Almanac Finals Preview – Cats’ home ground DISadvantage

by Gary Caulfield





It’s great to see our Cats back in the Finals again


However, I’m sure you are just as frustrated as I am to find our very first home final is going to be against the Hawks now as their actual home final, at their home ground, the MCG.


I understand our ‘real’ home ground is under construction at the moment, but it still seats more people than Spotless Stadium, where the Giants would have been allowed to play their home final.


This better be rectified moving forward into 2017 by the AFL if they are serious about creating an even competition.


But when you take a look at how they arrange the regular season fixture for actual Home Ground Advantage, then I doubt it sadly.


As the Cats clearly get a raw deal there too.


You have possibly done this exercise for yourself, but just in case you haven’t, please see mine below:




It’s quite ridiculous when you analyze it, as the Cats actually have a Home Ground Dis-Advantage compared to the only three other Victorian-based teams in the top 8 at the end of the regular season.


So when things are so tight and supposedly even now, and with percentage playing a huge role now too, then I think this kind of unequal fixture is a joke really.


Especially for a three-time reigning Premier as well, obviously.


For example:


Hawthorn – 10 games in total at their Victorian Home Ground, the MCG, with 7 as the home team and 3 as the away team, then 4 in Tassie as their Home Ground too = 14 home games a year!!!


North Melbourne – 13 games in total at their Victorian Home Ground, Etihad Stadium, with 8 as the home team & 5 as the away team, then 3 in Tassie as their Home Ground as well = 16 a year!


Western Bulldogs – 13 games in total at their Victorian Home Ground, Etihad Stadium, with 10 as the home team & 3 as the away team, then 1 outside Victoria as the home team  = 14 a year!


Geelong – 8 home games in total at their Victorian Home Ground, Simonds Stadium, then 1 at the MCG as the home team & 2 at Etihad Stadium as the home team = 11 a year only!!!


So purely on these numbers alone the Cats have as many as 3 – 5 less home games a season!!!


But to break that down to even more of a disadvantage by using just one ‘true’ home ground for each team to play at, either as the home, or away team, then the list reads as follows;


Hawthorn = MCG 10


North Melbourne = Etihad 13


Western Bulldogs = Etihad 13


Geelong = Simonds 8


Then couple this with the fact that the four other non-Victorian teams in the 8 like Sydney, Adelaide, West Coast & GWS all get 11 home games at their ‘true’ home ground in comparison and you realize the Cats did amazingly well this year under such an unfair system and when things are meant to be becoming more equal for everyone involved.


As it seems the Cats actually have a major Home Ground Dis-Advantage based on this.


Anyway, hopefully we beat the damn Hawks in our first Final next week and still go all the way this year somehow.


Go Cats!


  1. Some good points there, thanks Gary.

    Monetary factors always seem to override any desire on the part of the AFL to be ‘creating an even competition’. Last year the Dogs were hot at Etihad then played their ‘home’ final at the MCG, falling to the Crows by just a few points. And the Swans venture to ANZ this year to play a ‘home’ final. Just a couple of examples.

  2. Homegrounds, hmmmm. When i barracked for Geelong they played at an oval called Kardinia Park. Does anybody recall that location.?

    Now it’s Simmons’ Stadium. I’m wondering if anyone can give me the years of the three name changes of the ground post Kardiinia Park. There was a period when it was called Baytec, also another S name was bequeathed on it for a few seasons. Answers please Alamanckers.


  3. Daniel Flesch says

    The figures make sense , but i thought the crowd capacity at KP is limited to 27,000 due to the renovations .
    Are the rennos over now ? Is there enough room for a big finals crowd ? That comes into it , surely ?

  4. Interesting take on a big issue in the game, Gary.
    Scheduling 18 teams to play 22 matches is fraught, anyway.

    And the choice of venues only adds to (perceived) injustice.

  5. You’re spot on Gary. Its an outrage.

    Geelong is just too nice.

  6. David Conallin says

    Cry me a river!

  7. Gary – I look forward to your support for playing the Grand Final in Sydney this year or Perth, Adelaide or Brisbane when they are the highest finishing qualifier.
    You Victorians don’t understand what an away game means. An hour on a bus is the worst you privileged pussies do, not 4 hours on a plane with overnight stays. They are all HOME games for you.
    Boo bloody hoo.

  8. Peter Crossing says

    Collingwood – 14 at MCG and 3 at ES + 5 out of town
    And for two random “interstate” teams
    West Coast – 12 at home and 10 across the Nullabor (2 at MCG)
    Adelaide – 12 at home and 10 away (3 at MCG)
    My heart bleeds for Geelong but in particular for Collingwood who had to arrange visas on 5 occasions.

  9. “…by the AFL if they are serious about creating an even competition…”

    Even competition?
    Come on Gary, that concept was abandoned when cocky was an egg..

  10. If it was a true and even competition it would be 17 rounds with less teams based in Victoria with the huge disadvantage of travel spread evenly and we all no that is not going to happen.The fact is ALL Vic sides have a huge advantage

  11. kath presdee says

    Sorry to spoil the rant with a fact but GWS do not get 11 home games at their “true” home ground. They have 8 games at Spotless Stadium and 3 games at their home away from home, Manuka Oval. Yes, it’s a bit Fortress Manuka but it is still a 3 hour bus drive from door to door.

    Further, GWS tend to spend 6 weeks on the road at the start of the year because two weeks, every Easter, it’s the actual Showgrounds and the turf is ripped up by horses, motor cross and people blowing things up. While they may have two “home” games in this period and usually a game at the SCG, it’s not exactly an advantage to be travelling so much in a short period.

    There’s still no guarantee that there will be a final at Spotless; a “Sydney Derby” was always going to be held there and if there’s a chance the crowd will top 25,000 for a semi final or preliminary final, the AFL has not ruled out moving the Giants game.

    That said, having to play a home final at your opponent’s home ground is pretty crook. At least the Swans v Giants is at a neutral venue and the Swans will have one game at the SCG.

  12. Does this website have no standards?! Above, there is a comment by a rascal calling himself Glen, who says, “…when I barracked for Geelong…” I’m disgusted that an otherwise principled man like John Harms would allow this sort of apostasy to be published.
    Unless, of course, it’s a voice from the grave. (If it is, Glen, all is forgiven. Hadn’t heard you were unwell. Say hello to my Dad. Tell him the Cats have won three flags since he stopped barracking for Geelong.)
    I’m pretty sure this “when I barracked for the Cats” is in contravention of 18C. I’m calling Bernardi, Bolt and Costa.

  13. G’day ajc. Maybe your the chap who can answer my question of the years that the name of the once hallowed Kardinia Park became a corporate arena.



  14. Gillon explained the reasoning for this the other day, the intention is to allow as many people as possible the ability to attend the game. Even if your little oval by corio bay had been refurbished and had a capacity of 50 000. The game would still be played at the ‘G because of it’s greater capacity.

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