“Sport is valued highly in Australian culture, both by participants and spectators. It makes sense therefore that sport is a popular thematic on Australian stamps.
The Sports Stadium stamp issue, which was released on 4 June 2019, seeks to recognise the importance of sporting venues, not only in fostering the enthusiastic atmosphere typical to spectator sport, but also as part of a club’s sporting heritage and even in terms of architectural merit. The stamp issue features four major sporting stadiums from across the country: AAMI Park in Victoria, Optus Stadium in Western Australia, Sydney Cricket Ground in New South Wales, and the venue considered by many as one of the greatest, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), fondly known as “the ’G”.
$1 – AAMI Park, Vic.
AAMI Park was welcomed to Melbourne & Olympic Parks’ precinct in May 2010. The stadium is home to several sporting teams, including the Melbourne Storm, Melbourne Rebels, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne AFL Football Club. The award-winning 30,050-seat stadium is defined by its distinctive bio-frame design, the roof of which provides covered seating for most of a capacity crowd enjoying the spectacle on the 136 x 82 metre playing field below.
It was also the venue for the Red Energy E.J. Whitten Legends Game played on the 30 August 2019. It is played annually to raise money for prostate cancer. For the first time it was played under AFLX rules.
$1 – Optus Stadium, WA
State-government-owned Optus Stadium was opened on Burswood Peninsula, Perth, in January 2018, and in its first 12 months of operation attracted more than 1.7 million fans. Located alongside the picturesque Swan River, the stadium, with its striking bronze facade, reflects Western Australia’s unique geology and is surrounded by landscaped parklands inspired by the Indigenous six seasons. The new 60,000-seat stadium is the third largest in Australia (after Melbourne’s MCG and Sydney’s Stadium Australia), with a roof that provides coverage for 85 per cent of its permanent seating. It is capable of hosting AFL, rugby union, rugby league, football (soccer) and cricket, as well as large entertainment events. From fence to fence the pitch covers 177 x 141 metres, with 165 x 130 metres for the AFL field of play, and the venue contains two of the largest viewing screens in the Southern Hemisphere.
$1 – Sydney Cricket Ground, NSW
Located at Moore Park, on the edge of the CBD, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) has a long and venerable history, the roots of which stretch back to the mid-19th century. The first recorded game of cricket was played on the site (then known as the Garrison Ground) in 1854, and all major cricket matches have been since 1876, although the ground’s current name was not adopted until 1894. The magnificent two-level Members Pavilion (shown in the stamp design) was built in 1886 (extended in 1903), and the equally elegant Ladies Pavilion a decade later, in 1896, both of which are heritage listed. Today, the SCG, which is known as a spin-friendly ground, is used for Test, One Day International and Twenty20 cricket. But it also regularly hosts AFL, rugby league and union, and football (soccer) on its 155 x 136-metre arena.
$1 – Melbourne Cricket Ground, Vic.
Originally built in 1853, the MCG has a rich sporting history, including being the main venue for the first Olympic Games held in the Southern Hemisphere, in 1956, a centrepiece for the 2006 Commonwealth Games and host to two cricket World Cups, in 1992 and 2015. Such is its place in sporting history that it is listed on both state and federal heritage registers for its significance. The MCG is primarily a ground for AFL and cricket, with the annual Boxing Day Test matches being among its most popular events, though at times it hosts other football codes too. Over its life, the MCG has been redeveloped several times and it can now hold a capacity crowd of 100,024, with seating for 95,000.”
Australia Post issued a FDC with the Sports Stadium Cover showing a shadow of the SCG in the background.
First Day Covers for single gummed stamps.
The Booklet Collection shows the Melbourne and Olympic Park precinct with the AAMI stadium in the foreground and the Holden Centre with Collingwood’s training oval, the Glasshouse and the 1956 Olympic Swimming and Diving Stadium, in the background. On the right is the Melbourne Tennis Centre. In the far distance is the city skyline.
Melbourne & Olympic Parks precinct is built on the area of the Stadia for the 1956 olympics. It included the Swimming Stadium, now Collingwood Football Club’s training centre. The warmup athletics ground is now Collingwood’s training ground and ground for their reserves and Women’s team. The velodrome and soccer ground are now AAMI Park and the Storms training Ground.
Australia Post rarely produces a FDC for the Booklets or the Booklet Stamps. This has left a niche for cover producers such as the Wesley Cover Service.
The Booklets are also issued as cheque books containing 20 booklets for $200.
Australia Post issued 4 maximum cards with the Gummed stamps.
A Medallion Cover of the SCG was also released in a run of 2000.
The gutter strip only had the traffic lights without a pictorial display.
In 2005 for the “Bradman’s Baggy Green” Issue and in 2006 for the “The Melbourne Commonwealth Games” issue, Australia Post produced a postcard showing a night view of the MCG with a image of the stamp in the upper left hand corner. They subsequently also produced a postcard with no stamp image. This was still available from Australia Post at the time of the Sports Stadium issue. It is shown below as a maximum card with the gummed MCG Stamp, the Booklet stamp and both stamps.
The Sydney Stamp and Coin Expo was held 9 days after the issue of the Sports Stadium Stamps. A significant percentage of the issues released at the show were related to the SCG stamps and the SCG minisheet.
|2019 Sydney Stamp & Coin Expo|
|Sydney Cricket Ground|
|Melbourne Cricket Ground|