Adelaide United’s Coopers Stadium upgrades are running as planned as it receives back-of-house improvements to prepare for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Back in August 2021, the club announced that the stadium would receive a massive $53 million upgrade in conjunction with Adelaide Venue Management and the South Australia Government.
The upgrade was announced to significantly improve training and playing environments, as well as upgrades inside the stadium to many different facilities. An increase in stadium capacity was not involved in the plans.
Adelaide United CEO Nathan Kosmina spoke to Box2Box to give a further insight into the stadium upgrades.
“The renovations are ongoing at the moment, the bulk upgrades are happening as we speak and we expect most to be complete post A-League season. However some renovations won’t be complete until after the Women’s World Cup,” he said.
Coopers Stadium (formally Hindmarsh) has been the heart and soul of soccer in South Australia since the 1960’s, and although it doesn’t resemble what it was back then, Kosmina reflected on a traditional home for football in the state.
“It’s been the home of SA football since the 60’s, it doesn’t resemble now what it was back then but its still the same block of land that it always has been so its got a lot of history and culture,” he said.
The stadium has been home to many different sporting events and organisations for over 60 years, and has hosted NSL finals, Socceroos matches, Rugby Union and Rugby League.
Coopers was also used for the 2000 Olympics where it recorded it’s largest ever attendance of 18,340, when Italy drew 1-1 with Nigeria in a group stage match.
One of the main concerns for the stadium was making sure the atmosphere inside the venue remained as intimate as possible post-renovation, to ensure the best possible fan experience for all that will attend.
“We were heavily involved in the planning and what Coopers will look like in the future and our priority is to keep that intimate atmosphere,” Kosmina stated.
“One of the challenges is that part of the stadium is bordered by roads, almost underneath the stands and even near a church. So in terms of increasing the size of the stadium, that was never on the radar.
“What we will see in the next 12 months is a lot of back-of-house upgrades, and the change rooms have been done which has really been first priority considering we have a lot of A-League Women’s games here.
Whilst some renovations won’t be complete until after the Women’s World Cup in 2023, what will be ready is a wide variety of new stadium features that Kosmina is hoping will have a positive impact on fan and media experience.
He stated that the stand on the eastern side of Coopers will be getting one of the biggest upgrades, which includes new audio, new LED, new big TV screens, new media facilities and new food and beverage facilities.
When it comes to something such as unveiling the upgrades to the public, it won’t be too noticeable or impressive to the eye, however the process of the redevelopment is mainly designed to thoroughly improve fan experience for upcoming international events.
“This is an upgrade that has been 20 years in the making, the stadium hasn’t bee improved since the 2000 Olympics,” Kosmina said.
“After the renovations are complete, I’m sure Coopers Stadium will still be a lot of peoples favourite stadium to attend in the country for A-Leagues, the only difference is that its just being brought into the 21st century.
“Next year we should have what feels like a new venue to play at.”
You can listen to more of what Nathan Kosmina had to say on the most recent Box2Box podcast episode here.