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Knights Stadium

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Knights Stadium, Main Grandstand Knights Stadium, VIP Room
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Knights Stadium, Training Ground 2 Knights Stadium, Training Ground 3

LOCATION

Knights Stadium is located in Melbourne’s western suburbs at 2 Somers Street, Sunshine North.
The Melways reference is 27 A6.


CAPACITY

Knights Stadium has a capacity of 15,000, which includes seating for 3,000 spectators as well as Corporate facilities catering for up to 250 guests.
The record crowd at the venue for a National Soccer League fixture is 11,560 spectators, when ex-Newcastle United playmaker Peter Beardsley turned out for the club in the 2001 season against South Melbourne.
The record crowd at the venue for a Victorian Premier League fixture is 4,752, achieved in 2013 when the club hosted South Melbourne in the Elimination Final.
The record crowd for a friendly match was against Hajduk Split in 1990, where more than 12,500 people packed into the unfinished Croatian Sports Centre as it was then known.
The record crowd for a non-footballing event is 8,465 for the 2011 SuperX Motorcross Championship.


HISTORY

Knights Stadium is an Australian association football stadium in Sunshine North, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is the largest soccer-only stadium in the state of Victoria.

Formerly the site of the Sunshine Village Cinema ‘Drive-In’ the Melbourne Knights FC recognised the need for a place to truly call home in the early 1970’s.
The Melbourne Knights in its various incarnations had owned two properties earmarked for development as a club-hub before breaking ground at Lot 2 Somers St. Firstly, in 1972 under the stewardship of long-time chairman Enver Begovic the club acquired land in Lacy St. Avondale Heights although the club’s plans for two AFL ovals and three soccer pitches incorporating a 1000 seat banquet hall were curtailed by council.
The club moved on an tried to secure Olympic Village (current home of Heidelberg United), John Cain Reserve (current home of Northcote City) and Green Gully Reserve (current home of Green Gully SC) to no avail. In early 1981 the club’s Executive Committee took matters into their own hands and bought a 7 acre property in Leakes Road, Rockbank with a view to develop the property to suit the club’s needs.
Their plans were shot down by the members as basic infrastructure such as public transport and utilities were lacking – in the end the club’s Rockbank home only hosted a few club picnics before it was thrown to the wayside.

In October 1984 at the conclusion of the club’s maiden National Soccer League season, the committee decided to act swiftly amidst rising rental costs at Melbourne’s premier soccer facility at the time, the legendary Olympic Park. Lot 2 Somers St. North Sunshine, situated on just over 51,000sqM of land seemed perfect.
A deposit was quickly found. Rockbank was sold to finance the loan temporarily whilst the club began a massive fundraising drive, separate to fielding an elite NSL side to build the Melbourne Croatian Sports Centre, Knights Park, Somers Street and the various other names the club’s home was baptised with. This fundraising drive lasted well over a decade until the completion of stage 1 of the building works, completion of the 3,000 seat grandstand as well as television quality lighting, partly funded by the Labor state government of the time.

The land at Somers Street was bought and developed largely through donations and volunteer work from the local community.
The stadium holds approximately 15,000 spectators. It consists of a seated main stand (the Mark Viduka Stand) which has a seating capacity of 3,000 (with wheel-chair access) and open standing-room terracing around the rest of the stadium. The main pitch is equipped with four (4) light towers for night matches and a PA system for microphone announcments & music.
The Stadium complex covers around 12 acres (51,000 m2). It has 3 pitches, including the main pitch.
The complex also contains the Melbourne Croatia Clubrooms and the Knights Sports Gym. The beginning of 2008 saw Knights Stadium facilities receive its most significant face-lift since the grandstand was first built with the main pitch being re-laid, as well as renovations on both the grandstand and surrounding terraces,as well as the outer pitches.
In 2011, the club replaced 900 old and broken seats in order to host the first round of the 2011 Australasian Supercross Championships, which saw a complete make-over of the Stadium and hosted over 8,000 spectators.


EVENTS

Knights Stadium has been hired by various groups and promoters over the years as an affordable suburban stadium with adequate parking, catering and spectator amenities.
Some of the events and groups the club has hosted include the 1990 Hajduk Split Australian tour.
In 1992, the Croatian National Football Team used Knights Stadium as a training base for its Australian tour
In 1997, the Iranian National Football Team used Knights Stadium as its training base for the World Cup Qualifiers.
In 2001 Rod Stewart privately trained on the main pitch
In 2007 the Australian Olympic boxing team competed against the Croatian Olympic boxing team
In 2011 the first round of the Australasian SuperX Championships was held at Knights Stadium
Due to the club’s close ties with the Croatian community, countless open air concerts were held during the diaspora’s war effort in the early 1990’s.


PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Train

The nearest train stations are Sunshine and Albion train stations, which are both located about a five minute drive from Knights Stadium.

Bus
The easiest route to Knights Stadium by public transport is to disembark at Sunshine Station and catch the 408 bus towards St. Albans StationDisembark at the corner of Berkshire Road and Henderson Street. Take a 1 minute walk down to the end of Henderson Street, the end of which becomes Somers Street with the stadium another 100m walk from the start of Somers Street.
(Public Transport Zones 1 & 2).
For timetabling information, please visit ptv.vic.gov.au


PARKING

The car park in the Knights Stadium complex has a capacity of 700, parts of which are reserved for Players, officials and club members. The car park charge is $3 for match days.
Parking is also available along Somers Street and the streets leading in to Knights Stadium. Please be mindful and respectful of our neighbors and only park in areas that are not marked Clearaway or No Standing.
Spectators are advised to closely check the parking signs along these roads, as there could be special conditions for match days.
In addition to the Knights Stadium complex parking, the club does sometimes offer parking within the EnjoyChurch car park for large matches which brings the total car parking capacity to over 1500 spaces. Please be advised that the EnjoyChurch car park is not usually used excluding finals matches / large events. Please check any information disseminated by the club for confirmation and to avoid disappointment.