Sport is very popular in Australia. In fact, some would put forward that in all its diversity, it is sports which unifies this country. There are many sporting events to go to. The most popular spectator sports are the three football codes, Australian Football League (AFL) also called Aussie Rules , Rugby League (NRL), and Rugby Union (ARU); followed by Cricket then soccer.
Australian Football League (AFL), Rugby League (NRL), and Rugby Union (ARU)
There are two main stadiums to watch large football games, ANZ Stadium in Homebush and the Sydney Cricket Ground, at Moore Park. You can purchase tickets to sporting events through Ticketek.
AFL (Aussie Rules) is a national game with several teams in each Australian state except Sydney who only have the one team, The Sydney Swans. Their colours are red and white and their games are only played at the Sydney Football Stadium in Moore Park. There are no international tests of AFL.
Rugby League (NRL) is a national game and there are several Sydney teams playing in the competition including Manly, St George Illawarra, Parramatta, Penrith, Cronulla and South Sydney. A couple of times a year there are international games agains New Zealand and England. Games are played all over Sydney at suburban parks until grand finals which are held at ANZ Stadium.
Rugby Union (ARU) is a national game and Sydney has one team in the Super 14 competition which includes teams from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The team is called the Waratahs and their colours are pale blue. There are several international games each year including the Bledisloe Cup which is a tough competition with the New Zealand All Blacks. These are played at ANZ Stadium.
Cricket matches are held at the Sydney Cricket Ground at Moore Park. Test Matches, which go for up to five days, and 1 Day and Twenty20 matches are played there over spring and summer. Tickets cost from $50 and can be bought at the gate or through the Cricket Australia website.
- Cricket Australia http://www.cricket.com.au
- Sydney Cricket Ground http://www.sydneycricketground.com.au
Randwick Racecourse has events all year and is just minutes from the city. Entry fee is $15. A day at the races is a social occasion and men and women normally wear their best to the track with the men in suits and women in their best dresses and hats. It is known to get a bit messy towards the end of the day after hours of sun, fun and champagne. There are three other racecourses that sit along the periphery of Sydney; Canterbury, Rosehill and Warwick Farm.
- Royal Randwick Racecourse http://www.ajc.org.au
It is Melbourne which holds the largest tennis tournament in Australia, The Australian Open is held in Melbourne. It is worth the trip if you are a keen spectator as it’s a great event. However Sydney has an important tournament prior to the Australian Open which many big name players attend. The tournament is called the Apia International and is played in January at the tennis centre in Homebush.
- Apia Interational http://www.apiainternational.com.au
- The Australian Open http://www.australianopen.com
Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
The Sydney Hobart Yacht Race happens once a year, on Boxing Day December 26, and it is a grand sight. It’s a large and highly competitive event. The race starts from Sydney Harbour near the Royal Botanic Gardens and finishes in Hobart, Tasmania.
- Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race http://www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
Currently Sydney has no mens team in the National Basketball League which means that there are no national games being played in Sydney for the mens NBA league.
For women, the competition is the Womens Basketball League and Sydney does have a team which means games are played at Homebush.
- Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre http://www.sports-centre.com.au
- National Basketball League http://www.nbl.com.au
- Sydney Entertainment Centre http://www.sydentcent.com.au
The ironman and ironwoman series grand final is held at Coogee Beach in February. It’s a free event.
- Surf Life Saving Australia http://sls.com.au
International soccer matches are held at ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park. Tickets are available through Ticketek.