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AAMI Stadium's Final AFL Season

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by David Francis (subscribe)
David Francis is a freelance writer based in Adelaide.
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Farewell to footy, as AFL plays out its final season at AAMI
It's footy season again. Cricket has moved aside from its prime position in the sports pages same as every year.

AFL at AAMI Stadium - image by David Francis
Port Adelaide versus Carlton at AAMI Stadium

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.

AFL at AAMI Stadium - image by David Francis
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.

AFL at AAMI Stadium - image by David Francis
Pre-game warm-up

Another has been the flow of fans into the place. Sure, there are more people at a Crows game than a Power game, but both teams have their core of supporters who go week in, week out.

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.

AFL at AAMI Stadium - image by David Francis
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.
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Why? Say goodbye to Footy Park
When: Football Season March to September 2013
Where: AAMI Stadium, Turner Drive, West Lakes
Cost: Various: see websites or contact the clubs
Your Comment
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.
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