Whether you are a fan of football, cricket, rugby or simply watching live sporting events while you travel, Australia definitely has you covered. Sydney hosted the 2000 Summer Olympic Games, paving the way – literally and figuratively –for some of the world's most elite sport stadiums.
Australia is also continuously taking bids on thrilling events like the FIFA World Cup – which is perhaps the most popular sporting endeavour in the world – so who knows what our country is going to offer travellers in the future? As of today, here are the top eight most impressive places to watch a match for a sports-themed holiday.
8) The Melbourne Cricket Ground
If you are spending holiday in Melbourne, you can't miss a match here. At a 100,000-seat capacity, it is the largest sports stadium in Australia. This special arena has been the home of many famous sporting events, including the 1956 Olympics, FIFA World Cup qualifiers and the 1992 Cricket World Cup. You can enjoy a variety of sports here, including rugby, football, cricket or Australian football.
7) Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Major concerts are typically played here, but Suncorp Stadium is better known as being the home of the Brisbane Broncos, Brisbane Roar, the Maroons and the Queensland Reds. You will be among a crowd of up to 52,000 people for a popular match at Suncorp, and the grounds are close to the Milton Road Rail Station – there is even a walk bridge from the rail to the stadium for easy access – talk about perfect for sports-minded travellers!
6) The Adelaide Oval
Recently renovated for the start of the 2014 AFL season, the Adelaide Oval is special because it is within walking distance for travellers. While there are now modern facilities, the ground dates back to the 1890s, so there is a very nostalgic feeling in the place as well. Many Australians consider the Oval as one of the finest cricket stadiums in the world, although it is now known for its incredible acoustics during an AFL game. If you are hungry after watching, just pop over to one of the many eateries in the restaurant district nearby.
5) Paterson's Stadium, Perth
Paterson's Stadium dates back to 1908, but it has been renovated numerous times over the years and is one of the most beloved sporting icons in the country. Ask any Australian and they will tell you that the iconic football game – the national soccer league match grand final in 2000 – was one of the best sporting events in the country's history, and it took place right in Perth at Paterson's. Paterson's (formally known as Subiaco Oval), is also the home ground of the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers in the AFL.
4) The Gabba, Brisbane
One of the most heavily attended stadiums in Australia is the Gabba, with 42,000 seats and a 42-bay grandstand capacity. Although the technical name of the stadium is the Brisbane Cricket Ground, everyone in Australia affectionately calls this ground the Gabba. This was one of the places during the Sydney Olympics that hosted several football matches. It is also the home ground of the Brisbane Lions – one of the AFL's most successful teams in the modern era.
3) Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
In addition to concerts and events, this Melbourne venue hosts a variety of sporting events for travellers, including football, rugby, soccer and cricket. Although the capacity is 56,000 people, be sure to snap up a ticket to your event of choice as the crowds are generally large for most events, be they sporting or musical.
2) Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Home to the New South Wales Waratahs and the Sydney Roosters, and the location of games for the 2000 Olympics, 2003 Rugby World Cup and 2008 Rugby League World Cup, the Allianz is one of Australia's most well-known venues for sport. The Allianz was formerly known as the Sydney Cricket Stadium and is one of the finest cricket grounds in the country.
1) Anz Stadium, Sydney
The ANZ's architecturally impressive dome is easily one of the most recognisable sights in Sydney's skyline. Although this massive and artistic structure originally sat a whopping 110,000 occupants during the Olympics, it has now been restructured for practical purposes and houses 83,000 seats. Here visitors can catch football, Australian football, cricket and if you're lucky, American NFL games.