- Lloyd Rothwell
Industree Group Stadium - Central Coast Mariners
Photos by Lloyd Rothwell, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.43
Industree Group Stadium 14 Dane Dr Gosford, NSW, Australia 2250
Central Coast Mariners website Industree Group Stadium website
Year Opened: 2000 Capacity: 20,059
Central Coast - Our Paradise
The Central Coast Mariners were one of several new clubs formed specifically to participate in the A-League which began in 2005 following the demise of the old National Soccer League (NSL). While the Mariners initially drew upon former NSL club Northern Spirit for personnel, they’ve since established a strong connection with the local community. Despite the challenges that come from being a small-market club, the Mariners consistently perform above expectations; having played in four A-League grand finals, and winning the championship in 2013.
Industree Group Stadium opened in 2000 on the site of Grahame Park overlooking Brisbane Water. The new stadium was originally designed and built to serve as a
new home for the North Sydney Bears National Rugby League (NRL) team. The process of rationalisation within the league during the late 1990s saw the Bears forced into an unequal merged entity with their bitter rivals, Manly Sea Eagles. The joint venture, known as the Northern Eagles, shared home games between the Central Coast and Manly’s home at Brookvale Oval in Sydney. Unsurprisingly, within a few short years the dysfunctional merger was dissolved and the NRL license reverted to Manly. This left the stadium without an anchor tenant until the Mariners arrived in 2005. Since then, clubs such as the Sydney Roosters, have played occasional home games at the stadium, and the New Zealand Warriors were mostly based on the Central Coast for the Covid-affected NRL seasons of 2020 and 2021. Additionally, the stadium has hosted both Rugby World Cup (2003) and Rugby League World Cup (2008) games. The Commonwealth Games baton relay passed through the stadium enroute to the Gold Coast in 2018.
Industree Group Stadium has a capacity of 20,059 and is currently managed by VenuesLive.
Food & Beverage 2
There are six food outlets and six bars located along the eastern and western concourses, however not all were open during our visit. This led to lengthy queues. Food options are limited to the basics – chicken burger, beef burger, hot dog, hot chips, and fish and chips. A combo (burger or hot dog, chips, drink) deal will set you back $15-18. Soft drinks (Coca-Cola brands) and bottled water are also available, along with a small range of ice creams and coffee. The bars serve beer, cider, pre-mixed spirits, and wine (approx. $8-10 per drink).
Industree Group Stadium is a horseshoe shaped design, with two main grandstands along either touchline, with tiered seating at the northern end. The southern end is open, which allows for views of Brisbane Water. Entry gates are located at the northeastern and southwestern corners. Coverage from the grandstand roofs does not extend to the outermost bays, and only the last six rows of the lower concourse are covered. The hoarding separating the walkway from the northern concourse features a graphical display of the history of the site, which is a nice touch. The seats are quite small and do not have armrests. The video screen is located at the southern end. The Mariners run the usual promotions prior to the game and at half time, while a cannon adjacent to the video board is fired each time the Mariners score a goal.
Gosford is generally regarded as the commercial and administrative hub of the Central Coast region. The Central Coast Leagues Club (1 Dane Dr) is situated just outside the eastern entry gate and offers a wide range of food and beverage options before or after a Mariners game. Note that CC Leagues does have dress regulations. While they’re quite modest, it’s best to double check the website just to be sure if this venue is in your plans. Also nearby is Pinocchio’s Wine and Pizza Bar (32 William St) and Gosford Sailing Club (28 Masons Pde). Terrigal and Avoca beaches are a 15 min drive east from the stadium. Terrigal is a popular tourist destination with a wide choice of restaurants, bars, and pubs – as well as being a good spot to find accommodation if you’re looking to spend additional time on the Coast. If you bring the family, kids and teenagers will enjoy the Central Coast Aqua Park (42 Masons Pde), adjacent to Gosford Olympic Swimming Pool and the Australian Reptile Park (Pacific Hwy, Somersby) is also only a short drive away.
The average attendance for a Mariners game is around 6,000 which is in the top half of the A-League. Expect larger crowds and a better atmosphere when the Mariners play local rivals such as Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC. The Mariners active fan supporter group is known as the Yellow Army. At home games they can be found in Bay 16 at the northern end of the stadium. Fans are good-natured and the environment is family friendly. As at all Australian stadiums and A-League matches, flares are banned.
Industree Group Stadium is easily accessible by car or public transport. Fans travelling from Sydney to the south or Newcastle to the north should exit the M1 Pacific Motorway at Karriong onto the Central Coast Highway which then descends into Gosford. There is limited parking available on surrounding streets, but also several nearby parking stations. The pick of these is the Gosford Train Station Carpark (Showground Rd) or the Gosford City Carpark (Baker St), both of which are only a short walk from the stadium. Note that there may be some street closures in the vicinity on event days. The train station is on the Central Coast / Newcastle line and connects to Sydney and Newcastle. There are also local bus services in the area.
Return on Investment 5
Ticket prices start at $20 for adults and $10 for children aged 16 or younger (unreserved seating on the northern concourse). Premium seating is priced at $40 for adults and $20 for children. Family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) can be purchased for the price of two adults, which represents excellent value. The food and beverage options aren’t great, they are more affordable than premium venues in Sydney. For a national league, this price point is largely unmatched across the country.
Extra points are awarded for the merchandise stand on the western concourse, the pre-game activation attractions near the southeastern entry, and the historical hording along the northern concourse. The oversized, branded inflatable sauce bottles on either side of the video screen are now iconic.
The Mariners are the only professional sports team on the Central Coast. Their picturesque waterfront stadium offers excellent value and is great option for locals and visitors alike.