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Rushton Park

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Rushton Park

Rushton Park (known as Bendigo Bank Stadium under a naming rights agreement) is an Australian rules football ground located in Mandurah, Western Australia. Having been in use as a football ground since the early 1960s, the ground is currently used as a home ground by three clubs: the , competing in the West Australian Football League (WAFL), the Mandurah Mustangs, competing in the Peel Football League (PFL), and the Peel Thunderbirds, competing in the West Australian Women's Football League (WAWFL). Rushton Park is the only regularly-used ground in the WAFL that falls outside the Perth metropolitan area.

History

The area that is now Rushton Park was first gazetted as a sanitation site on 20 August, 1926, and was converted to a recreation reserve in September 1958, under the Mandurah Road Board. The reserve was named for Richard Rushton, a former local government commissioner, with the new name approved on 22 May, 1972.[1] The park was first used for football in the 1960s by the Mandurah Football Club in the Sunday Football League.[2] The ground held its first West Australian Football League (WAFL) match in April 1986 between and , with a record attendance at the time of 7,147 people.[3] A further game was hosted in the 1987 season, between and South Fremantle, with 4,547 in attendance.[4] As well as football, the ground also hosted two cricket matches between a Western Australia Country XI and touring Sri Lankan and Tamil Nadu sides, in 1987 and 1988, respectively.[5] After the Peel Thunder Football Club was accepted into the WAFL for the 1997 season, Rushton Park became its home ground. The first game of the 1997 season, against , drew a crowd of 5,781 people.[6]

Attendances declined during the late 1990s and early 2000s, with an average of around 1,200 attending games at Rushton Park.[7] A match in 2000 between Peel and drew only 815 people.[8] Australian Football League (AFL) pre-season matches in 2004 (Fremantle and ) and 2006 (West Coast and St Kilda), attracted crowds of 7,527 and 8,283 people respectively, with the latter a new ground record.[9] In September 2009, naming rights to the ground were sold to the Bendigo Bank as part of a three-year deal.[10] A A$9 million redevelopment of the ground, consisting of the construction of a new grandstand and facilities, began in February 2010, and was completed in June 2011.[11][12] The ground hosted the 2011 State Game against Queensland in June 2011.[13] An AFL pre-season match between West Coast and Port Adelaide during the 2012 NAB Cup was attended by approximately 9,000 people, setting a new ground record.[14]

References

  1. ^ Mandurah – City of Mandurah. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  2. ^ Rushton Park – austadiums.com. Last updated 8 March 2006. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  3. ^ Round 2 – 1986 – wafl.com.au. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  4. ^ Round 1 – 1987 – wafl.com.au. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  5. ^ Rushton Park, Mandurah – CricketArchive. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  6. ^ Round 1 – 1997 – wafl.com.au. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  7. ^ Bendigo Bank Stadium games – wafl.com.au. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  8. ^ Round 14 – 2000 – wafl.com.au. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  9. ^ Rushton Park Crowds – austadiums.com. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  10. ^ Rushton Park no more – footygoss.com. Posted 2 September 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  11. ^ Rushton Park Redevelopment to start in Feb 2010 – austadiums.com. Posted 25 October 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  12. ^ KICK-OFF FOR NEW RUSHTON PARK – garygray.com.au. Published 18 June 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  13. ^ Black Swans win WAFL State game – austadiums.com.au. Published 20 June 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011.
  14. ^ Schmook, Nathan (2012). Kerr's late sealer see Eagles pip Port – Australian Football League. Published 3 March 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2012.

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