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Are the Crows at home at the Adelaide Oval?

The first Showdown at the Adelaide Oval, in round two.

The first Showdown at the Adelaide Oval, in round two. Photo: Getty Images

The ambitious or desperate tipster might be tempted to take on the underperforming Crows on Thursday night against Collingwood in Adelaide. After all, Collingwood has lost its ''home-ground advantage'' for the round-nine clash. 

Before last year’s 35-point loss to the resurgent Port Adelaide, the Pies had won eight straight matches at AAMI Stadium, the former South Australian AFL venue, against the Power and the Crows. Their previous loss to Adelaide at the venue was in 2006, by four points. Their previous loss there to Port Adelaide was in 2004.

The Magpies, road warriors under coach Mick Malthouse, loved playing at AAMI Stadium, winning 12 games there, including two finals. Their seven losses at the venue came mostly at the start of the Malthouse era, when the Pies were climbing from the bottom of the ladder.

But Thursday night’s game is at the spiffy, newly refurbished Adelaide Oval, a clean slate for the Crows, who had more success beating Collingwood in Melbourne than at Football Park/AAMI Stadium in the past decade.

Surely the Crows can fire up before a sellout home crowd, and create a hostile environment for the Magpies?

Alas, so far, it is Port Adelaide that has made the Adelaide Oval its home-ground fortress. Veteran South Australian football scribe Ashley Porter says 20,000 Port Adelaide fans make the sound of 50,000 Crows fans at the venue. 

In round two, Port Adelaide fans turned the first Adelaide Oval Showdown into an ecstatic Power party. It is unbeaten there this season, having won with margins of 54 points and 113 points. It soundly dealt with top-four contenders Geelong and Fremantle in front of relentlessly noisy crowds. 

Crows fans love the venue just as much. All three Adelaide crowds at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval have exceeded their biggest home-game crowds of last year, and they have already matched their 2013 record of three home attendances over 40,000. They drew an incredible 44,770 to their clash with the unloved Greater Western Sydney in round five.

But the results of their team at the venue are underwhelming. They were hammered by Port Adelaide, smashed by a winless Sydney, and embarrassed by lowly Melbourne. Adelaide’s sole win at the Adelaide Oval was over an ailing GWS.

Porter says visiting teams will notice the ''wall of sound'' coming from Port fans, especially at the southern grandstand end. The level of the playing surface was dropped by a metre in the redevelopment, and the expertly engineered three-tier stand creates an amphitheatre effect which intensifies the noise made by passionate, vocal Power fans. Porter says Port Adelaide’s crowd sounds ''10 times better'' at the Adelaide Oval than at AAMI Stadium. Crows crowds sound a little better.

In the face of Port Adelaide’s revitalisation, there is pressure on Adelaide to reinvent itself. Port is being embraced by more families, and raucous youngsters, as well as its infamously ''feral'' core constituency. It presents its games better, offering a more exciting game-day experience and more dynamic on-field entertainment. It is nearly level with Adelaide on memberships sold.

Adelaide has many older fans, who were originally reluctant to leave AAMI Stadium. Despite the drawbacks of the distant, windswept West Lakes arena, some were set in their ways, accustomed to having barbeques in its car park. And the club is still reeling following the Kurt Tippett salary cap saga, which cost draft picks and self-confidence.

There are no excuses for the Crows at ground level. The new Adelaide Oval is 167 x 124 metres, only a small change from AAMI Stadium’s 165 x 135 metres. The Melbourne Cricket Ground is 160 x 141 metres, and Eithad Stadium is 159.5 x 128.8 metres. Port makes it look like a fast track, perfect for flowing, play-on footy; Adelaide and Melbourne made it look like a quicksand pit.

The redevelopment of the iconic venue, which retained the heritage scoreboard, a lawned hill, Moreton Bay fig trees and views of surrounding parkland, has been acclaimed for mixing state-of-the-art design with the beloved scenic character of the former stadium.

