Australian Football came about when Tom Wills, one of the founders, encouraged the winter game of football as a way to keep cricketers fit when out of season. Today it has evolved into one of the hottest sports on the planet. Even though I've never had the chance to attend a game in person, the videos excite me for the opportunity
Formerly known as the Victorian Football League, professional Australian Rules Football started in 1897. However, in 1990, the name changed to reflect that it had spread beyond Victoria and was now a fully national sport enjoyed across the country. This now includes 18 different teams across many different Australian states - though Victoria is still well represented with four that call the Melbourn Cricket Ground it's home. That venue also hosts the AFL final. We think that this presents a great opportunity for a road trip, even if you've never experienced a game before. Here's some highlights for an ultimate Australian League Football road trip!
In South Australia, you will find the Adelaide Oval, the ground for the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power. With a capacity of 53,500, the stadium is often near full capacity for AFL matches. So if you don’t happen to grab a ticket, look at traveling to another city to catch your team at another stadium.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is home to Collingwood, Hawthorn, Melbourne, and the 2019 grand final winners, Richmond. With an impressive capacity of 100,000, the stadium is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and the 10th largest stadium globally.
Following a deal with The Walt Disney Company – the parent company of Marvel Studios – the Docklands Stadium was renamed to the Marvel Stadium in 2018. As well as being the home to Essendon, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne and Carlton for AFL matches, the Marvel Stadium also has the Marvel Vault, Australia’s only dedicated Marvel retail store.
GMHBA Stadium is where you will find the Geelong Cats. This is Victoria’s only venue for regular AFL Premiership matches outside Melbourne.
As well as Blundstone Arena, Bellerive, being a great venue to watch AFL teams North Melbourne and Hobart Hurricanes, it also has one of Australia’s most exciting cricket museums.
First opened in 1987 as Carrara Stadium, it was redeveloped and re-opened as Metricon Stadium in 2011 and is now the home to the Gold Coast Suns. Those with a valid event ticket can travel free with TransLink on scheduled Surfside bus, Queensland Rail and G:link services.
New South Wales
The Giants Stadium was originally built as the baseball stadium for the Sydney Olympics. It was then transformed to the 23,500-seat capacity home to the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
The Manuka Oval is where you’ll find the GWS Giants Canberra play and is the permanent home for both Cricket and Australian Football in Australia’s capital, Canberra.
Sydney Cricket Ground was officially opened in 1886 and is home to the Sydney Swans, who first played at the ground in 1982. It’s here you will also find the Sydney Cricket Ground Museum which says it is “dedicated to collecting, documenting, preserving and displaying the unique sporting and social activities that have occurred on the grounds of the Sydney Cricket Ground.”
Where some of the stadiums have been built for other sports and host AFL, TIO Stadium was built in 1991 primarily to cater for Australian Rules Football and hosts one AFL home and away game per year.