York Park Australia, Launceston

York Park

York Park is a sports ground in the Inveresk and York Park Precinct, Launceston, Australia. Holding 21,000 people — the largest capacity stadium in Tasmania — York Park is known commercially as University of Tasmania Stadium and was formerly known as Aurora Stadium under a previous naming rights agreement signed with Aurora Energy in 2004. Primarily used for Australian rules football, its record attendance of 20,971 was set in June 2006, when Hawthorn Football Club played Richmond Football Club in an Australian Football League (AFL) match.

The area was swampland before becoming Launceston's showgrounds in 1873. In the following decades the grounds were increasingly used for sports, including cricket, bowls and tennis. In 1919, plans were prepared for the transformation of the area into a multi-sports venue. From 1923, the venue was principally used for Australian rules football by the Northern Tasmanian Football Association, and for occasional inter-state games. Visiting mainland football clubs regularly played mid-season or end-of-season matches at the ground. Other sports such as cricket, tennis, bowling, cycling and foot-racing have been played at the venue.

Hawthorn has played between two and five AFL matches each season since 2001, and the St Kilda Football Club played two games a year between 2003 and 2006. In 2007, the Tasmanian Government signed a $16.4 million, five-year sponsorship deal with Hawthorn, under which the club will play four regular season games and one National Australia Bank Cup pre-season match at the venue each year.

Throughout its history, York Park has hosted major pop concerts and other entertainments. Since 2001 it has been a venue for international sports events, and in 2005 was redeveloped at a cost of $23.6 million. On 21 February 2009 York Park became home to the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame.