Ranking the AFL experience at every stadium

Do you reckon the MCG is the best stadium at which to watch footy? Are you a proud South Australian who thinks Adelaide Oval is supreme? Or do the boutique experience Metricon Stadium or GIANTS Stadium get your vote?

Taking into account a range of factors, we've rated, then ranked, the viewing experience at every one of the stadiums used at least three times per year.

(For those stadiums with equal ratings, the one with the highest individual score is ranked higher)

12. Blundstone Arena

Location: 1.5/5 There's no getting around it - Blundstone Arena is hard to get to from the Hobart CBD, which is why a new stadium has been proposed should a Tasmanian AFL bid be successful. Nestled in a suburban pocket across the Derwent River from the city, roads are often packed when games are on at Blundstone, while public transport and parking options are lacking.

Atmosphere: 3.5/5 From sinking cans on the hill, to the bowl-like stand behind the goals, Blundstone provides a decent atmosphere for the size of the stadium. Unfortunately weather seems to play a bit of a part in how the crowd shows up (literally and figuratively), and the ground does cop some nasty weather being on the bluff.

View: 4.5/5 Like most boutique stadiums, you're close to the action at Blundstone, with most seats offering fantastic views - even those at the back of the smallish grandstands. No nosebleed sections here! There's also the traditional hill on the eastern boundary which offers standing room. Outside the stadium, the view is spectacular, with the Derwent River and Mt Wellington offering one of Australian sport's prettiest backdrops.

Amenities: 3/5 Food trucks scattered around, classic stadium fare, no huge lines for the toilets ... it's a tick from us.

History: 2.5/5 More known as the home of Tasmanian cricket, it has only hosted regular AFL games since North Melbourne agreed to play some 'home' matches there in 2012. Therefore, much of the historic significance of the ground -- such as the grandstand names and statues around the concourse -- point to the state's cricketing history. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

TOTAL: 15/25

11. GIANTS Stadium

Location: 2/5 In some ways a perfect place to base a team in the west. The reality, though, is most Sydneysiders hate heading out to the Olympic precinct. The trains run for special events only, the traffic can be awful, and the parking is expensive and scattered around a large area.

Atmosphere: 2.5/5 Small open ground, smaller crowds (10-12k) and the relative new status of the Giants mean it can lacks atmosphere most of the time. When a big Victorian side plays, then it lifts a notch, as the crowd ends up a 50/50 split.

View: 4.5/5 Views are actually very good. Given it's small capacity, you are invariably close to the action. You can also walk around much of the arena and stand at the back of the stand watching the action in the more accommodating Sydney climate.

Amenities: 4/5 Lots of food and drink venues around the ground, and in the outside area, with plenty of choice and small queues. Giants had the keep cup for beer system going last season, and are ahead of the curve from the SCG in that respect.

History: 2/5 Really hard to mark this given the age of the club. Has hosted one of the best preliminary finals of the modern era, though...

TOTAL: 15/25

10. Metricon Stadium

Location: 2.5/5 Not a bad location in the suburbs, but poor transport access lets it down - especially for visitors to the area who don't have a car. On game days/nights, it can take up to half an hour to drive there from Surfers Paradise, for instance.

Atmosphere: 2/5 There isn't much to write home about in this regard, unfortunately. The stadium is seldom full, and many teams outdraw the home team, leading to an okay atmosphere at best.

View: 5/5 Possibly the best stadium in the league for watching footy. Wherever you are, the view is excellent. If you like being up close, you can do that. If you prefer a higher view, even the back rows of the grandstand are top notch.

Amenities: 4/5 Due to the Suns entering the AFL, and the fact that Gold Coast hosted the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Metricon Stadium was upgraded with some truly excellent food and laid back bar options scattered about the concourse.

History: 2/5 Not much to say here, though old Carrara memories live on for some Brisbane Bears fans.

TOTAL: 15.5/25

9. UTAS Stadium

Location: 4/5 UTAS Stadium is located close to Launceston's CBD, so it's easy to plan for a lunch and then walk to the stadium. You could take an Uber or bus, but the beauty here is planning out the day and simply working off lunch while strolling to the ground.

Atmosphere: 2/5 Obviously quieter in comparison to a typical Melbourne-based Hawthorn game, the atmosphere tends to lack here due to the fact the Hawks have been so dominant here for so long. Crowds have also been down in recent seasons.

View: 4.5/5 Excellent views from any seat here. Even from the last row in the stands, you aren't far away from the action, and if you're up close, you're pretty darn close. The stadium is big enough not feel out of place for AFL, but is still small enough to have a 'country footy' feel. Though if you prefer a higher vantage point, you'll need to make do.

Amenities: 3/5 Not great, but not bad either. Pretty standard offerings, but you can grab a meat pie and a can of beer, so can you really complain?

History: 2/5 Maybe this is because most games are between the Hawks and interstate teams, but there haven't been that many 'classic matches' here outside of Sirengate and perhaps the GWS/Hawthorn draw in 2017.

TOTAL: 15.5/25

8. UNSW Canberra Stadium

Location: 3.5/5 Convenient for those located south of the lake, but a bit of a trek for those north, especially given the lack of adequate transport links. Parking can be a little hard to come by as well.

Atmosphere: 3/5 Classic boutique atmosphere that is improving with every year the Giants play there. Finally it seems the nation's capital has a team of its own, and locals are getting involved. Bonus half a point for the possibility of snow adding to the occasion.

View: 4/5 Like most stadiums this size, it's hard to get a bad view from any of the stands, though if you prefer a seat looking over the ground from a higher vantage point, you're a little out of luck.

Amenities: 3/5 Classic, decent offerings, without being spectacular.

History: 2.5/5 Has hosted footy matches for many years, and has had many tenants, including the Demons, Bulldogs and North Melbourne. Winston Abraham took mark of the year here in 1998.

TOTAL: 16/25

7. GMHBA Stadium

Location: 3.5/5 It's close to Geelong's city centre, close to the train station for those coming from Melbourne, but parking in the area isn't readily available. It's also not so close to bars, restaurants for a pre or post-game feed. Also a tough commute for the many Melbourne-based Geelong fans.

Atmosphere: 3.5/5 GMHBA Stadium still has that country town feel, with lots of families in attendance. Often you get a very one-sided atmosphere, and because the Cats have dominated at home for so long, games can often be a little quiet - unless it is in the balance. To Geelong's credit, the ground is almost always full.

View: 3.5/5 Views are constantly improving with new stands but most seats are still at Level 1 height. It's also a long, skinny ground, so if you're on a wing you have a great view over to the other side of the ground, but if you're low down behind the goals, seeing what is happening at the other end isn't as easy.

Amenities: 4/5 With the redevelopment, there are plenty of bars and food from local producers. A Furphy and Routley's pie anyone?

History: 3/5 The terrace is still pretty old school, but the renovations have taken out some of the yesteryear charm, though probably for the best. Unfortunately, as there are only really home and away games played at the ground, it's hard to build much of a history.

TOTAL: 17.5/25

6. Gabba

Location: 3/5 The Gabba's an awkward distance from Brisbane's CBD. It's either a short taxi ride away or a 30 minute power walk, there's no trains that really service this area and would get you to the stadium more efficiently.

Atmosphere: 3/5 Until Brisbane's rise up the ladder last season, the atmosphere at the Gabba left a lot to be desired. But as we saw in 2019, when it's full, it's an epic place to watch a game of football.

View: 4.5/5 It doesn't matter where you're sitting at the Gabba, you're always guaranteed a great view of the action. The stadium is big enough to retain a great atmosphere but small enough to ensure nobody misses out.

Amenities: 3/5 Standard stadium fare that's neither excellent nor poor.

History: 4.5/5 One of the nation's oldest stadiums, the Gabba has seen its fair share of iconic sporting moments. You're reminded of much of Brisbane's sporting history as you walk around the stadium.

TOTAL: 18/25

5. SCG

Location: 3.5/5 While somewhat close to the CBD, the Moore Park precinct is let down by poor public transport options - though the addition of the light rail to the area is helpful.

Atmosphere: 4/5 Hard to be disappointed by the atmosphere at the SCG. Even with crowds of around 35,000, the place gets pretty loud, and despite the stigma about Sydney-based fans, they're quite vocal at times as well.

View: 4/5 Excellent views from just about every spot, though the setting sun will hit pretty hard in the southern stands. The aesthetic of the Members and Ladies stands is also hard to beat.

Amenities: 3/5 Can vary between stands. Food, drink and toilets are plentiful in the new Bradman Stand, for instance, but suffer somewhat in the older stands.

History: 4.5/5 The SCG has retained its Members and Ladies stands, while the addition of small touches like the statue of Yabba are a big tick for this stadiums. Fair to say the SCG has balanced retaining its history beautifully while also bringing in modern, comfortable stands over time.

TOTAL: 19/25

4. MCG

Location: 5/5 Wonderfully located in the picturesque Yarra Park within walking distance from the CBD, the 'G is connected to almost every train line through Jolimont and Richmond stations, is tram-friendly and parking is inexpensive.

