Princes Park (or Carlton Recreation Ground, currently known by its sponsored name Ikon Park) is an Australian rules football ground located inside the wider Princes Park 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.
Prior to a partial redevelopment 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. Austadiums lists the current capacity of the stadium at around 22,000.
Princes Park was first used in 1897 by the Carlton Football Club, during the inaugural season of the VFL/AFL. The club went on to win 673 of its 962 VFL/AFL games at the venue. The Alderman Gardiner Stand was designed in 1903 and completed in stages between 1909 and 1913, as a mostly iron stand with original cast iron columns still in place. The Robert Heatley Stand was officially opened by Alderman Sir William Brunton on Saturday, 7 May 1932.
Princes Park features several sports and recreation grounds and is headquarters to the Carlton Football Club. Over the years, a variety of community sporting facilities have been created including the two 1938 Art Deco sporting pavilions on Royal Parade. The park also hosts a variety of sporting clubs including lawn bowls, cricket and soccer, and includes tennis facilities.