Princes Park (stadium)

Princes Park (or Carlton Recreation Ground, currently known by its sponsored name Ikon Park) is an Australian rules football ground located inside the Princes Park precinct in the inner Melbourne suburb of Carlton North. It is a historic venue, having been the home ground of the Carlton Football Club since 1897.[1]

Princes Park
Ikon Park

Princes Park in 2007
Full nameCarlton Recreation Ground/Princes Park
Former namesPrinces Oval (1886-1897)
Princes Park (1897–1994)
Optus Oval (1994–2006)
MC Labour Park (2007–2008)
Visy Park (2009–2015)
Ikon Park (2015–present)
LocationPrinces Park, Carlton North, Victoria
Coordinates37°47′2″S 144°57′42″E
OwnerCity of Melbourne
OperatorCarlton Football Club
Capacity12,000 (since 2022)
Record attendance62,986 (1945 VFL Grand Final)
Broke ground1892
Carlton Football Club

Administration & Training (1897–present)
VFL/AFL (1897–2005)
AFLW (2017–present)
VFLW (2018–present)

Other Australian Football Tenants

Northern Blues (VFL) (2012–2019)
Fitzroy Football Club (1967–1969), (1987–1993) (VFL/AFL)
Hawthorn Football Club (VFL/AFL) (1974–1991)
Western Bulldogs (AFL) (1997–1999)
Collingwood Reserves (VFL) (2008–2009)
Western Bulldogs (AFLW) (2022)
Essendon Football Club (AFLW) (2022)

Other Sporting Tenants
Carlton Cricket Club (1897–2000)
Carlton Soccer Club (1997–1999)
Balmain Tigers (NSWRL) (1994)
Melbourne Storm (Administration & Training) (2006–2010)
Melbourne Rebels (Administration & Training) (2011–2015)

At its highest usage, the ground had a nominal capacity of 35,000, making it the third largest Australian rules football venue in Melbourne after the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Docklands Stadium. Princes Park hosted three grand finals during World War II, with a record attendance of 62,986 at the 1945 VFL Grand Final between Carlton and South Melbourne. After 2005, when the ground hosted its last Australian Football League (AFL) game, two stands were removed and replaced with an indoor training facility and administration building, reducing the capacity. The venue reached capacity (24,500) for the inaugural AFL Women's match between Carlton and Collingwood in 2017.[2] Subsequent renovations and modernisation of the ground and surrounding precinct have reduced Ikon Park's capacity to approximately 12,000.[1]

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