Presenting: the top five worst stadiums in the A-League

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Have you ever gone to an A-League game and thought ‘man this place is a dump’.

I have, so I am going to offer you the top five worst stadiums in the A-League.

Seriously, some of these places are the drabbest, least inspiring, ill-equipped stadiums know to human-kind.

Adelaide Oval   

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It was really exciting to see Adelaide United play in a Grand Final and young Adam was busy packing away in readiness for the big game.

He had a box of shapes, some sunscreen for because he was whiter than Caspar the Ghost and his radio for the ABC Grandstand coverage.

Unfortunately, he left the Hubble telescope at home, so he couldn’t see an actual football…or anything because the Southbank Stand is closer to outer-space than the pitch.

Look I get it. We’re all about selling out for that corporate dollar and getting more people in is good – even if they spend 95% of their time on sportsbet – especially when cash is scarce in the A-League.

But for the love of all things good in this world, why do it in Adelaide?

The stadium may let you walk out into the city and enjoy the night life, but then, you remember it’s Adelaide and the nightlife dies at 9.00pm, so you just catch a taxi to an underwhelming hotel.

It gets weirder when you consider Adelaide has a fine stadium, roughly 20 minutes away with moderate and never-ending roadworks, in Coopers Stadium which is specifically built for United.

Suncorp Stadium 

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Nothing says “football is not our priority” quite like playing football at Suncorp Stadium.

The pitch, voted the league’s worst pitch in 2016/17, is more chewed up then a dog’s breakfast after the Broncos and miscellaneous concert gets played at Suncorp and it makes for a less than great spectacle.

To be honest, sometimes I can’t tell if I am at a construction zone or stadium with the amount of orange.

I remember Brisbane filling out Suncorp twice on Grand Final days but otherwise it serves as an empty echo chamber with the same amount of atmosphere as dinner with your in-laws, or an in-law’s funeral… actually just anything with your in-laws.

Brisbane are one of the A-League’s most successful teams, they deserve a football-specific stadium which suits their 20,000 supporters or at least an organising team with some common-sense.

ANZ Stadium 

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In a sentence: ANZ Stadium is a mirror of Graham Arnold’s teams; unsightly and functional rather than a crowd-pleaser.

My main gripe here isn’t so much with the stadium, but it is a bugger to get into and out of when the game ends.

For such a big stadium, maybe it is to be expected but I have seen a 34-year-old Jacob Burns cover more ground at a faster clip than crowds exit ANZ Stadium.

I just feel there are some things you need for a stadium, namely the ability to get people in and out of the stadium in a timely manner.

At the moment, the exit times feel longer than the A-League off-season and that is enough to see it on this list.

Telstra Dome/ Colonel Stadium/Etihad Stadium/ Marvel Stadium  (pick whichever one suits) 

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A stadium which has changed names more times than Emile Heskey scored in 2013/14 for the Newcastle Jets, Marvel is a bit ugh.

There are some redeeming features about Marvel Stadium… or whatever it is called by the time this comes out:

  • It has a roof

And now we have that out of the way, Etihad Stadium was just not suited for football, Australian Rules maybe but the World Game, no.

It was just too far away from the pitch and the crowd was rarely felt alive as you couldn’t shake the feeling the Victory were tenants in an AFL arena.

Also, on another note: if your hamburger costs $12 dollars and fits in the palm of my hand – unless it is made by Jamie Oliver or some aged beef from Roman times – it is overpriced and disgusting.

Add in to it the fact that Marvel Stadium has all the vibrancy and stylish charm of a prison cell, it makes for dull viewing.

All I can say is thank god for AAMI Park, that is a thing of beauty.

This looks like an Orwellian Prison.

Hunter Stadium (Newcastle Stadium) 

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Imagine this: You are at McDonald Jones Stadium, having a good time but your mate wants a beer. Being the type of guy you are, you oblige and go grab one, if only to numb the sadness of your team losing 3-0.

20 minutes later you have the beer you crave. Except it’s mid-strength beer which is more akin to dishwater then it is to beer which makes you regret the $9 dollars you parted with to get it.

Now this is just a sad night.

I mean, it’s not an isolated problem to Newcastle but from what I’ve heard the service is about as a lacklustre as a Phil Stubbins-era Jets side and that is a serious issue.

If I can’t get a decent beer for $9 dollars while watching Ruben Zadkovich play like the second-coming of Marco Bresciano, the A-League isn’t what I thought it was, although mid-strength beer is exactly what I thought it was… vile.

Be sure to tell us your thoughts on the worst stadiums in the A-League.

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Adam Daunt
Adam Daunt
A student at University of South Australia who hopes his writing disguises his lack of sporting prowess and a fan who masquerades his choice in mediocre teams as being hipster

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