Atmosphere: 3/5 You can get a mixed bag at the MCG. When there's 60,000 or more people in the house, it has just about every other stadium covered, but when there's, for instance, the AFL average of 33,000 fans present, it can be lacking. Let's just say it's a little sad when you can hear the seagulls over the crowd.

View: 3/5 Even from the nosebleeds, there's still a decent view at the MCG, but the premium seats are also hard to beat. Given it is a coliseum, the viewing angles are consistent. Good, but not great.

Amenities: 4/5 Props to the MCC and the MCG in recent years, they've really upgraded their food and beverage options in and prices aren't as outrageous as many other stadiums around the country and the world.

History: 4/5 A point shy of perfection here because both the grandstands have been redeveloped (which is no bad thing, in fairness). While it would be nice to still have the old MCC pavilion standing, modern seating has instead been installed, but it does mean part of the MCG's rich history is lost forever.

TOTAL: 19/25

3. Marvel Stadium

Location: 4.5/5 Just outside Melbourne's CBD rectangle, Marvel Stadium is connected to every train line (both Metro and V-Line), as well as a plethora of tram and bus routes. From Southern Cross Station it's just a short walk over the bridge to the stadium. Parking is also available, but it's pricey and the traffic jams aren't worth it - catch public transport.

Atmosphere: 3.5/5 When the place is full and the roof is closed, the atmosphere can be pretty good -- particularly if the game is a close one -- but it still seems to lack ... something. Maybe because over the course of a weekend it can be 'transformed' into the home ground for three different teams, but the 'G doesn't seem to suffer the same fate.

View: 3.5/5 Again, very solid. Even from way back in the top tier, the view is a good one, while down on Level 2 in the Medallion Club, the view is excellent. Level 1 can be a little too close to ground level if you're in the first 10 or so rows.

Amenities: 4.5/5 Like the MCG, Marvel Stadium has been upgrading its amenities over the past few years to be more family friendly. There are more food options, bars, free water fountains and kids offers than ever before.

History: 3.5/5 In fairness, the Docklands stadium has been the setting for some epic moments and encounters over the time, so it's not the soulless concrete wasteland it once was. Moorcroft's mark, the St Kilda/Geelong classic, Hird's hug, Buddy's ton, Buddy's elimination final goal ... it's building a history pretty quickly.

TOTAL: 19.5/25

2. Optus Stadium

Location: 4/5 Located about a half-hour walk from the CBD, Optus Stadium is serviced well by a dedicated train station and a large bus interchange for easy access. Unfortunately car parking is not available on matchdays.

Atmosphere: 5/5 Light shows, a cauldron-like atmosphere, and a partisan crowd whether it's the Dockers or Eagles in action. A lot of people complain about the "Americanisation" of our sporting codes, but trust us, go to a game at Optus Stadium.

View: 5/5 Even if you're seated in the first row of the bottom deck, you still have an amazing view due to the seating being at least another meter higher off the ground than usual. And being a stadium that seats 60,000 (as opposed to somewhere like the MCG which holds 100,000), you're close enough to the action even if you're in the last few rows of the top level. Outstanding.

Amenities: 4.5/5 Toilets as far as the eye can see, craft beer on tap, amazing food options, and one of the biggest pubs in the country right outside the gates. Yep, Optus Stadium is just about the benchmark for Australian stadiums.

History: 2/5 It seems harsh to mark down such an incredible stadium due to the fact that it doesn't have a rich history; after all, it's just two seasons old, but we do give it points for not being Domain Stadium with those awful splinter-laden bench seats and that evening sun glare.

TOTAL: 20.5/25

1. Adelaide Oval

Location: 4.5/5 It's not quite central CBD but it's pretty close. Locals can jump off the train and wander straight across the bridge to the recently revamped Adelaide Oval, while there is also a decent tram connection. It blows old Football Park out of the water.

Atmosphere: 4/5 It's an imposing place to play, there's no doubt about that. Whether there is 53,000 in the house for the Crows, or Power fans singing along to "Never Tear Us Apart", it's a tough place for visiting teams and fans to show up to.

View: 4/5 Very hard to get a bad view at this stadium, as it doesn't have a massive capacity. It perhaps loses a point as, if you have to stand on the hill, it's not the most comfortable place, nor does it have the best sight lines.

Amenities: 4.5/5 Adelaide Oval has just about the best food and drink options in Australia. From the craft beer offerings with gourmet food, to the Hill of Grace restaurant, and all your regular offerings, it's hard to go wrong.

History: 4/5 The ground has one of the richest sporting histories of any venue in the country. The hill is a unique aspect, as are the protected Moreton Bay figs and of course the famous scoreboard.

TOTAL: 21.5/25

Agree? Disagree? Let us know which stadium you think is the best for watching AFL in the poll below.