July 25, 2014 by Joanne T Ferguson
Did I mention the Adelaide Oval’s view taken in behind the scoreboard almost took my breath away?
Courtesy of Adelaide Oval, I was able to experience this wonderful HIGHLY RECOMMENDED “behind the scenes” tour that left me gobsmacked (utterly astounded) and “WOW’ed!”; a sentiment that was shared by the group throughout the tour!
The group and I agreed, Adelaide oval made everyone feel PROUD to be a South Aussie; even interstate visitors for the day!
Adelaidians and tourists to our great state were welcomed alike by our “very warm and friendly,” “very knowledgeable” volunteer tour guide John.
I don’t know about you, but I love SEEING someone’s passion for what they do shine through!
There was a BUZZ of soccer excitement as our Adelaide United FC team is hosting La Liga, Spain’s powerhouse Málaga in an Exhibition Match as part of the 2014 LFP World Club Challenge; Málaga was practicing throughout our tour!
This tour appeals to children of all ages, but due to the area covered, one needs to wear comfortable shoes and be able to use escalators, elevators and climb stairs!
Adelaide oval is one of Australia’s and certainly Adelaide premier sport and entertainment venue for more than 140 years.
Did I mention 30,000 people gathered on July 11th, 1901 to greet the Duke and Duchess of York?
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip visited the Adelaide Oval in March 1954 meeting Sir Donald Bradman!
In 2009, the state government “committed $535 million to redevelop the oval” making it internationally world class!
John shared the stadium has a capacity of 53,500; which include both seating and standing options.
Each of the stands are named after South Australia’s greatest cricket and football names including cricket’s Sir Donald Bradman and The Chappell Stand after the South Australian cricketing brothers Ian, Trevor and Greg to name a few!
I LOVED seeing the importance (as part of the redevelopment) of “preserving and protecting” the oval’s history and its beauty; uniquely incorporating parts of the old oval with the new, such as these Victor Richardson gates.
Victor Richardson made his test debut in 1924, playing footy for the Sturt Football Club from 1915 – 1927; one of his many sporting achievements.
I S-Q-U-E-A-L-E-D with delight when I found out we were invited to climb the stairs and enjoy the technology, stories and the view!
I fell in love with the scoreboard back in 1997 when I was privileged to get a “sneak peek” view!
The scoreboard was designed by South Australian architect Kenneth Milne and was erected in 1911!
Everything is still done the old fashioned way with hand cranked pulleys, opening wooden flaps, inserting number boards for the score!
Then, there is this modern (not! lol ) technology which a bloke (Aussie lingo for man) views out the wooden slats with a binoculars, then presses the button with the batter’s name to let people know who is batting!
Then, “someone” was invited to have “a turn and play” once again doing the same thing from that 1997 day!
Throughout the many levels, our group was escorted through a “treasure trove” of sporting memorabilia including trophies, signed footballs, guernseys, cricket bats and club history!
Aussies LOVE our footy and everyone enjoys “taking the mickey” (Aussie lingo for making fun in a fun sort of way) out of each other in showing one’s true colors; the club they are PASSIONATE about barracking (cheering) for!
Honestly, I have just left, but can’t wait to experience the tour again!
Perhaps in Spring when the tour changes to suit the change in weather and the cricket, John suggested to the group and me!
John shared there were 32 Corporate boxes which seat 18 people; as well as costs and advertising packages were available!
On the third level John explained about the Audi Club, a first of its kind in South Australia where “membership has its privileges” with preferential seating; fine dining and casual options available.
There are numerous function and event rooms; some of which were viewed during the tour; offering options from the Heritage and History Sheffield Shield Room which caters for 40 people, up to the William Magarey Room which caters for 760 guests — sit down dinner or 1500 people for cocktails!
Wiiliam Ashley Magarey was a first class cricketer and the first chairman of the South Australian Football Association who came up with the idea of the Magarey medal; an honor awarded to “the best and fairest” player in the South Australian National Football League.
Bars are named after The Great legends!
One feels like they get to meet their cricket and sports idols under one roof!
Did I mention we visited the locker rooms?
John explained “for a premium price” on game day, one can enjoy a beer or wine while VIEWING their favorite team while they are in the locker room!
I say that affectionately as every step of the way, our group “contagiously” smiled, chatted and THOROUGHLY enjoyed the day!
The tour is 90 minutes and honestly it went by “in a blink of an eye!”
I think I’ll stop here today so you can “leisurely enjoy” what was experienced and look forward to the following post which shortly will come your way!
Have YOU been counting how many reasons there are to visit the Adelaide Oval?
Do you like experiencing museum memorabilia and sports history?
Do you like being a tourist in your own tour?
Was there something that stood out to you during my post today?
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