Since the NSW Government announced in 2017 that Allianz Stadium (aka Sydney Football Stadium) would be demolished and rebuilt it’s been beset by controversy. A local community group challenged the project in court, opposition politicians decried the waste and original developer Lendlease pulled out of the rebuild in 2019, more than a year after the original stadium had been torn down. But there’s no turning back time and this Sunday August 28, Allianz Stadium will reopen to the public with a free community day. Here’s what to expect from your next visit to the stadium.

The food
Hospitality giant Merivale has been brought in to operate the stadium’s 64 food and beverage outlets. And what it’s selling goes above and beyond typical stadium fare like sad hotdogs and tongue-burning meat pies. It’s brought in some of its most respected executive chefs to reinterpret the eateries and dishes it’s best known for. There’ll be Dan Hong’s cult-favourite cheeseburger spring rolls; a spinoff of the Mike Eggert-led Totti’s, with a range of antipasti, as well as pasta dishes and the Bondi diner’s famed neapolitan ice-cream sandwich; and an iteration of Newport fine diner Bert’s, headed up by Jordan Toft, offering a full-service bistro experience with oysters, grilled lobster in garlic butter and Wagyu sirloin with bearnaise sauce. Plus, alongside beer and wine, you’ll be able to sip Martinis and Negronis as you cheer along your favourite team. And the new stadium has been designed to make ordering during a game less of a headache: there’s one food and beverage point of sale for every 100–125 punters, and the concourse’s design offers views of the field directly from the bars and eateries.

The events
The stadium launches to the public on August 28 with a free community day headlined by Guy Sebastian and Baker Boy. (Tickets are free, registration is a must). The first sports game at the new stadium will be on September 2 between the Roosters and St George Illawarra’s women’s teams, followed by the men’s league game between the Roosters and the Rabbitohs later that night. On October 14 and 15 Bruno Mars will play the stadium’s official opening concerts. Other gigs to look forward to include Justin Bieber (November 29 and 30) and Elton John (January 17 and 18).

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The seats
The new stadium will be a rain-free zone for punters, with 100 per cent of its 42,500 seats under a roof made from 4000 individual pieces of steel. Seating has also been brought closer to the playing fields, giving spectators a better view than at the previous stadium. There’s also been a 2300 per cent increase in accessible seating options.

The toilets
Lining up for the loo pre-, post- or during a game or gig can make or break your day. But the new stadium has seen a 170 per cent increase in the number of public toilets from its predecessor. Whereas in the old stadium there were 291 male toilets, the new building has 600 of them – and while gender parity hasn’t been achieved in society at large, the new stadium is almost there, with 600 female toilets as well, up from 113 in the old stadium. There are also 16 universal access toilets, a four-fold increase from the old stadium.

Allianz Stadium reopens on August 28, 2022.