Ray Illingworth took his team from the ground.
The first women's club cricket match was held at the SCG in 1886 when the Fernleas played the Siroccos. Although cricket was not seen as an appropriate game for women, women's cricket associations were formed in Victoria in 1905 and other states in the 1920s and 1930s.
Night cricket came to the SCG in 1978 with the first World Series Cricket match to be played at the SCG on 28 November that year. A crowd of 50,000 packed the ground.
Rugby league football was first played at the SCG on 22 June 1910 between Australia and New Zealand.
Before the Sydney Football Stadium was built the New South Wales Rugby Football League premiership grand final was always played at the SCG. The ground was first used by the NSWRFL in 1913, and has hosted over 1,100 first grade games - more than any other ground. The SCG is often used for special rugby league heritage matches, both NRL and Internationals matches. When the ground was first used for rugby league fixtures in 1913, the Trust only gave players access to dressing sheds in the Sheridan Stand and did not allow use of the rooms in the Member's Stand. This rule was relaxed in 1918.
In 1920 England toured for the first time since World War I and huge crowds attended their games. The first match of the tour was at the SCG against Metropolis in front of nearly 68,000 spectators. Australia won the first Test in Brisbane and in the second Test at the SCG on 3 July the Australians sealed the series scoring five tries to win 21-8 and secure the Rugby League Ashes for the first time at home.
The attendance record for a rugby league match in Australia was broken in 1932 when 70,204 people saw Australia play England at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It was the first Test and it was in this game that the Australians first wore the green jersey with a double gold ‘V', which they have been wearing ever since. The British side boasted one of the great rugby league backlines with Sullivan, Smith, Ellaby, Brogden and Atkinson. The gates of the SCG had to be closed to prevent another 15,000 from entering. Australia lost the game 8-6. The second game was the famous ‘Battle of Brisbane' Test, which Australia won. In the third Test back at the SCG Australia lead 11-3 until late in the game. Incredibly, GB scored three quick tries to snatch the game (18-13) and the series.
The next tour by GB was in 1946 , The "Indomitables" tour. The first test played on the 17th June was an 8 - 8 draw , the opening try of the series was scored by the legendary Frank Whitcombe for the tourists, in front of a crowd of 64,527. Great Britain went on to win the Ashe's. In 1950 Australia had not won a series against the team GB for 30 years but this time there was a big change. Britain had won the first Test and Australia the second, which made the third SCG Test the decider. Unfortunately, the tour coincided with a record amount of rain and by the time the teams arrived the SCG was a mud heap. Forty tonnes of soil were brought in and spread over the surface to try and dry it out. Tied 2-2 at half time, Australia scored the only try of the match late in the second half when winger Ron Roberts crossed in the corner to seal the win. At the end of the game the crowd of over 47,000 jumped the fence and invaded the field.
On 18 September 1965, the largest ever crowd at the SCG, 78,056, saw St George beat South Sydney 12-8 in the NSWRFL grand final. This was also the largest rugby league crowd in Australia until 1994. The ground also hosted the 1968 Rugby League World Cup final.
One of the most courageous efforts at the SCG was John Sattler's performance in the 1970 grand final between South Sydney and Manly-Warringah. In the first ten minutes of the game South's captain Sattler had his jaw broken by a punch from a Manly forward. Sattler went down but pulled himself up on team mate Mike Cleary asking Cleary to help him so that the other players would not know he was hurt. In an act of supreme courage Sattler played on, refusing treatment at half time, to lead Souths to a 23-12 win. It was not until well after the game that he went to hospital. The Australian side to tour Britain was selected that night and, but for his injury, Sattler would have been picked as captain.
In 1975, in one of the most memorable grand finals ever, the local rugby league club team, the Eastern Suburbs Roosters, defeated the St George Dragons 38-0 to win the premiership. The Eastern Suburbs team is considered one of the best sides ever assembled and the eight tries to nil scoreline remained a record winning margin in a grand final until the 2008 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles vs Melbourne Storm grand final, where Manly won 40-0. However, the game was famous for reasons other than the scoreline. St George's Graeme Langlands played with a misdirected painkiller that prevented him from playing anywhere near his best. Easts were without two of their stars: Mark Harris and Russell Fairfax, and coach Jack Gibson gambled on an unknown player to help fill the void - John Rheinberger - who played in his first and last game in first grade in the 1975 grand final. Leading by only 5-0 at half-time, the Roosters scored an avalanche of tries after the interval to humiliate the Dragons. Earlier in the same season, the Jack Gibson coached Roosters recorded the longest winning streak of any first grade rugby league club - 19 matches. It was the Eastern Suburbs Roosters' eleventh premiership victory and their second in succession.
In 1981, another memorable and emotional rugby league grand final was played at the SCG. Since joining the Sydney Premiership in 1947 the Parramatta club had not won a grand final. In 1976 and 1977 it had suffered consecutive losses, first to Manly and then St George in the first replayed grand final. In 1981, the Eels 'dream team', comprising internationals Ray Price, Mick Cronin, Peter Sterling, Brett Kenny, Steve Ella and Eric Grothe outscored Newtown four tries to three to win 20-11 and secure their first premiership. Financial pressures at the Newtown club would result in the Jets competing in the New South Wales Rugby League first grade competition for only two seasons following their 1981 grand final appearance.
