What is different in 2013, for AFL in Adelaide at least, is that it heralds the last season played at AAMI Stadium – or Football Park as it was christened in the 1970s when the SANFL left Adelaide Oval, took their ball and played at their own home.
Waiting for the players to emerge before a Port Adelaide vs North Melbourne game
Before AFL brought in club loyalties at a national level, this arena of concrete terraces and metal bench seats played host to the best footballers in South Australia each week. The seating has changed and there is the odd extra grandstand about the place, but one constant has been the immaculate grass playing surface.
I was there for the first SANFL Grand Final in 1976 when ticket-holders exceeded capacity by quite a bit and spectators were seated inside the fence-line around the boundary – not perfect OH&S practice in today's world, but certainly memorable.
More memorable than the result, for me anyway, as Sturt demolished that year's seemingly unconquerable Port Adelaide side.
Carlton's Bryce Gibbs and Port's Daniel Motlop prepare to play each other at AAMI
Now I go to AAMI Stadium for AFL matches, in the manner of all football fans of any club allegiance in any code: rain or shine; win or lose; every home game.
Ticket prices and availability will vary, depending on which AFL club you want to see and where you want to sit. You can go to the stadium website or contact either of the AFL clubs playing on the day. The two Adelaide teams are Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power. Footy Express bus rides for games are free, from a variety of locations around Adelaide; check the timetable, which is different for each of the home teams.
Before football does its prodigal son act and returns to Adelaide Oval in 2014, there is one more season to unfold at "Footy Park".
Get down to AAMI Stadium and have a look – it really is your last chance to see AFL played there.
Good one David,
I can remember the stadium opening, I was 6 at the time and my father used to take me to Port games. Can also remember the 76 grand final. Will be sad to see it go, but very excited football is returning to Adelaide oval- a much better location.
Go the Power.