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Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre

Sydney Olympic Park, NSW

Home of the NSW Swifts

4.0

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Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre (map it)
Olympic Boulevard
Sydney Olympic Park, NSW 2127
Australia


NSW Swifts website

Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre website

Year Opened: 1984

Capacity: 5,006

There are no tickets available at this time.

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Sydney Swift to Embrace Netball

The Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre opened as the State Sports Centre way back in 1984, making it one of the oldest facilities in the Homebush Bay precinct, now known as Sydney Olympic Park. Almost 4,000 fixed seats, along with over 1,000 retractable seats at floor level, provides a total capacity of 5,006. The Centre has been used for all manner of indoor sports over the years, most notably basketball, having previously served as home court for the Sydney Kings, West Sydney Razorbacks and Sydney Spirit. During the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics the sports of table tennis and tae-kwon-do were held at the Sports Centre.

The sport of netball was originally devised from basketball and is mostly played within the nations of the British Commonwealth, with Australia and New Zealand especially dominant in international competition. Netball Australia first set up a regular elite domestic competition in 1997, which was later replaced by the ANZ Championship; a semi-professional competition involving franchises from both Australia and New Zealand.

The “Swifts” name is a carryover from the previous competition which featured the Sydney Swifts and Sydney Sandpipers (later the Hunter Jaegers) teams from the state of New South Wales. The two clubs were merged to become the NSW Swifts when the new competition was conceived. The Swifts play the majority of their games at Sydney Olympic Park however also host a single game each season at each of Qudos Bank Arena and Newcastle Entertainment Centre. The club won the inaugural ANZ Championship in 2008, however has only played in one final since, when they were runners-up in 2015.

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What is FANFARE?

The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:

  • Food & Beverage
  • Atmosphere
  • Neighborhood
  • Fans
  • Access
  • Return on Investment
  • Extras

Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".

Food & Beverage    3

Sustenance is certainly adequate for a venue of this size. There are queues to endure though, so allow plenty of time if you like to have your food as the game starts. You'll find concession stands on either side of the arena, with fresh sandwiches, wraps and salads complemented by hot pies and sausage rolls. As with most sporting venues, prices are a little dear, however there is also a range of snacks and treats, many of which are under $5. Drinks are largely limited to soft drinks and bottled water, and mostly range between $4 and $5.

Atmosphere    5

The arena offers great sightlines and an intimate experience in which to watch netball. The fan engagement opportunities outside the venue, on the concourses and during the game are outstanding considering the resources at the disposal of the Swifts. There are video screens in two corners, and scoreboards in opposite corners; perhaps a little small, but certainly adequate for this venue. There are large player banners on the far side of the stadium and branding throughout.

In terms of engagement, a lively PA announcer is very effective and in touch with the game. Two popular booths located on either concourse are a "Swift Styles" stand offering hair styling for children, and a photo opportunity which superimposes Swifts players into the picture. Each seat also receives a free program.

Neighborhood    4

Sydney Olympic Park is quite a large area that includes many other venues in addition to hotels, restaurants, and bars. There's plenty of food options before or after the game. As well as fast food, there are restaurants covering Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian and modern Australian. While that is the case, the precinct doesn't tend to be buzzing except during major events. Of course Sydney Olympic Park is also the home of several NRL rugby league clubs (most notably South Sydney and Canterbury) and the Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL team.

Fans    5

The Swifts have a fantastic fan base. They continually sell out their games, and have a strong membership/season ticket base. The majority of fans sport Swifts colours, a good reflection of the level of emotional attachment to the team and proof that the Swifts organisation is operating effectively. Many of the crowd arrives early to soak in the atmosphere and watch the warm ups, which is quite unusual for sporting crowds in Sydney.

The Swifts obviously attract many young girls, but there is actually a very diverse demographic in the crowd, displaying a broad fan base. Everyone in the crowd is focussed on the game action and many fans know the players and specifically cheer for each of them by name. The experience is very family friendly and positive, with support for both teams.

Access    4

Sydney Olympic Park is located close to the geographic centre of Sydney, with good transport options. There is normally plenty of parking (P3 is just across the road). Also be mindful that if there is a large event(s) on, traffic into the precinct will be an issue. Best to check beforehand, otherwise consider public transport. The train station is a short walk from the arena.

You approach the venue by a gentle ramp and then enter into a common foyer area on level three which also houses the NSW Hall of Champions. There is only one entrance into the arena itself but any line moves smoothly and relatively quickly. Once inside patrons are able to circumnavigate the hall to access seating, bathrooms, concession stands, and viewing areas. Moving about is mostly hassle-free, although the queues for food and the fan engagement booths can make it a little tight. Despite this, access can be considered excellent for a venue of this nature and size.

Return on Investment    4

The Swifts are very well subscribed with members which means single game tickets are often in high demand. Adult entry starts at $33 with children $26. There are three tiers of pricing with the most expensive adult ticket being $47. There are additional appropriate discounts for concession card holders and families. Car parking should cost approximately $15 while refreshments per person will likely be at least $10. The standard of play is world-class, and the fan experience outstanding. It's not cheap, but still well worth the cost.

Extras    3

In addition to all of the above, the Swifts also have a junior netballer present the game ball to the players prior to the game commencing - a nice touch reflecting the focus on younger fans and a strong linkage to the large participation base in the sport.

The interactive Hall of Fame is well worth the time to explore should you have the opportunity. In addition to the various items of historical memorabilia there is a display of almost 350 athletes across over 50 sports, highlighting the many memorable moments in the sporting history of the state of New South Wales.

The Swifts also have a very active mascot, known as "Sporty Swift."

Final Thoughts

The Swifts offer a unique and high quality sporting experience, suitable for fans of all ages. Netball is fast paced and great viewing. With the sport further gaining in popularity at the elite level, the NSW Swifts at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre should definitely be on your to-do list.

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Local Food & Drink

Ribs and Rumps  (map it!)

8 Dawn Fraser Ave

Sydney Olympic Park, NSW 2127

+61 13 47 42

http://www.ribsandrumps.com.au/locations/sydney-olympic-park/

Local Entertainment

Lodging

Hotel Ibis Sydney Olympic Park  (map it!)

Olympic Boulevard

Sydney Olympic Park, NSW 2127

+61 2 8762 1100

http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-2734-ibis-sydney-olympic-park/index.shtml

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