The ground lost the Grand Final and numerous games to the Sydney Football Stadium in 1988. Even so the ground continues to host occasional National Rugby League matches. and the 2008 ANZAC Test against New Zealand.
In 1885 the first inter-colonial tennis match was held at the SCG when Victoria played New South Wales although forms of the game were no doubt played in Australia from its colonial beginnings. All colonies of Australia were well established when the final versions of the rules of the game were codified by the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1875 and by the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in 1877 when it held its first tournament at Wimbledon.
Tennis was regularly played at the SCG in the early days. The Sydney tournament which was to become the New South Wales Open, was first played at the SCG in 1885 before moving to the NSW Lawn Tennis Club's courts at Double Bay, then to White City and later to the Olympic Tennis Centre at Homebush Bay.
In 1898, Sydney cycle firm, Gavin Gibson Ltd, imported seven motorised tricycles produced by Count Jules-Albert de Dion and powered by one cylinder petrol engines designed by his partner Georges Bouton. On the evening of 1 January 1901, these seven machines raced around the concrete cycle track which ringed the inside of the SCG in those days to compete in Australia's first ever motor race.
The SCG was the main stadium for the 1938 British Empire Games which were tied into the State's sesqi-centenary celebrations. Perhaps because of this the Federal Government provided no money and only £10,000 came from the State Government to cover the organising committee's administrative costs. The budget was therefore, very tight and using the existing SCG was one way of making ends meet. Cyclist Edgar "Dunc" Gray led the teams onto the ground and athletes ran on a makeshift grass track.
Club rugby was first played at the then Civil and Military Ground as early as 1870, and the first inter-colonial game was played there in 1882. NSW beat Queensland 28-4. From June 1911 the NSW Rugby League had exclusive use of the SCG, as well as the Sydney Sports Ground and the Sydney Showground, preventing rugby union games from being played there. Over the years the SCG hosted 71 rugby union tests before Sydney international matches were moved first to Waratah Rugby Park (Concord Oval), then the Sydney Football Stadium and later Stadium Australia. The largest ever crowd to watch a rugby union match at the SCG was 49,327 who saw NSW played New Zealand on 13 July 1907.
Of those 71 tests none could have been more dramatic than the game against the South African Springboks on 7 August 1971. Marred by anti-apartheid protests, field invasions and objects being thrown onto the ground and halted several times to removed golf balls and protestors it was won by South Africa who went through the tour undefeated.
The SCG has been both a happy and unhappy hunting ground for Australian rugby union. One of the worst incidents to occur there was the sad demise of Ken Catchpole's international career. Robbed of a glorious retirement, his career ended in a disgraceful scandal. Australia was playing the New Zealand All Blacks and while Catchpole was trapped on the bottom of a ruck New Zealander second rower, Colin Meads, tried to drag him out by one leg, splitting him like a wishbone. Australia, although well beaten on this occasion, was well served by international-standard halfbacks and 20-year-old John Hipwell ran on for his first test as Catchpole was carried off. It was a sad end to an illustrious career.
Dramatic though that game was, no test could have been as important in the development of Australian Rugby Union than the game against the touring Welsh team in 1978.
The 1978 Welsh had arrived in Australia as (the then) Five Nations Champions, Triple Crown winners, the best rugby union team in the world but they were a sad and sorry bunch by the time they got to Sydney for the last game of the tour, the second test. The team was decimated by injuries and in two earlier tour games had suffered a last minute loss to Sydney and a humiliating defeat midweek to the Australian Capital Territory.
Rumours abounded that the Welsh were ready for a big 'get square' with Australian prop Steve Finnane, the so-called 'enforcer' of the Australian team. Finnane and other senior members of the team had vowed to avenge the defeat of the Australians by the Welsh on their last tour of the UK several years before. The SCG crowd didn't have long to wait because after the very first scrum Welsh prop Graham Price came out holding his bloodied jaw, the victim of a Finnane punch. Price had bored in on Finnane, his opposite number in the front row and Finnane reacted.
After Price left the field and the game continued for a short while until the Welsh, using a pre-determined code word, sparked an all-in-brawl. Wales lost the test and the two-test series.
In 1979 there was a one-off game against the All Blacks at the SCG. The kicking of a young five-eighth named Tony Melrose closed out the New Zealanders and Australia won a try-less game 12-6, to take back the Bledisloe Cup for the first time since 1949. The following year the Australians showed it was no fluke by beating New Zealand two tests to one in Australia to successfully defend the trophy for the first time.
Australian Rules Football
Although rugby had first been played at the Civil and Military Ground in the 1870s, the first inter-colonial football match to be played there was Australian Rules football on 6 August 1881 between NSW and Victoria.
Essendon and Melbourne played a premiership match at Moore Park in 1904 in front of the Governor General and Governor of NSW. Melbourne won and both teams had to return home by boat down the coast.
