AFL says goodbye to Sydney’s ANZ Stadium

It may have had a chequered history where Australian rules is concerned, but ANZ Stadium has the chance to farewell the code in style.

The ground is set to attract the biggest AFL attendance in Sydney for at least nine years, with 60,000 fans expected for the qualifying final derby between Sydney and Greater Western Sydney on Saturday.

A crowd of that magnitude will justify the AFL’s decision to take the game away from the Swans SCG base, which has a highest AFL attendance of 46,168.

“The historic first all-Sydney AFL Final is clearly the biggest game in the history of the code in NSW,” ANZ Stadium chief executive Darryl Kerry said.

“It will also be a fitting farewell for AFL footy at ANZ Stadium, which will soon be redeveloped as a world-class rectangular stadium.”

Although it was a ground some Swans supporters found hard to love, they certainly celebrated plenty of famous wins at the venue.

The club won eight out of ten finals there and has a 32-22 record overall, having played in all 54 AFL games held in the main stadium for the 2000 Olympics.

The poor state of the ground was a frequent talking point in the aftermath of several games, especially when matches were played within a day or two of rugby league fixtures.

It also drew negative headlines in 2015 when Hawthorn’s Jarryd Roughead’s guernsey was ripped and his back marked after he slid over exposed bolts behind the goals.

For all the controversy, the ground has also provided its share of drama and excitement and big crowds.

On 11 occasions it hosted crowds of more than 50,000, two of them over 70,000 for finals matches in 2003 against Collingwood and Brisbane,

The Magpies were the most frequent visitors to the venue playing 13 games, while four teams never played there, the two South Australian clubs, Gold Coast and Western Bulldogs.

NUMBERS FOR AFL AT ANZ STADIUM

* Biggest crowd: 72,393. Sydney v Collingwood 2003 (Record AFL attendance outside Victoria)

* Lowest crowd: 19,127 Sydney v North Melbourne 2008

* Average crowd for home and away rounds: 40,403

* Average crowd for finals: 44,372

* Total attendance: 2,221,475

* Highest score: 146 (22.14) Sydney v Carlton 2003, (23.8) Hawthorn v Sydney 2015

* Lowest score: West Coast 34 (4.10) v Sydney 2004

* Biggest margin 94 Sydney 19.18 (132) GWS 5.8 (38) 2012

* Most games played: 49 (Adam Goodes, Syd)

* Most goals kicked: 87 (Barry Hall, Syd)

* Most goals kicked in a game 6 (three times by Barry Hall Syd) once each by Kurt Tippett (Syd), Travis Cloke (Collingwood), Michael O’Loughlin (Syd) David Neitz (Melb) and Steve Johnson (Geelong)

* Most disposals in a game: Gary Ablett 44 Geelong v Sydney 2009

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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