Story by Zachary Colwell
It’s been a year to remember at Accor Stadium in 2022, with 713,346 fans through the gates for 25 sport & entertainment events along with scores of business, community, charity, educational and cultural events off the pitch.
As the big crowds returned in the wake of the global pandemic, five events at Accor Stadium drew in excess of 50,000 fans.
From the AFL’s Sydney Derby – Giants v Swans – to start the year to legendary rock band Guns N’ Roses to finish, the major events returned in a huge way.
25,572 – AFL Round 1 Sydney Derby, GWS Giants v Sydney Swans
The event calendar started with the AFL’s Round 1 Sydney Derby featuring host team the GWS Giants and fierce cross-city rivals the Sydney Swans. In front of a crowd of 25,572 – the Giants’ highest home attendance for the season, the Swans got home with Lance “Buddy” Franklin drawing closer to the 1000-goal mark.
41,852 – FIFA World CupTM Qualifier, Socceroos v Japan
2022 was a rollercoaster for Socceroos fans, ultimately finishing with a rousing World Cup performance in Qatar. The Socceroos played an important FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Japan at Accor Stadium in March, with 41,852 fans turning out. Unfortunately, two very late goals by Japan sent the Socceroos into a final knockout phase before they eventually qualified for the World Cup.
30,194 – NRL Round 6 Good Friday, Rabbitohs v Bulldogs
The Good Friday classic between home clubs the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs is historically one of the highest drawing NRL regular-season games of the season. The 2022 Good Friday game again drew a healthy crowd of 30,194 as the Bunnies reigned victorious with a convincing 36-16 win.
70,174 – FC Barcelona v A-Leagues All Stars
It was the first time LaLiga superclub FC Barcelona had ever played a game in Australia – and the Barca in Sydney Tour game on Wednesday 25 May will long be remembered. A crowd of 70,174 fans turned out for the game against the A-Leagues All Stars – easily the highest attendance for a sporting event in NSW since pre-pandemic 2019. In a five-goal thriller, Barca eventually came out on top against a spirited A-Leagues team that looked like springing the upset of the year. The game also marked the international emergence of a future superstar, young Garang Kuol.
80,512 – Ampol State of Origin 1, NSW v QLD
In the biggest rivalry in the country, Accor Stadium hosted Game 1 of the 2022 State of Origin series on Wednesday 8 June in front of a bumper crowd of 80,512. The Blatchy’s Blues were in full voice all night, but the Maroons squeaked the win in a contest that went down to the final seconds.
50,034 – NRL Telstra Premiership Preliminary Final, Panthers v Rabbitohs
A place in the Grand Final was up for grabs at Accor Stadium with 50,034 fans witnessing the clash between the Penrith Panthers and the South Sydney Rabbitohs. In a tense game, the Panthers pulled away after a strong Rabbitohs start to earn themselves a third consecutive trip to the NRL’s biggest stage.
82,512 – NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final, Panthers v Eels
It was the first time Western Sydney rugby league powerhouses Penrith and Parramatta had ever met in an NRL Grand Final. Accor Stadium welcomed 82,512 to the GF on Sunday 2 October – the highest attendance for a sporting event in NSW in 2022. The Eels and Panthers fans brought the passion and energy with the first 15 minutes of the contest being one of the most raucous environments in Grand Final history. In the end, it was the Panthers who reigned supreme to win back-to-back premierships.
43,080 – Monster Jam
The world’s larger-than-life motorsport raced back to Australia on Saturday 8 October with a massive event in front of a family-friendly crowd of 43,080. In the rain and mud, Monster Jam put on a show with their races and freestyle competitions that had every kid (and grown-ups) out of their seats.
41,121 – Sydney Super Cup, Celtic v Everton
The Sydney Super Cup arrived at Accor Stadium for the second of the three-game series. In the marquee matchup it was Scottish Champions Celtic FC up against storied English Premier League side Everton. With a great turnout of both Celtic and Everton supporters, 41,121 fans saw the contest go down to a penalty shootout, where young Everton star Anthony Gordon stole the show with his winning penalty.
51,087 – Guns N’ Roses – Biggest Night of Rock
Live entertainment was back with a bang to end the year with Guns N’ Roses heralding the return of stadium concerts in Sydney Olympic Park. Despite the November rain, Axl, Slash and Duff and the 51,087 in attendance rocked Accor Stadium. From classics such as Sweet Child O’ Mine, Paradise City and the ever so ironic November Rain to Slash’s guitar solos, Guns N’ Roses had the crowd in the palm of their hands. Singing to every word, rocking to every riff, and dancing to every beat, it was a night to remember for the old-school and the new-school fans of the legendary rock band.
BRING ON 2023!
As we say goodbye to 2022, we look forward to a massive year of sport & entertainment at Accor Stadium in 2023. Here are just some of the highlights:
- A summer concert season for the ages with 7 shows in 7 weeks, featuring global superstars Red Hot Chili Peppers, Post Malone, Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles;
- A potentially series-deciding State of Origin clash in July;
- Four key FIFA Women’s World Cup games including the tournament Final on 20 August;
- An Easter Footy Fest featuring Bulldogs v Rabbitohs on Good Friday and Wests Tigers v the Parra Eels on Easter Monday;
- 16 NRL regular-season games featuring home clubs the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs;
- NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final on 1 October (*subject to confirmation);
- Further major sport and entertainment events to be announced.
2023 is shaping up as a boom year for sport and entertainment at Accor Stadium with an amazing run of major concerts leading into some of the biggest sporting events in the nation from March onwards. For tickets and information about all confirmed events at Accor Stadium, go [here].
Accor Stadium Members get access to all regular sporting events plus an exclusive window of opportunity to purchase for international music acts and the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Enquire about Stadium Membership [here].
Want to watch the big sport and entertainment events in style with corporate clients, family & friends? Enquire about Premium Experience offers [here].