Spectators’ vantage points are 14 metres closer to the ground in the first tier of the eastern stand than in the northern stand at the MCG. There are video screens everywhere, wide walkways for ease of crowd circulation, no patron is more than 40 metres from catering, and a new footbridge linking the venue to the nearby city centre. Port fans march across it en masse from the city centre, banging drums. Claims about the financial benefit to the city of Adelaide extend into silly numbers.

But is this superb stadium worth a few goals for the Crows? Will the umps give odd frees late in the final quarter? Will opposition players make silly mistakes in unfamiliar pockets?

The mystique of home-ground advantage is diminished in the modern era. Many teams share grounds, there are fewer stadiums, and they are more alike than ever before. The biggest fillip a team can get is the simple volume of support of its fans, wherever they are.

In football, everything flows from wins. Wins flow from stable, progressive leadership. 

Port is well run, and is winning. Fans are gravitating to the team, and making the Adelaide Oval a tough place to win for visitors.

Until Adelaide starts winning, to give its legions of fans something to scream about, they won’t know if they are truly at home. And if the Magpies continue their travelling ways, they won’t want to feel at home, regardless of the venue.

4 comments so far

  • "Porter says Port Adelaide’s crowd sounds ''10 times better'' at the Adelaide Oval than at AAMI Stadium" That's because they're getting a full stadium. I'm sure the noise at a packed Adelaide Oval sounds a bucket load better than at AAMI stadium with a crowd in the low 20,000s, plus tarps.

    Port Adelaide, the biggest fair weather supporters around. When they start having a dip in form the crowds will dip a long way too.

    Commenter
    Joe
    Location
    my work desk
    Date and time
    May 14, 2014, 3:59PM
    • Joe, you might have to wait 10 years for your predicted "dip in form".
      You haven't taken into account the fact that the Power list is the 3rd youngest in the AFL.

      Commenter
      Greg
      Date and time
      May 14, 2014, 6:29PM
  • Even at AAMI, 20,000 Port fans were louder than 50,000 Crows fans. Crows supporters just don't know how to support their team. They need a big screen to tell them when to cheer, otherwise they're quiet as a mouse except for the constant yelling of "baaaalllll". Then they leave during the game. I was in town during the Crows v Sydney game and saw Crows "supporters" walking down Rundle Mall, this would have been the 3rd quarter. And when Crows were just 3 points down against Melbourne they still walk out. Knock Port crowds last year, the 14,000 that went stayed the whole game.

    Port's game day experience this year is also brilliant. The march to the mall, the entry of "Not giving in" (which Crows copied last game), Never Tear Us Apart for the 1 minute countdown to bounce. Love it all.

    Commenter
    Jed
    Date and time
    May 14, 2014, 10:30PM
    • It is just about as noisy here now as it is during a Crows home game. I think the comments from Mr Porter show his bias against Port Adelaide yet again. Port Adelaide has never had a 20,000 crowd at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval for his comment to have any validity.

      The remainder of the article was well written and interesting. I also agree with Joe about the age of the list at Port Adelaide. It has the potential for high level results for many years to come. The same cannot be said for the ageing Crows list with their loss of draft picks for cheating starting to bite about now.

      Commenter
      Ian
      Location
      Centre Square, Adelaide Oval
      Date and time
      May 15, 2014, 3:03AM

