Papua New Guinea's national sport - Rugby League. They breed them fast and they breed them tough. All they need is access to the facilities and couching that Australian players and teams get and you have a veritable melting pot of talent just waiting to sign large $$ contracts to play footy. So when I get the invite to join up with the POPULOUS team and head to PNG for the stadium opener I had already booked a doctors appointment to get all my shots up to date. The stadium is located in the capital, Port Morseby, and what a wild place it is. But to shoot the stadium was more than just analysing it architecturally. It was also important to capture the essence of the community, the culture and the proudness that these people show towards a game that they love.
Architect : POPULOUS
Photography : Scott Burrows Photographer
If you built it they will come. Keen fans already starting to arrive at the stadium's urban plaza in readiness for a big game against an Australian NRL side.
Game day - line marking in, grass watered.... we are ready to go. PNG does not have a recognised true facility so the entire field was grown from seed stock.
Teams got a chance to warm up the previous afternoon, test out the playing surface and get a feel for what 15,000 fans are going to be like.
Main stadium structure overlooks the pitch. The roof is a modular system with tensioned fabric, all shipped in from Australia due to the limited resources available in PNG. But it also gave local tradespersons the ability to work alongside experienced people and improve their skill base.
Almost a try. Expectant fans rise to the hope of their local team posting points on the scoreboard.
The main grandstand holds 3,000 permanent seats with the remainder of the stadium a modular frame system supporting 12,000 fans. This gives future flexibility to increase the coverage of the main grandstand in years to come.
Main corporate level ( with air conditioning ).
Screened staircase element provides access to various levels within the grand stand.
Temporary grand stand seating has been wrapped in a low cost printed fabric that not only hides a weave of metal sticks but also allows for increased natural ventilation around the seating plinths.
This is what fan fever is all about, right there. The local team scores a try and the place simply erupts. Even though there is only 15,000 present I can safely say it sounded more like 50,000. Simply interacting with fans whilst positioning myself for shots around the ground made it a memorable experience.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE : All images appearing on this website are under the copyright ownership of Scott Burrows Photographer. You are not permitted to copy or share these images in any environments without the express permission of the photographer. Licensing fees may apply.