Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium (formerly known as Central Coast Stadium, Northpower Stadium and Central Coast Express Advocate Stadium) is a sports venue on Grahame Park in Gosford, on the Central Coast of New South Wales. Originally designed to be the home stadium for the North Sydney Bears rugby league football club, the stadium is now home to the Central Coast Storm rugby league football club and the Central Coast Mariners Football Club (soccer). The stadium also continues to host irregular rugby league and rugby union fixtures although unsuccessful bids have been made to have locally based teams play in the National Rugby League (NRL) and Super 14.
The stadium is rectangular and is unusual in that seating is located on only three sides of the ground. The southern end is open giving filtered views of Brisbane Water through a row of palm trees. With an all seater capacity of 20,119 it is currently the sixth largest stadium in the A-League. It is within walking distance of the Gosford CBD, the railway station and is adjacent to the Central Coast Leagues Club.
In 1911, Erina Shire Council proposed to create a park on the shore of Brisbane Water. The park required much land to be reclaimed from marshland. It also required privately owned land to be purchased by council and a section of road to be demolished. Waterside Park was opened in 1915 and a cricket pitch was added during that year. Further reclamation of the foreshore extended the park during the Depression that gave work to the unemployed. By 1939 surplus railway land had been added and a Bowling Club and green as well as tennis courts had been constructed. In 1939 the Park was renamed Grahame Park.
A full stadium was then touted and later built in the late 1990s, planned to be ready in 1999 for NRL club the North Sydney Bears, before construction problems including large spells of inclement weather delayed completion. The stadium finally opened in early 2000 as NorthPower Stadium at Grahame Park, the Northern Eagles National Rugby League team (a merging of the aforementioned Bears and the Manly Sea Eagles) taking residence there until their dissolving at the conclusion of the 2002 season. In 2003, with no major sporting team in residence, the stadium played host to three group matches in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The Pacific Islanders rugby union team played one match at the stadium on their 2004 tour. The stadium gained its second fulltime tenant in 2005 with the formation of the Central Coast Mariners, a team in the newly-formed national A-League football (soccer) competition. It became the first fulltime national sporting competition to have a team play at the stadium. Further use of the stadium in 2006 follows from it being the home ground to the Central Coast Waves rugby union team, which joined the Shute Shield in 2006. The stadium has continued to host NRL competition matches from time to time, as well as a number of pre-season trials each season. The Central Coast Rays, the Central Coasts' Australian Rugby Championship team, played out of the stadium during the only season of the competition in 2007. The stadium continues as a home to the Mariners A-League side currently, and will continue to host NRL matches throughout the 2008 Centenary Year. It was announced in March 2008 that Blue-Tongue Stadium's Video Screen would be updated and made permanent, with the State Government granting $250,000 towards its construction.
|12 January 2008||Central Coast Mariners 1 - 2 Newcastle Jets|
A-League 2007-08, Round 20
|6 February 2000||Northern Eagles 24 - 14 Newcastle Knights|
NRL season 2000, Round 1
|27 October 2003||Japan 26 - 39 USA|
Pool B match, 2003 Rugby World Cup