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      2014 Home and Away

      Round 1
      Fri, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
      COL 46 vs FRE 116 Report Stats
      Sat, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
      GWS 99 vs SYD 67 Report Report Stats
      GCF 87 vs RIC 69 Report Stats
      Sun, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
      CAR 87 vs PTA 120 Report Stats
      Thu, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
      GEE 119 vs ADE 81 Report Stats
      Fri, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
      NTH 60 vs ESS 99 Report Stats
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      HAW 139 vs BRI 91 Stats
      STK 68 vs MEL 51 Report Stats
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      WCE 134 vs WBU 69 Report Stats
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      Round 2
      Thu, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
      RIC 98 vs CAR 86 Report Stats
      Fri, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
      ESS 86 vs HAW 90 Report Stats
      Sat, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
      STK 95 vs GWS 88 Stats
      PTA 127 vs ADE 73 Report Stats
      FRE 87 vs GCF 39 Report Stats
      SYD 69 vs COL 89 Report Stats
      Sun, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
      BRI 68 vs GEE 93 Stats
      MEL 30 vs WCE 123 Report Stats
      WBU 54 vs NTH 83 Report Stats
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      Round 3
      Fri, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
      HAW 137 vs FRE 79 Report Stats
      Sat, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
      WBU 100 vs RIC 98 Report Stats
      ADE 71 vs SYD 134 Report Stats
      GCF 114 vs BRI 61 Stats
      WCE 83 vs STK 58 Report Stats
      COL 76 vs GEE 87 Report Stats
      Sun, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
      GWS 79 vs MEL 47 Report Stats
      NTH 97 vs PTA 90 Report Stats
      ESS 138 vs CAR 57 Report Stats
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      Round 4
      Fri, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 72 vs COL 110 Report Stats
      Sat, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
      CAR 58 vs MEL 81 Report Stats
      PTA 159 vs BRI 46 Report Stats
      GWS 83 vs WBU 110 Report Stats
      GEE 107 vs WCE 32 Report Stats
      GCF 49 vs HAW 148 Report Stats
      Sun, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
      SYD 48 vs NTH 91 Report Stats
      STK 50 vs ADE 136 Report Stats
      FRE 113 vs ESS 60 Report Stats
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      Round 5
      Thu, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      BRI 63 vs RIC 106 Report Stats
      Sat, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL 93 vs NTH 58 Report Stats
      SYD 92 vs FRE 75 Report Stats
      WCE 56 vs PTA 70 Report Stats
      ESS 65 vs STK 81 Report Stats
      Sun, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
      ADE 137 vs GWS 72 Report Stats
      MEL 78 vs GCF 86 Report Stats
      WBU 91 vs CAR 119 Report Stats
      Mon, 21 AprTimes shown AEST
      GEE 106 vs HAW 87 Report Stats
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      Round 6
      Fri, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL 83 vs ESS 60 Report Stats
      STK 79 vs BRI 82 Report Stats
      FRE 61 vs NTH 74 Report Stats
      Sat, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      GCF 134 vs GWS 94 Report Stats
      CAR 92 vs WCE 89 Report Stats
      MEL 38 vs SYD 69 Report Stats
      Sun, 27 AprTimes shown AEST
      WBU 83 vs ADE 92 Report Stats
      RIC 52 vs HAW 118 Report Stats
      PTA 107 vs GEE 67 Report Stats
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      Round 7
      Fri, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 70 vs COL 104 Report Stats
      Sat, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
      HAW 175 vs STK 30 Report Stats
      GWS 97 vs PTA 132 Report Stats
      ADE 67 vs MEL 70 Report Stats
      BRI 44 vs SYD 123 Stats
      ESS 73 vs WBU 65 Report Stats
      Sun, 04 MayTimes shown AEST
      NTH 77 vs GCF 120 Report Stats
      GEE 81 vs RIC 76 Report Stats
      WCE 54 vs FRE 73 Report Stats
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      Round 8
      Fri, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD 107 vs HAW 88 Report Stats
      Sat, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      PTA 94 vs FRE 76 Report Stats
      BRI 57 vs ESS 65 Report Stats
      MEL 83 vs WBU 99 Report Stats
      Sun, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
      WCE 188 vs GWS 77 Report Stats
      Mon, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 69 vs CAR 101 Report Stats
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      Round 9
