The venue is nestled on the eastern shores of the Derwent River, a mere ten minute drive from Hobart’s CBD.
Opened in 1914, the venue didn’t replace the Tasmanian Cricket Association as Hobart’s first-class cricket headquarters until the 1987-88 season. The ground received a significant upgrade which was completed in early 2003 and included the construction of a new 6,000-seat Southern Grandstand, two Members buildings, indoor cricket nets and other improvements. Light towers were installed in 2009. In 2012 the first AFL matches were played at the venue with North Melbourne Kangaroos hosting two home matches during the season. The ground saw further redevelopment in 2013 with the completion of the $34 million redevelopment which saw the construction of the new Western Stand which was named the Ricky Ponting stand at the official launch on January 21st, 2015.
The venue consists of the new Ricky Ponting Stand (Western Stand), the David Boon Stand (formerly known as the Southern Stand) and the Members Pavilion.
There is also one smaller stand and a traditional hill on the eastern boundary which collectively contribute to a capacity crowd of 19,500. The dimensions of the playing surface are 175m x 135m – slightly longer but somewhat narrower than the MCG.
Turf wickets were first laid at Bellerive in 1957; since (1986) the arena has undergone a significant enhancement with the removal of a noticeable camber and levelling of the oval.
The ten-strip centre wicket area consists of couch grass, which has been successfully propagated in the colder southern climate, and English rye in the perimeter pitches.
Traditionally the wicket has provided bowlers with early movement, but the pitch tends to become a batting paradise as the match progresses, and the ground is influenced by afternoon sea-breezes off the Derwent River. Tasmania’s first Test, between Australia and Sri Lanka, was played here in 1989.
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