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Oki Jubilee Stadium

Oki Jubilee Stadium

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Jubilee Oval is one of two home stadiums used by the St. George Illawarra Dragons team, a rugby league
Rugby league
Rugby league football, usually called rugby league, is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field. One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated in England in 1895 by a split from Rugby Football Union over paying players...

 club that plays in Australasia's National Rugby League
National Rugby League
The National Rugby League is the top league of professional rugby league football clubs in Australasia. The NRL's main competition, called the Telstra Premiership , is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand...

. The R2K (Return to Kogarah) entity was instrumental in ensuring that NRL matches were played at Kogarah from 2003 onwards. Until 31 October 2008, the ground was known as OKI Jubilee Stadium, when OKI Printing Solutions naming rights
Naming rights
In the private sector, naming rights are a financial transaction whereby a corporation or other entity purchases the right to name a facility, typically for a defined period of time. For properties like a multi-purpose arena, performing arts venue or an athletic field, the term ranges from three...

 contract expired. On 15 January 2009, Jubilee Oval was retained in the new sponsored name of WIN Jubilee Oval.

Located on the Princes Highway in the Sydney suburb of Carlton, it originally hosted its first game of rugby league sometime in 1936 when the Dragons
St. George Dragons
The St George Dragons was an Australian Rugby league football club in St George, Sydney, New South Wales that played in Australia's top-level Rugby league competition from New South Wales Rugby Football League in 1921 until 1998; in 1999 they formed a joint venture with the Illawarra Steelers,...

 defeated the Newtown Bluebags
Newtown Jets
The Newtown Jets are an Australian rugby league football club based in Newtown, a suburb of Sydney's inner west. They currently compete in the NSWRL Premier League competition, having left the top grade after the 1983 NSWRFL season...

 in an exhibition match. The stadium has undergone several constructions over the years and one is still being planned for the foreseeable future. The first official game was played on 22 April 1950 in which the Dragons lost 17-15.

History


Jubilee Oval currently stands on part of the original grant of 87 acres (352,076.8 m²) awarded on 23 December 1853 to Archibald McNab. Edmund English purchased the grant on 23 May 1854 for around 400 pounds. It officially became known as Kogarah Park when it was acquired by the Department of Lands on 1 July 1896 and dedicated as the first public park in Kogarah
Kogarah, New South Wales
Kogarah is a suburb of southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Kogarah is located 14 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district and is considered to be the centre of the St George area...

. Control of the park was eventually passed to the Council of the Municipality of Kogarah on 29 August 1906.

St. George Dragons


During Kogarah’s Jubilee celebrations in 1935, Jubilee Oval was constructed in Kogarah Park. The St. George Dragons
St. George Dragons
The St George Dragons was an Australian Rugby league football club in St George, Sydney, New South Wales that played in Australia's top-level Rugby league competition from New South Wales Rugby Football League in 1921 until 1998; in 1999 they formed a joint venture with the Illawarra Steelers,...

 had a successful debut game at Jubilee Oval in 1936 when they defeated Newtown in an exhibition match as part of the Jubilee celebrations. The gate-takings from the match were donated to the St. George Hospital. Saints at this stage were still based at Arncliffe’s Earl Park
Earl Park, Arncliffe
Earl Park is the name of a former sports field in the Sydney suburb of Arncliffe. The field was mainly used by the St. George Dragons rugby league club as their headquarters and home ground from 1925 to 1939.-Rugby League:...

 and it wasn’t until 1950 that Saints returned home to Jubilee Oval.

The Dragons played their first official match at the ground on 22 April 1950 against the South Sydney Rabbitohs
South Sydney Rabbitohs
The South Sydney Rabbitohs are an Australian professional rugby league football team based in Redfern, a suburb of South-central Sydney, New South Wales. They participate in the National Rugby League premiership and are one of nine existing teams from the state capital...

 before 12,500 fans. The Dragons lost a rather exciting match 17-15 but defeat would become quite a rare sight for the Dragons over the coming decades while at Kogarah.

St. George were based at Kogarah during their world record breaking 11 successive premierships from 1956 to 1966. They set a record at Kogarah and were not beaten at home for an astonishing twelve years. (Originally beaten by the Balmain Tigers
Balmain Tigers
The Balmain Tigers are a rugby league football club based in the inner-western Sydney suburb of Balmain. They were a founding member of the New South Wales Rugby League and one of the most successful in the history of the premiership, with eleven titles...

 on 26 June 1954 at Kogarah which was just before the beginning of the streak. It wasn’t until 31 July 1966, that they tasted defeat at Kogarah again, eventually losing 12-9 to the Western Suburbs Magpies
Western Suburbs Magpies
The Western Suburbs Magpies are an Australian rugby league football club based in the western suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales. Formed in 1908, Wests, as they are commonly referred to, were one of the nine foundation clubs of the first New South Wales Rugby League competition in Australia...