      Thu, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      ADE 76 vs COL 55 Report Stats
      Fri, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 64 vs SYD 114 Report Stats
      Sat, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      RIC 74 vs MEL 91 Report Stats
      NTH 125 vs BRI 38 Report Stats
      FRE 96 vs GEE 64 Report Stats
      Sun, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 87 vs GCF 125 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 10
      Fri, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
      GEE 111 vs NTH 91 Report Stats
      Sat, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      GWS 41 vs RIC 154 Report Stats
      COL 109 vs WCE 101 Report Stats
      PTA 100 vs HAW 86 Report Stats
      Sun, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
      GCF 119 vs WBU 74 Report Stats
      CAR 81 vs ADE 76 Report Stats
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      Round 11
      Thu, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD 148 vs GEE 38 Report Stats
      Fri, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 54 vs COL 140 Report Stats
      Sat, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      MEL 75 vs PTA 95 Report Stats
      BRI 98 vs CAR 91 Report Stats
      ESS 104 vs RIC 54 Report Stats
      Sun, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
      ADE 109 vs GCF 77 Report Stats
      WBU 51 vs FRE 89 Report Stats
      HAW 94 vs GWS 87 Report Stats
      WCE 44 vs NTH 82 Report Stats
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      Round 12
      Fri, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 107 vs CAR 102 Report Stats
      Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW 123 vs WCE 79 Report Stats
      PTA 129 vs STK 59 Report Stats
      WBU 87 vs BRI 95 Report Stats
      GWS 66 vs ESS 81 Report Stats
      Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
      GCF 74 vs SYD 109 Report Stats
      FRE 90 vs ADE 50 Report Stats
      NTH 116 vs RIC 88 Report Stats
      Mon, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
      MEL 28 vs COL 61 Report Stats
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      Round 13
      Fri, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 90 vs HAW 118 Report Stats
      Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC 85 vs FRE 105 Report Stats
      SYD 98 vs PTA 94 Report Stats
      WCE 103 vs GCF 100 Report Stats
      BRI 80 vs GWS 125 Report Stats
      ADE 109 vs NTH 73 Report Stats
      Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 133 vs STK 37 Report Stats
      COL 98 vs WBU 106 Report Stats
      ESS 77 vs MEL 78 Report Stats
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      Round 14
      Fri, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC 51 vs SYD 62 Report Stats
      Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      PTA 128 vs WBU 56 Report Stats
      HAW 115 vs COL 86 Report Stats
      GCF 118 vs GEE 78 Report Stats
      FRE 105 vs BRI 22 Report Stats
      ESS 101 vs ADE 92 Report Stats
      Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
      GWS 100 vs CAR 92 Report Stats
      STK 70 vs WCE 103 Report Stats
      MEL 66 vs NTH 107 Report Stats
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      Round 15
      Fri, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 89 vs ESS 80 Report Stats
      Sat, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW 116 vs GCF 63 Report Stats
      STK 73 vs RIC 117 Report Stats
      FRE 88 vs WCE 81 Report Stats
      SYD 106 vs GWS 60 Stats
      BRI 70 vs NTH 66 Report Stats
      Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
      WBU 91 vs MEL 85 Report Stats
      ADE 99 vs PTA 76 Report Stats
      COL 91 vs CAR 76 Report Stats
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      Round 16
      Fri, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
      NTH 108 vs HAW 88 Report Stats
      Sat, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 79 vs BRI 54 Stats
      GWS 72 vs ADE 140 Report Stats
      GCF 80 vs COL 75 Report Stats
      MEL 34 vs FRE 97 Report Stats
      PTA 60 vs ESS 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR 151 vs STK 66 Report Stats
      WCE 51 vs SYD 79 Report Stats
      GEE 69 vs WBU 56 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Fri, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
      ADE 92 vs HAW 104 Report Stats
      Sat, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
      MEL 36 vs GEE 102 Report Stats
      NTH 92 vs STK 33 Report Stats
      WBU 94 vs GCF 66 Report Stats
      BRI 64 vs WCE 76 Report Stats
      SYD 122 vs CAR 51 Report Stats
      Sun, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 126 vs PTA 106 Report Stats
      ESS 103 vs COL 39 Report Stats
      FRE 136 vs GWS 60 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 18
