1976 National Football League night series
The first national night series was conducted mid-season on the Norwood Oval involving five teams from Victoria, three from Western Australia and four from Adelaide. The generously sponsored series was an innovation with matches telecast and a large spectator following was drawn to the oval.
The night championships were very successful. Norwood was a semi-finalist and ranked third in the series. A memorable 106 point victory over Carlton in the first round was one of Norwood’s most famous victories.
The grand final between Hawthorn and North Melbourne was the only grand final ever played by VFL teams outside of Melbourne. Hawthorn won the championship.
1977 The Ardath Cup
Norwood won the National Football League championship,the Ardath Cup, defeating East Perth in the grand final by eight points.
A new record high score of 33.21 (219) was scored against North Adelaide 10.9 (69)
1979 Re-surfacing of the oval
The constant usage of the oval since the re-introduction of night football in 1976 and heavy rain resulted in the surface being unplayable. The ground managers, The City of Kensington and Norwood Council, undertook a comprehensive programme to completely re-surface and re-seed the oval in November 1979.
1987 Lease of the Norwood Oval
On January 2nd, 1987, the Norwood Football Club became ground managers of the Norwood Oval.
The lease was for 10 years with a right of renewal for a further 10 years. The City of Kensington and Norwood had controlled the oval since 1905. A separate lease between the council and the SANFL stipulated that Norwood must play at least seven home matches each season. The council received a percentage of the gate for league home matches and any trial games. The club was responsible for the cost of power for running the floodlights.
Glass fronted enclosures were constructed to accommodate the coaches and support staff of both teams.
1988 Spectator facilities improved
With the co-operation and funding from the Council, bench type seating to accommodate 400 patrons was installed in a designated alcohol free area on the eastern wing.
A pre-match brawl erupted between Norwood and Central District players behind the southern goals when both teams congregated at the Parade end for their warm-up. As a consequence the SANFL introduced new rules stipulating that teams must use opposite ends of the ground to conduct their warm-ups, with the home team to use the end nearest their change rooms.
1991 Soldiers Memorial Gardens upgraded
The beautification of The Parade frontage was completed in 1991, with the Sound Shell replaced with an attractive Rotunda. The fountain was de-commissioned and converted into a circular rose garden and the car park fences were removed. The attractive open space complemented the new Parade park design of the Soldiers Memorial Gardens.
A lighting upgrade was completed to enable the SANFL to programme night fixtures at Norwood during the home and away season.
The Oval Committee’s objective was to make the Norwood Oval the centre for night sport. However, with the advent of the Adelaide Crows into the AFL, home game attendances fell by 38% and the committee was ever alert for the need to attract additional income to maintain the oval’s financial viability.
The 1991/92 baseball season marked 40 years of senior baseball including Claxton Shield interstate matches, played at Norwood.
1991 League locker room upgraded
Each of the 35 lockers in the league room was repainted to feature the names of all players with their guernsey numbers who had completed a minimum of 100 league games with Norwood since 1878. An asterisk indicated each players involvement in a premiership team.
1993 Corporate boxes in the Sir Edwin T. Smith pavilion
Six corporate boxes were constructed in the southern grandstand in an effort to attract more corporate support. With attendances diminishing since the Adelaide Crows entry into the AFL in 1991 the southern grandstand was rarely fully occupied on match days.
The Norwood Football Club was granted a 50 year lease by the Kensington & Norwood Council.
1997 Night football for premiership points
The Norwood Oval was used for night matches in the home and away season. Norwood played Central district on April 11th to officially launch the upgraded lighting facilities.
1999 National Baseball League fails
The Adelaide Giants tenure at the Norwood Oval finished with demise of the National Baseball League ending a long association with the Norwood Oval since 1951.