).

In 1950, the Dragons began a permanent association with the ground. Around this time was also when St. George legend Norm Provan
Norm Provan
Norm "Sticks" Provan is an Australian former rugby league footballer and coach. A giant of a man, he was a second-row forward with the St. George Dragons during their 11-year consecutive premiership-winning run from 1956 to 1966...

 joined the club and he said of Kogarah:
The team was based at Jubilee Oval right up until the completion of the 1985 season. They then chose to abandon the ground and relocated to the Sydney Cricket Ground
Sydney Cricket Ground
The Sydney Cricket Ground 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...

. The decision was one which they would come to dread. In 1985 St. George had been Club champions, 1st Grade Minor premiers, 1st Grade Runners-Up, Reserve Grade Premiers and Under-23s Premiers. In 1986 Saints missed the semi-finals in all 3 grades for the first time in 50 years. The fans of the club became angry at the club's decision and stayed away from the club in droves while the Dragons remained at the SCG for a further season.

In 1988 the opportunity came for the club to relocate again. Instead of moving back to Jubilee they decided to move to Belmore Oval
Belmore Sports Ground
Belmore Sports Ground, formerly known as Belmore Oval, is a multi-purpose stadium in Belmore, New South Wales, Australia. The park covers and from 1951 has contained the Belmore Bowling Recreation Club green. It is close to Belmore railway station....

. Finally, in 1988 it was decided that the Saints would move home to Jubilee in 1989 with a new stand to be constructed for the 1990 season.

The club yet again moved in the late 90's and explained to fans the decision was on the basis that Jubilee was too small to accommodate a proposed $30 million stadium complex to meet NRL
National Rugby League
The National Rugby League is the top league of professional rugby league football clubs in Australasia. The NRL's main competition, called the Telstra Premiership , is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand...

 requirements for playing venues. In a joint statement, Kogarah Council and St. George DRLFC stated that the scale of the proposed 20,000 seat stadium would exceed the size of Jubilee Oval and have an impact on residents. The decision to leave Jubilee upset many of St George Illawarra's loyal supporters as the ground had so much history to it and in July 2000 many supporters held a rally in support of the ground.

St. George Illawarra Dragons


The St. George Illawarra Dragons use the ground as part of their home ground, along with WIN Stadium
WIN Stadium
Wollongong Showground is a rectangular multi-purpose stadium located in the city of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. The stadium was officially opened in 1911. From 1982 until 1998 it played host to every home match for the Illawarra Steelers NRL team...

 in the National Rugby League
National Rugby League
The National Rugby League is the top league of professional rugby league football clubs in Australasia. The NRL's main competition, called the Telstra Premiership , is contested by sixteen teams, fifteen of which are based in Australia with one based in New Zealand...

. The team was formed in 1999, and used the ground in that season, before moving their games to Sydney Football Stadium in 2000.

From 2000 until 2002 after many loyal St. George supporters held a rally and Information Night to persuade the club to move back to Jubilee Oval, the club did so and with the Dragons merging with the Illawarra Steelers
Illawarra Steelers
The Illawarra Steelers are an Australian rugby league football club based in the city of Wollongong, New South Wales. The club competed in Australia's top-level Rugby League competition from 1982, when they, along with the Canberra Raiders, were admitted into the then New South Wales Rugby Football...

 they would be yet again occupying the famous rugby league ground
Rugby league playing field
The rugby league playing field, also referred to as a pitch or paddock, is the playing surface for the sport of rugby league football and is surfaced exclusively with grass....

. During these 3 years that the Dragons did not play at Jubilee, there were talks with the club that they would play at St George Soccer Stadium
St George Soccer Stadium
St. George Soccer Stadium is a recently-reopened football stadium in Banksia, New South Wales, Australia.-History:The ground was opened in 1978 to be the home of St. George-Budapest who played in local competition until playing in the national competition at the time, the National Soccer League...

, but their plans fell through. The Dragons returned in 2003 after high amounts of protests and rallies held by supporter group R2K (or Return to Kogarah).

The club did not play at the ground in 2008 because of renovations of the south-western end grandstand being built.They raturned in 2009, where they have remained ever since.

