Adelaide Oval: A Magnet for Premier Sports and Entertainment

Last updated 24 Aug, 2023

Nestled in the heart of Adelaide, Adelaide Oval stands tall as one of the ultimate destinations for sports and entertainment in Australia. Nick Addison, CEO of Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority, is excited about the opportunities Adelaide has unlocked in the past months. He envisions converting the buzz generated by recent events into sustained growth for the city.

Recent announcements have confirmed Adelaide Oval's hosting rights for the coveted 2025 British & Irish Lions Tour, as well as the AFL Gather Round locked in until 2026, which has proven to be a key economic driver, with this year’s event contributing $83.5 million to the state's economy.

According to NAB's merchant terminal data, Gather Round led to a 21% trading surge compared to the same weekend the previous year. Bars in Adelaide Oval precinct alone saw a substantial 175% increase in transactions. Accommodation spending in metro Adelaide rose by 50%, while retail and bars increased by 30% and pubs 13% respectively, compared to the same weekend in 2022.

Regular AFL home games held at Adelaide Oval increase hospitality and entertainment spend in the city by millions on match days. Data from Spendmapp, analysed by the Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA), shows the direct impact observed by nearby businesses. The District, Sean’s Kitchen, and Sôl Bar and Restaurant at SkyCity see a 60% turnover surge on weekend games.

This impact extends beyond the immediate benefits and as Addison puts it, "We've got an opportunity to try and convert that interest and that awareness." The goal is to ensure that Adelaide Oval's allure reverberates long after the events conclude. Securing major events are not just one-off occasions; they're catalysts for progression boosting the local economy, uplifting Adelaide as a destination, creating jobs, and amplifying Adelaide’s attractiveness for investment from various sectors.

As a newcomer to Adelaide from Melbourne, Addison found himself drawn to the city's unique liveability. "It's an easy place to live. It's a comfortable place to live, certainly compared to the Eastern Seaboard", he says. What truly stood out to him was the immense pride South Australians have for Adelaide Oval, surpassing even the attachment Victorians have for the iconic MCG.

Hear more from Adelaide Oval’s CEO

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Image: John Montesi