Crio’s Q: Eye-catching grounds

It must be Subi”, I deduced, glancing at the screen.

There they were….M, M, M, M – the “messages on hold” stalwarts waving their signs behind the goal umpire. Somehow this amuses me. It also locates the venue.

Bearings were not so evident before Saturday night’s FA Cup Final. Sure, everyone knows that is played at Wembley, but it may as well be a super stadium in any country since the demolition of the instantly identifiable “Twin Towers” (and the dog track) which looked over its (admittedly outdated) predecessor.

The sterilisation of stadia continues apace. Docklands is Exhibit A.

Some grounds, though, maintain an idiosyncrasy…a point of difference identifying the site for those of us nestling our remotes.

Which ones leap from your telly?


  1. Currently, the building site behind the right of screen goals screams “Kardinia Park” for me.

  2. This is as good a time as any to put in a good word for Bellerive Oval. We took advantage of the Easter break and the fact that SWMBO is a Hobart girl to time a family visit to coincide with North’s game down there.

    One thing that really struck me, sitting up in the top half of the grandstand, was the sense of place that is completely missing from Etihad and the ‘G. We had our backs to the river, but could see out over the Hill to the suburban rooftops, and despite being in the shade with a bit of a breeze whipping through, it was a thoroughly engaging vantage point from which to take in the footy.

    Bellerive also has that glassed-in area at the members’ end (museum? media enclosure?), looming over the goalsquare as a distinctive feature both live and on the telly.

  3. Alovesupreme says

    I felt quite nostalgic watching the match at Geelong on the box last Saturday, as the river end is currently an approximation of how it looked when I saw my earliest VFL game live (that is of course if one overlooks the fact that there were massed standing room spectators on the mound in my memory bank).
    The trees beyond the fence-line were the specific prompt. It’s certainly a mark of advanced age, when the “new” stand (the Reg Hickey/Doug Wade) is demolished because it’s no longer adequate for its purpose.

    Geelong’s home ground, like the MCG would be unrecognisable to a Rip van Winkle, so it’s not just Wembley that has changed dramatically. I recall some-body remarking a few years ago that the oldest structure(s) at the MCG are the light towers (circa 1985).

    My choice for your question, Crio is Williamstown’s Point Gellibrand Oval. I can’t imagine a new stand changing its appearance, given the backdrop to Hobsons Bay.

  4. Yeah…Willy’s ground has an unmistakeable outlook.
    So, too, did the old Arden st, sharing a distinctive Gasometer backdrop with The Oval in London.

  5. Andrew Else says

    Fulham’s Craven Cottage with the old stand on the wing

  6. Good get. Not many like that any more in the big leagues.

    Old footage makes the Gabba an easy get…the Dog track and hotch-potch of stands…unrecognisable to a TV viewer today.

  7. Old Trafford: the football Colosseum. The crik ground of the same name is just up the road — well, about half a mile in the old money. Very small beer compared with the precinct boasting a huge Sir Matt Busby statue.

    We were at Old Trafford in 2008 to see Man Yoo flog Stoke City 5-zip. Cristiano belted home 2 free kicks, the 1st one after only 4-5 minutes.

    The atmosphere must seem completely threatening to visiting teams. I felt threatened and I had a Red Devils cap on. A cuppla hundred fans just behind us were chanting a disgusting ditty about Arsene Wenger and the Gunners were at the other end of Old Blighty that Saturday afternoon.

    2/. Upton Park in east London. Was there on a Wed. evening 12 months later, in 2009. West Ham scored a goal in the closing 3 mins to beat Aston Villa 2-1.
    The same blokes in our area swearing something shocking at their claret-shirted favourites not being able to pass to an unmarked teammate joined in heartily when “We’re Forever Blowing Bubbles” was sung with great gusto right around Upton Park.

    BTW, the Bubbles team song must be the most laid-back — make that dopiest — club ditty in world sport.

  8. Lord’s is unmistakeable with the weird media centre / space shuttle behind the bowler/batsman.
    Adelaide Oval – mainly the scoreboard and cathedral these days

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