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Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday, May 30th

"Every citizen of Australia who posses sporting instincts is proud of the Sydney Cricket Grounds. Many say that it is the finest ground in the world." - M.A. Noble (of the greatest Australian cricket players of all time) 

Family, friends, and readers of the world! It's Saturday, May 30th and here's a recap of our day down under!

Lisa and Linda graciously allowed us bypass this morning's breakfast at 8am. We met in the lobby at 10:00 and set off to the Sydney Cricket Grounds. Just as we thought we had the Sydney transportation system down, the buses played a few more tricks on us today, but we made it eventually. 

The Sydney Cricket Grounds is an area about ten minutes outside of downtown with both public fields and two historic, yet state of the art professional stadiums.

First we toured the Allianz Stadium (Allianz is an Australian insurance company). Originally this was Aborigonal land, then it became a speedway, and eventually the current stadium was built in 1988. It seats 46,000 people, and although there is a ten year plan to add a roof, no seats will be added. Allianz Stadium also boasts the largest screens in the Southern Hemisphere.

While Allianz Stadium is home to rugby and AFL games, it was used as the soccer facility for the 2000 Olympics and has sold out concerts to Madonna, U2, One Direction, and Taylor Swift.

One of the first things our tour guide pointed out was at our feet: a buried time capsule containing jerseys, balls, photos, programs, and more planted in 1988 and to be open in 2088.

Next we got to see the home "change room," which, as you can see, doesn't quite live up to most locker rooms in America. While the change rooms look very plain now, they are decorated on game day according to the particular team. We were very impressed by their hot and cold tubs at 33 and 11 degrees Celsius, respectively. 

From the change room we proceeded through the tunnel and onto the field! One notable feature: the lights are on the inside of the stadium, none are towers. This is because the stadium is very close to a residential area. 

Right next to Allianz Stadium, we made our way to the Sydney Cricket Grounds. This stadium is just under one year old, as it opened in June of 2014. It is quite modern looking, and even boasts to be the first stadium to have wifi for which you can order and pay for food from your seat. Despite the modern stadium, surrounding buildings are very historic. We got to go in the "Members Club" which is a bar and restaurant area that flows right into the reserved seats. Still today one has to pay to be apart of this club. This club is so special that the change rooms are connected to it, and the players walk through the seats to get to the field. The home change room was a bit better than the last, but the away change room was far from it. According to our tour guide, the players like them being historic and wouldn't change them!

View from the deck of the Sydney Cricket Grounds showing the proximity to Allianz Stadium.
View from the media level.
Home change room.
Away change room.
The Members Club bar with their seats on the other side of the windows.
Members Club seating.
Members Club from above showing the historic architecture connecting to the modern stadium.

Our tour concluded with the a look around the museum and explanations of the statues around the yard. Then we made a dash for the bus and found our way back to downtown. From there we split up. 

Some of us went to a cute outdoor market and craft show, while others went to the Museum of Contemporary Art.  The streets were lined with tents of food, jewelry, and other Australian authentics. The museum had a theme of lights because of the Vivid Sydney festival currently taking place. 

The market/craft show we found in town!
While it has been overcast throughout the day, it hasn't rained. 

Later, we regrouped before we heading out to dinner and to celebrate Bryan's 21st birthday! We found dinner at a type food court just as it closed, but then had to eat in a hallway of the mall. Finally we headed to "Sunbar," and although we were the only ones there for the first few hours, the place eventually got packed with loud music, bright lights, and glow paint. Fun was had. 

Sydney closed St. George Street (the main downtown street) for people to walk around for the Vivid Lights Festival.

Tomorrow is our free day in Sydney, the time here went fast!

Leah Jenk
Xavier Sport Management

PS. A big thank you shout out to my parents for sending me on this trip! Love you!

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