Main content

Swans exit ANZ Stadium deal one year early

Banned Dons train, Blues' plan, Pie probe Nat Edwards and Matt Thompson with your Monday Footy Feed.

THE SYDNEY Swans have ended their ANZ Stadium deal one year early, allowing the club to play all its home games at the SCG from 2016 onwards.

It means the Swans' round one clash against Collingwood, originally scheduled to be played at the Homebush venue, will now be played at the SCG.

The club's remaining ANZ Stadium games - against Essendon in round seven and Carlton in round 18 - will also be moved to the Swans' traditional home ground.

The deal to play all finals in Sydney at ANZ Stadium is unchanged, with the responsibility remaining with the AFL to negotiate any possible early exit. 

The Swans signed a 30-year deal in November 2014 to play all home games at the SCG from 2017, including finals, but CEO Andrew Ireland said an early end to the club's association with ANZ Stadium means that new plans for the Moore Park venue can now get underway.

"It's clearly a favourite spot for our members and supporters and we just thought that if we could get it (games) back here (at the SCG) a year early, it would be great for everyone," he said on Monday afternoon.

Ireland thanked the SCG Trust and management of ANZ Stadium for their support in ending the deal at short notice and 12 months ahead of schedule.

The Swans played their first game at ANZ Stadium in 2002 against Essendon, losing by two points. However, they enjoyed a good record at the venue, winning 32 of their 54 total games over 14 seasons, including an 8-2 record in finals.  

There has been constant criticism over the quality of the surface and facilities at the ground, which also hosts NRL games, sometimes less than 24 hours prior to some AFL matches.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson spoke of the challenges of playing at ANZ Stadium after round 16 last year, after star forward Jarryd Roughead luckily escaped injury after an incident in a match against the Swans.

Roughead's jumper was ripped and his back scratched after he slid across some bolts exposed in the concrete near the fence behind the goals.

Swans co-captain Jarrad McVeigh played down the controversy surrounding the surface at the former Olympic stadium but welcomed the chance to come back to the SCG full time.

"That's been a concern throughout all the AFL grounds, the players want their safety (looked after) first and foremost," he said.

"There's been a few issues here and there but as we saw in our final last year, that was the best condition we've ever seen it.

"We've had some amazing moments out at ANZ (Stadium), we've played all our finals out there for a number of years, prelim finals that have got us into Grand Finals and we've had a really good record out there so we love the memories out there.

"But the boys are excited about it, we've got our change rooms here (at the SCG), we're here every single day and we comfortable in this area.

"We love running out at the SCG when it's a packed house and most games will be packed this year so those types of things the boys will really get a good kick out of."

Ireland also revealed that despite the ANZ Stadium announcement, the planned tribute for retired club great Adam Goodes at the SCG in round three when the club takes on Greater Western Sydney would not be moved.

The Swans' match against Collingwood in round one clashes with an NRL game next door at Allianz Stadium, so Ireland said a fireworks show and other festivities would not get the go ahead.

The Swans played 54 games over 14 seasons at ANZ Stadium. Picture: AFL Media