Soccer


The Sydney Olympic soccer club, who played in the now-defunct National Soccer League
National Soccer League
The National Soccer League is the former national association football competition in Australasia, overseen by Soccer Australia and later the Australian Soccer Association. The NSL spanned 28 seasons from its inception in 1977, until its demise in 2004...

 (NSL) competition, played at this ground in the 2003/2004 season. This season was the NSL's final competition at the top level, before the introduction of the A-League
A-League
The A-League is the top Australasian professional football league. Run by Australian governing body Football Federation Australia , it was founded in 2004 following the folding of the National Soccer League and staged its inaugural season in 2005–06. It is sponsored by Hyundai Motor Company...

 in 2005.

On 4 December, 2011, Win Jubilee marks the first time the A League plays a first grade competition game at this venue, with Sydney FC
Sydney FC
Sydney FC is a professional football club based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and competes in the country's premier football competition, the A-League...

 playing Brisbane Roar.

New grandstand


The ground was closed from 1986 until the end of 1988 because of the construction of the new greandstand being built on the western side of the ground.

Stage 1 redevelopment


Since 2003, Jubilee has been steadily upgraded in a 3 stage plan, funded by the NSW State Government and Federal Government. In 2006, the ground had been updated with new features to the seating around the grandstand and features directly out of the stadium including re-developments to the Hall of Fame walk and Kogarah Park in front of the stadium. Stage 1 consisted of new terraced seating at the north-western end, perimeter seating at the base of the hill, and a regrassed and raised hill area. Floodlights for televising night matches were also been installed.

Stage 2 redevelopment


In 2007, the Dragons announced that they would not be playing home games at Kogarah for the 2008 season
National Rugby League season 2008
The 2008 NRL season was the 101st season of professional rugby league club competition in Australia, and the eleventh run by the National Rugby League. For the second year, sixteen teams competed for the 2008 Telstra Premiership title. The season commenced with the first matches played on 14 March...

 so that Stage 2 redevelopment of the ground could be completed with new roofed extension on the Southern side of the main grandstand increasing capacity by around 2000, and further upgrading to the hill area, including turnstile facilities and strengthening the retaining wall at the Southern Jubilee Avenue end. The Dragons returned for 2009 against the Sharks in round 3, and broke the club record for highest Crowd at the ground.

Stage 3 redevelopment


In 2010, the Dragons secured $13m from the NSW State Government to complete the Stage 3 Northern grandstand extension, with an additional 1580 seats and the replacement of 1730 seats in the existing main grandstand. Also included in the development are additional public toilets and facilities, refurbishment of the existing grandstand facilities including the team change rooms, a new passenger and service lift, additional corporate and multi purpose facilities, and a museum and merchandise store.

A new digital scoreboard and several satellite scoreboards, new security system, turnstiles and ticketing facilities at Gate B and a rainwater harvesting tank will also be installed around the ground. Work commenced 25 October 2010, grandstand work is due for completion in the first week of March 2011 and all fit outs completed by the first week of April 2011.

Naming Rights


In October, 2008, OKI Printing Solutions decided not to renew the naming rights of Jubilee Oval, as the Dragons played at ANZ Stadium during the 2008 season due to re-developments at Jubilee. The naming rights ended on 31 October as the park reverted to its former name.
It was officially announced on 25 December 2008, that the WIN Corporation
WIN Corporation
The WIN Corporation is a Wollongong based media company, that owns the WIN Television network, NWS, and STW in Australia.It began broadcasting in Wollongong with one station in 1963. Bruce Gordon acquired control of the company in 1979 and initiated a period of growth which has seen the Network...

 had bought the naming rights for Jubilee Oval, now owning the rights for both of St. George Illawarra's home grounds, Jubilee Oval and WIN Stadium
WIN Stadium
Wollongong Showground is a rectangular multi-purpose stadium located in the city of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. The stadium was officially opened in 1911. From 1982 until 1998 it played host to every home match for the Illawarra Steelers NRL team...

. It has been announced that Jubilee Oval is to be known as WIN Jubilee Oval.
  • Jubilee Oval (1950–2003, 2008)
  • OKI Jubilee Stadium (2004–2007)
  • WIN Jubilee Oval (2009–present)

Attedance Record


The ground record attendance for Kogarah was set in May 1975 when St. George took on South Sydney in front of 23,582 fans. In its modern form, the record attendance is 20,847 when the Dragons took on local rivals the Cronulla Sharks in March 2009.

External links