In the 1950's the Balmain Tigers had such a huge following that they needed to build something just for the passionate followers, so in 1957 such a building was built, The Balmain Leagues Club. The club was the home to many die hard fans that would pile in on the weekends to come and down a few schooners and scream at the tv screens to get their team home.
The leagues club operated for over 50 years and in that time it was even identified as a 'place of historical significance' by the Australian Rugby League, it even held the party for the Tigers when they won the 2005 premiership. But just 5 years after their premiership the doors shut and were never to be opened again.
There is a whole ugly story (possibly more then one) about what is going to happen with the site and proposals like a 20 storey high rise that has been back and fourth with courts and council approvals and people doing some dodgy things by the sounds of it, but I can't be bothered doing the research into that as I* don't care what goes up there.
The Leagues Club was abandoned in 2010, and it quickly made way for some squatters who set up some pretty decent living quarters there, and from word on the street it sounds like they had a pretty sweet set up in there and were in there for a while. When you look through the barred windows you can see couches, tvs, beds and even some cooking utensils still there, but gaining access to the building isn't as easy as it used to be.
In saying that, this is why this is titled the Tigers Car Park, as on my visit I never go inside, I could see two access points which both involved the possibility of falling from a decent height that could of resulted in being seriously hurt, or possibly dead, so climbing up onto a three storey ledge and in through a broken glass window is not what i consider a smart choice. I have seen photos from inside and it looks cool, pretty trashed but there are some squatters treasures in there, but also from what i have heard there was a heavy drug presence in there, so if you do tempt death climbing in here, watch out for drug paraphernalia or possibly even a junky still lurking in the shadows.
The car park on the other hand is a lot less dangerous and takes no life threatening stunts to gain access. The car park once would of been filled with punters going to watch the game, resulting in their cars spending a night or two here after a few too many cold ones, but no cars have parked in here for a while.
It is just a car park, it is a multi-storey car park though, which makes it a little more exciting, but in the end its still just a carpark. It has some random objects scattered around the place and it does have some really cool graffiti in here. It's not mind blowing or going to make your top list of places to explore, but it's still got its charms, and if you explore enough you'll even come across a trophy or two from the clubs glory days.
WHAT: The car park for the former Balmain Leagues Club.
ACCESS - EASY: It's on a main road, but when i was there kids were jumping the fence right there...i opted for a more subtle entrance but that too was easy.
SECURITY - MEDIUM: Being on a busy road ups the security a bit as you never know what kind of nosey person might see you and dob you in, once inside though you'll be fine. When we were there there were workers there re-inforcing the doors that were boarded up, making the former leagues club like an impenetrable fortress unless you are spiderman.
INTEREST - 4/10: Like I said above its not mind blowing, but there are some cool relics laying around, some random shit as well but some cool, creative street art that's always nice to see.
ALONE OR WITH A FRIEND: It's a place you could do yourself as long as you aren't trying to get into the leagues club, it's small and no real dangers present.
DANGERS: None really...glass like every other abandonment, a needle or two which are never nice to stumble across but besides those structurally its sound.
Disclaimer – The person referred to as “I” in this post is not necessarily me, nor does “I” refer to anyone in particular, likewise with the word 'we'. I will not be held responsible it anyone ventures to these locations and gets in trouble or injured. These words may be a ramble of useless information and the photos found on a lost usb picked up in the gutter? Who knows?