In the subsequent decades the ground was rarely used for Australian Rules except for the occasional exhibition match or interstate football carnival.
Australian Rules was not to make regular come back to the SCG for another hundred years when in 1982 the South Melbourne Club relocated to Sydney to make the SCG its home ground.
South Melbourne was formed in 1867, a foundation member of the first Australian rules competition the Victorian Football Association (VFA) and also its later replacement the Victorian Football League (VFL). The club won five premierships with the VFA up to 1890 and four more in the VFL in the first half of the 20th Century. Lack of success in the post-war years left them ripe for relocation when the game's administrators were looking to expand the competition into other states. In 1982 South Melbourne moved to Sydney and the SCG to become the Sydney Swans.
Despite their shaky financial situation the Swans were the flavour of Sydney in the early years. Attendances rose and Swans matches at the SCG were the place to be seen, rivaling Sydney's main winter sport, rugby league. In the late 1980s Sydney Rules Ltd, the company which ran the licence for the club, recorded a profit of $600,000. However, when the stock market crashed in October 1987, the Swans went with it. The Swans managed to hold on and eventually gained a firmer foothold in Sydney.
Perhaps the Swans' greatest moment at the SCG was the 1996 preliminary final. With only minutes to go and level with opponents Essendon in front of a sell-out crowd, ageing full forward Tony Lockett put through a behind from 50 m to give them a one point win and their first grand final berth in decades. The Sydney crowds flocked to see the Swans when they were winning and were strengthened by Rugby League being at its lowest point during split ARL and Super League competitions in 1997. On 30 August 1997, the largest ever crowd to watch an Australian Rules game at the SCG, 46,168, came to see the Swans play Geelong - a far cry from the 5,272 that turned up to a game against the Brisbane Bears just 7 years before - but the match was lost to Geelong by 10 points. In 1999, the SCG witnessed its only modern-day pitch invasion when legendary full-forward Tony Lockett kicked the record-breaking 1300th goal against Collingwood in round 10.
The SCG is the shortest field that is used for AFL games, at 153 metres long. However, Geelong's Skilled Stadium is narrower.
The SCG has been a popular arena for a whole range of sports before the turn of the 20th century including cricket, tennis, baseball, soccer and cycling with athletics being staged there as early as 1879. On New Year's Day, 1880, possibly some of the most exotic sports ever seen at the SCG were staged when the 12th Annual Highlands Games was held. Organised by the Scottish community events included tossing the caber, putting the stone and other traditional Highland sports as well as Highland dancing. A crowd of 5000 attended. On 5 May 1964, 51,566 soccer fans came to the SCG to see NSW take on English club Everton F.C.. For the first time in the history of the A-League, the SCG will hold a match between Sydney FC and North Queensland Fury, as the Sydney Football Stadium next door is holding a Rugby League match.
The Michael Jackson HIStory tour in 1996 was a great show in the history of pop music: The DVD HIStory Tour Michael Jackson Live in Sydney
The live DVD of the Girlie Show Tour by Madonna, was recorded at the stadium in 1993.
U.S punk rock band Green Day performed two shows of their American Idiot World Tour at the stadium in December 2005
Charity concert Wave Aid was held in early 2005, to raise money for the 2004 Asian Tsunami relief.
The Sound Relief concert was held on 14 March 2009.
The SCG is also mentioned in the song "Test Match Special", by the Duckworth Lewis Method.
In its present configuration, the SCG is a playing field surrounded by a collection of separate grandstand structures. From the northern end, clockwise, they are:
- M. A. Noble Stand - Built 1936 - Members seating, also used for general public admission during events with low attendance.
- Bradman Stand - Built 1973 - Public reserved seating.
- Dally Messenger Stand - General admission.
- Bill O'Reilly Stand (previously named Pat Hills Stand) - Built 1984 - Corporate boxes and public reserved seating.
- Victor Trumper Stand - Constructed in 2007/2008, replaced Yabba's Hill and Doug Walters Stand, corporate boxes and public reserved seating.
- Clive Churchill Stand - Built 1986 - Corporate boxes and public reserved seating.
- Brewongle Stand - Built 1980 - Corporate boxes and public reserved seating.
- Ladies' Stand - Built 1896 - Members seating, also used for general public admission during events with low attendance.
- Members' Stand - Built 1878 - Members seating.
Seating capacity and other records
- Seating Capacity: 46,000 
- Largest rugby league match attendance: 78,056 (St George v South Sydney, 18 September 1965)
- Largest cricket match attendance: 58,446 (Australia v England, 15 December 1928)
- Largest soccer match attendance: 51,566 (NSW v Everton, 2 May 1964)
- Largest rugby union match attendance: 49,327 (NSW v New Zealand, 13 July 1907)
- Largest Australian rules football match attendance: 46,168 (Sydney v Geelong, 30 August 1997)
- Largest concert attendance: 45,191 (WaveAid benefit concert, 29 January 2005)
- History of Test cricket (to 1883)
- History of Test cricket (1884 to 1889)
- History of Test cricket (1890 to 1900)
- List of Test cricket grounds
- Melbourne Cricket Ground
- [[List of international cricket centuries at lahore