To celebrate our extended tenure with premier sporting and entertainment venue, Suncorp Stadium, we thought we’d take a look back at its history, and transition from a burial ground to a popular, world-class stadium. In this month’s blog, we’ll look at some of the stadium’s historic highlights and how it became the venue that it is today.
History of the Venue
Suncorp Stadium, traditionally named Lang Park, is the home of Rugby League in Queensland. However, whilst thousands flood through the event gates every weekend, many would not know of the grounds’ interesting and comprehensive history.
The site on which Suncorp Stadium stands was originally the North Brisbane Burial grounds – a principal place of burial for Brisbane residents until 1875. Over the years, the grounds were used as a religious site for churches, as well as a recreational park, long before Suncorp Stadium came to be. CAP Security Services has been contracted at the venue since 1997. We’ve summarised the history of the grounds below:
1840 – 1875: North Brisbane Burial Ground was established and founded by Reverend John Dunmore Lang, an influential figure in early Brisbane. The cemetery was closed in 1875 and the area was taken over by varying denominational bodies who created churches on the site.
1911: Padding Cemeteries Act (1911) was introduced and the site was redeveloped for recreational purposes. Site was declared the John Brown Oval and used for cycling, athletics and soccer.
1914: Oval was fenced off and declared a public recreation reserve, named Lang Park in memory of original cemetery founder, Reverend Lang.
1954: Brisbane City Council granted a 21 year lease of the site to Queensland Rugby League (QRL).
1957: Lang Park became headquarters for the QRL. Lang Park was now the first major Australian Stadium driven by the rugby league establishment.
1962: Lang Park Trust was established. All activities and improvements were to be administered by the trust. This allowed for the expansion of the stadium to include the construction of three stands; Frank Burke Stand (1962), Ron McAuliffe Stand (1975) and the Western Grandstand (1994).
1962-1994: Lang Park hosted interstate and international rugby league matches, including the inaugural State of Origin match in 1980.
1994: The stadium’s name was changed to Suncorp Stadium, when naming sponsorship was obtained by Queensland financier, Suncorp-Metway Limited.
1997: CAP Security Services awarded tender for Suncorp Stadium.
2001: Redevelopment of the stadium commenced.
Nowadays, the grounds have transformed into a state-of-the-art stadium that is unarguably one of Australia’s, if not the world’s, leading rectangular stadiums, a structure that allows for greater intimacy and involvement for fans.
The major $280 million redevelopment of the stadium was completed in 2003. Prior to redevelopment, Lang Park had capacity of just over 40,000 with two main grandstands. It was converted into a 52,500 seater stadium with 2,196 fine dining spaces, 32 ticket sale windows, 51 turnstiles and 2 large video screens. The Western Grandstand was the only grandstand that avoided demolition in the redevelopment process.
The stadium has been host to a variety of both sporting and entertainment events over the years – including climatic State of Origin deciders, and concert venues for musical superstars including Robbie Williams, The Police, U2, Bon Jovi and most recently, Taylor Swift. Although the stadium has been the traditional home of rugby league in Queensland, it has also become the state’s premier venue for soccer as well as rugby union.
Suncorp has had some amazing highlights over the years. In our 19 years with the Stadium, CAP Security Services has witnessed astonishing wins, gut-wrenching losses, and some stellar musical performances.
The highest record of crowd attendance for a football game was in 2015, for the State of Origin: QLD v NSW game in July with 52,500 attendees.
Suncorp Stadium was also home to an incredible sell-out crowd of 104,992 people when it hosted its first music concert with international superstar, Robbie Williams in 2006. This attendance number out-ranks fans at U2 (44, 352) One Direction (32,889), Ed Sheeran (46,135) and Taylor Swift (46,139).
The Stadium continues to be the premier choice for sporting and entertainment events. Every weekend, you’ll see the venue teeming with proud and excited fans, cheering on their favourite teams.
This year, Suncorp Stadium will continue to showcase national and statewide sport, hosting NRL premiership games, Super Rugby showdowns and International Rugby Union matches.
CAP Security Services is proud of the partnership that has formed and will continue to provide the highest quality of crowd control and security services.