As anyone would expect, Rugby League has venues all over Australia, from club-specific stadiums devoted entirely to the sport, to multi-purpose venues used also for cricket and football. Whatever the case though, seeing live Rugby League action in Australia can make for an unforgettable sporting experience, whether you’re a regular fan, an intrigued visitor, or even someone without much knowledge of the sport. The competitive spirit, the beauty of the stadiums, and the excitement and passion of the fans just makes for an incredible spectacle.
Given this, we wanted to devote a piece to some of the very best places to watch Rugby League action around Australia. These are not the only options, but if you get the chance to see a match at any of the following, take it!
Suncorp Stadium – Milton, Brisbane
Suncorp Stadium is one of the better-known rugby venues of any kind in Australia, and gives you a great excuse to visit the wonderful city of Brisbane (which is sometimes overlooked by comparison to the likes of Melbourne and Sydney). At the club level, this is the home venue for the Brisbane Broncos, a team brought into National Rugby League in the ‘80s that’s had some modern success, particularly in the late ‘90s and ‘00s. And while the team isn’t typically among the best in the league these days, it does still see quite a lot of talent passing through. For instance, following recent play, talk is beginning to build that Brisbane’s Payne Haas could be the game’s best forward in short time.
Allianz Stadium – Sydney
Allianz Stadium (not to be confused with Allianz Arena, the famous Bundesliga stadium in Germany) is also known as Sydney Football Stadium. It’s a 45,000-seat venue that is primarily used for football – including, on occasion, hosting the <em>Socceroos</em> (the Australian national team). It’s also home to Rugby League’s Sydney Roosters, however, and every bit as good a place to see rugby as football. Given that the Roosters have been one of the best teams in Australia of late, too, it should be high on any fan’s list of places to check out.
AAMI Park – Melbourne
Sometimes referred to as the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, the beautiful AAMI Park in Melbourne may be the best of them all when it comes to pure visuals and atmosphere. It’s a wonderful place to watch sports (football is played there as well), and with a 30,000-fan capacity, it’s big without sacrificing that sense of closeness so many enjoy at live sporting events. In Rugby League, AAMI Park is home to the Melbourne Storm, which at most Australian betting sites is right there with the Sydney Roosters with the best odds to top the tables. In fact in the standings as well as the gambling odds, the Storm is currently the country’s best team.
Leichhardt Oval – Sydney
If you’re visiting Sydney and want to see some NRL action, but you’d rather not mess with a huge stadium like Allianz, the Leichhardt Oval is a perfect alternative. By no means as grand as its counterpart (or any other option on this list), it’s still an excellent place to watch the sport. You’ll be seated alongside a maximum of 20,000 fans in what almost feels more like a semi-pro venue than a national league stadium. Multiple sports are played here as well, but on the NRL front it’s been the home of Wests Tigers since 2000.
Melbourne Cricket Ground – Melbourne
As you can tell from the name, the Melbourne Cricket Ground isn’t primarily a rugby stadium. It’s best known for cricket, and is arguably the preeminent cricket stadium in Australia (which is saying something). It’s actually rarely used for Rugby League, but it has been before and almost certainly will be again. And given that it’s considered by some to be Australia’s best sports stadium period, it belongs on this list even if there aren’t regularly scheduled rugby matches there. Frankly, if you happen to be visiting Australia, you should go even if it’s for cricket or football.