Sydney Olympic Park
Sydney Olympic Park is a large sporting, cultural and leisure complex in the Inner West area of Sydney. It is also an official suburb of Sydney, commonly known as Olympic Park but officially named Sydney Olympic Park. Sydney Olympic Park is located 16 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Auburn.
The area was redeveloped for the 2000 Olympics. The facilities built continue to be used for sporting and cultural events, including the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Sydney Festival, Stereosonic, Big Day Out, Soundwave, Sydney 500 and a number of world-class sporting fixtures. The suburb also contains commercial development and extensive parklands. The area was originally part of the suburb of Homebush Bay, but was designated a suburb in its own right in 2009.
The Wangal clan of Indigenous Australians lived in the area before British settlement. The area was called "The Flats" by a scouting party shortly after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. It became part of the Newington Estate in 1807, which was acquired by John Blaxland. The Government acquired some of the land for an aged women's home in the late 19th century. Much of the land was reclaimed from the river and wetlands by landfill.
In the mid-1980s, an area bounded by Australia Avenue and what are now Herb Elliott Avenue and Sarah Durack Avenue was promoted as a 'technology park' called the Australia Centre. However, apart from a few relatively high tech businesses like AWA Microelectronics, BASF, Philips and Sanyo, the idea did not catch on and the Australian Technology Park is now in Eveleigh. In any event, a decade later the entire area became the site for the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Before its transformation, a large part of Olympic Park was an industrial wasteland after more than a century of industrial and military activities on the site. The site was once home to a brickworks, abattoir and an armaments depot as well as being the site for eight of Sydney's rubbish dumps. These activities resulted in a highly contaminated site with little natural ecology and a fragmented stream corridor. Sixty-five percent of the soils were required to be excavated and contained on-site. The site did have some positive attributes that PWP Landscape Architecture enhanced in the design: 15 miles of continuous waterfront; various historic buildings and landscapes; an almost unspoiled 124-acre aboriginal forest; major areas of mangrove swamp; bird sanctuaries; and surviving endangered species like Golden orb spiders and the Green and golden bell frogs that resided in a 70-acre historic limestone quarry, the Brick Pit. Millennium Parklands was and is a project that matches the scale of the city, dealing with landscape as the system that sustains urban life, the Olmstedian "lungs" known these days as "green infrastructure" a component of the urban condition rather than its native opposition.
With the successful completion of the 2000 Olympics, Sydney Olympic Park has undergone a significant amount of development work to support its conversion to a multipurpose facility with a number of businesses re-locating to the area. Commercial developments now sit alongside sporting facilities with tenants in office buildings such as Commonwealth Bank from September 2007. A five-star Pullman hotel and a two-star Formule 1 hotel were completed in mid-2008.
The parklands have undergone redevelopment with Blaxland Riverside Park (formerly Blaxland Common) being transformed into an urban park along Parramatta River. The Park opened on 3 March 2007. In addition the Wentworth Common area was upgraded with significant adventure playground facilities for children aged 8–13 years.
Auburn Council sought public comment on a proposal to rename the Homebush Bay area, to remove confusion with its namesake suburb Homebush. The area encompassing Sydney Olympic Park was given autonomy as a suburb, the waterfront residential area was renamed Wentworth Point and the Carter Street industrial precinct was absorbed by the neighbouring suburb of Lidcombe.
Currently there are more than 5000 events held at the park each year, including the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Supanova Pop Culture Expo, Rugby Union, National Rugby League, Australian Football League and Australian Rugby League games at ANZ Stadium. The Sydney International is held each year at the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, and the park also hosts athletics and swimming events, using some venues for concerts during the year, and hosts boxing. It hosts the Big Day Out music festival and has been the venue for free, open air performances as part of the Sydney Festival such as Movies in the Overflow and Music by Moonlight.
The Newington Armory has in the past been the venue for the now-defunct "Great Escape" and "Acoustica at the Armory" music festivals, both of which were held over the Easter long weekend. Some venues function have changed from the original uses in the 2000 Olympics, such as the Baseball stadium shown on this map which has become the Sydney Showground; the former Sydney Superdome is now known as Allphones Arena and the Olympic Stadium has been renamed ANZ Stadium, following on from its prior sponsor Telstra. The latter two venues are now very successful in their own right, with the stadium serving as the venue for 49 major sporting events in 2007 and the Arena being the world's second-highest grossing venue of its type in the world in 2005 - behind only New York City's Madison Square Garden.
In August 2009, the funerals for the murdered Lin family was held here.
Every December since 2009, the V8 Supercar event, the Sydney 500, is held through the streets of the Olympic precinct. However, it was announced in March 2016 that the event would be taken away from Sydney Olympic Park following its final edition in December 2016.
EB Games Expo was held at The Sydney Showgrounds during early October in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The suburb is home to a significant arts and cultural program including regular events, the largest single precinct public art collection in Australia, the Armoury Gallery which is the largest single room permanent art exhibition space in the Southern Hemisphere, a new theatre,an artist studio facility at Newington Armoury and a BMX track.. The suburb is fully dedicated to environmentally and socially sustainable practices and has committed to 'Master Plan 2030': an opportunity to establish a best practice example of sustainable urban development for the next 20 years of the Park's growth.
The Master Plan 2030 vision is that the Park will, by 2030, be home to a daily population of 50,000 residents, students and workers, in addition to 10 million visitors per year.
Sydney Olympic Park is managed by the Sydney Olympic Park Authority. The site was previously intended for a massive urban renewal project of the Homebush Bay area, prior to the Olympic bid, so the renewal masterplan was altered to accommodate venues for the 2000 Olympics.
Sydney Olympic Park is served by the Olympic Park railway line and Olympic Park station. There are also regular ferry services to the nearby Sydney Olympic Park ferry wharf, at the end of Hill Road, serviced by Sydney Ferries to and from various points around Sydney Harbour.
For details of bus services see Olympic Park station. During major events, Sydney Olympic Park bus routes operate.
The two-line Parramatta Light Rail project was announced in 2015. A line between Westmead and Strathfield will pass through Sydney Olympic Park.