      Fri, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR 109 vs NTH 86 Report Stats
      Sat, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
      STK 118 vs FRE 60 Report Stats
      GWS 87 vs GEE 94 Report Stats
      Sun, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
      PTA 72 vs MEL 69 Report Stats
      WBU 94 vs ESS 101 Report Stats
      Fri, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
      WCE 42 vs RIC 59 Report Stats
      Sat, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
      BRI 110 vs GCF 56 Report Stats
      HAW 104 vs SYD 94 Report Stats
      Sun, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
      COL 82 vs ADE 98 Report Stats
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      Round 19
      Thu, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      FRE 83 vs CAR 78 Report Stats
      Fri, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD 79 vs ESS 57 Report Stats
      Sat, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE 105 vs WCE 136 Report Stats
      RIC 89 vs GWS 62 Report Stats
      GCF 117 vs STK 64 Report Stats
      NTH 79 vs GEE 111 Report Stats
      Sun, 03 AugTimes shown AEST
      MEL 51 vs BRI 74 Stats
      HAW 107 vs WBU 45 Report Stats
      COL 76 vs PTA 70 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 20
      Fri, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
      RIC 95 vs ESS 77 Report Stats
      Sat, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
      GWS 51 vs NTH 126 Report Stats
      CAR 97 vs GCF 58 Report Stats
      HAW 115 vs MEL 65 Report Stats
      PTA 58 vs SYD 84 Report Stats
      GEE 81 vs FRE 79 Report Stats
      Sun, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
      BRI 63 vs ADE 168 Report Stats
      STK 99 vs WBU 122 Report Stats
      WCE 126 vs COL 66 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 21
      Fri, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
      CAR 76 vs GEE 82 Report Stats
      Sat, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD 127 vs STK 56 Stats
      GCF 47 vs PTA 56 Report Stats
      ESS 77 vs WCE 74 Report Stats
      COL 56 vs BRI 123 Report Stats
      ADE 69 vs RIC 79 Report Stats
      Sun, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH 111 vs WBU 61 Report Stats
      MEL 34 vs GWS 98 Report Stats
      FRE 110 vs HAW 91 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 22
      Fri, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
      PTA 140 vs CAR 37 Report Stats
      Sat, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH 101 vs ADE 94 Report Stats
      ESS 108 vs GCF 89 Report Stats
      GWS 67 vs COL 75 Report Stats
      WCE 119 vs MEL 53 Report Stats
      HAW 94 vs GEE 71 Report Stats
      Sun, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
      BRI 48 vs FRE 106 Report Stats
      WBU 67 vs SYD 130 Report Stats
      RIC 98 vs STK 72 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 23
      Fri, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 56 vs HAW 121 Stats
      Sat, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
      CAR 90 vs ESS 90 Stats
      FRE 105 vs PTA 97 Stats
      SYD 65 vs RIC 68 Stats
      NTH 123 vs MEL 93 Stats
      GEE 143 vs BRI 81 Stats
      Sun, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
      GCF 99 vs WCE 151 Stats
      ADE 141 vs STK 62 Stats
      WBU 109 vs GWS 115 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      AFL Finals Round 1
      Fri, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
      HAW 104 vs GEE 68 Report Stats
      Sat, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
      SYD 93 vs FRE 69 Stats
      NTH 93 vs ESS 81 Report Stats
      Sun, 07 SepTimes shown AEST
      PTA 132 vs RIC 75 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      AFL Finals Round 2
      Fri, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
      GEE 92 vs NTH 98 Stats
      Sat, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
      FRE 83 vs PTA 105 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      AFL Finals Round 3
      Fri, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
      SYD 136 vs NTH 65 Report Stats
      Sat, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
      HAW 97 vs PTA 94 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      AFL Finals Round 4
      Sat, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
      SYD 74 vs HAW 137 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      AFL Home and Away
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D % Pts
      Sydney Swans 22 17 5 0 142.88 68
      Hawthorn 22 17 5 0 140.78 68
      Geelong Cats 22 17 5 0 113.77 68
      Fremantle 22 16 6 0 130.40 64
      Port Adelaide 22 14 8 0 129.92 56
      North Melbourne 22 14 8 0 117.04 56
      Essendon 22 12 9 1 106.34 50
      Richmond 22 12 10 0 105.77 48
      View all
       
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