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10:31am  Aug 17, 2018

TABtouch 22: Fyfe returns

Fremantle captain Nat Fyfe will return to play his first game in seven weeks

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Guns ready to face Cats

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3:35pm  Aug 16, 2018

Fan survey: Optus Stadium ranked no.1

Dinny Navaratnam, afl.com.au  June 13, 2018 12:47 PM

Watch all the goals from our clash against the Adelaide Crows.

Optus Stadium has received a huge tick of approval from fans, being rated Australia's best venue for watching footy.

In the 2018 fan survey for AFL.com.au and the AFL Record, more than 48,000 people were asked where they attended most matches in the past 12 months, then invited to rate watching the game at that stadium.

Here is how fans rated the major AFL venues. 

1. Optus Stadium

The brand new $1.5 billion arena in Perth tops the chart with an average rating of 9.0 out of 10.

Optus Stadium has suffered onfield teething issues since hosting its first event in January this year, copping flak for its hard surface, while Geelong defenders Mark Blicavs and Zach Tuohy required stitches after being cut by LED signage.

But it has been embraced by footy fans. The crowd topped 53,000 for West Coast's round one opener against Sydney, and 56,000 attended round six's Western Derby.  

2. Adelaide Oval

Close behind the Perth venue is Adelaide's football centrepiece, another stadium which has undergone substantial redevelopment.

The historic ground's revamp ahead of the 2014 season brought AFL games into the centre of Adelaide and increased seating capacity to more than 50,000.

Fans rated watching footy at the venue 8.9 out of 10 on average.

3. Melbourne Cricket Ground

The largest and best known of Australia's stadia, the world-renowned MCG is third in fans' ratings, averaging 8.7 out of 10.

The MCG's Great Southern Stand will eventually be upgraded as part of a $500m mega-deal agreed with the Victorian government earlier this year, though the redevelopment could be a decade away.

That deal will ensure the ground remains able to hold more than 100,000 spectators, while it was also announced the MCG would host the Grand Final until at least 2057.

Best of the rest

Cats fans have given the nod to Geelong's GMHBA Stadium, placing it fourth in the survey. Traditionally known as Kardinia Park, the venue is approaching the fifth and final $100m stage of its own overhaul.

The venerable Sydney Cricket Ground, which dates back to 1848, comes in fifth with an average rating of 8.3. The Swans' home is rated narrowly better than the Giants' stomping ground across town at Spotless Stadium.

Here are fans' full ratings:

Fans' highest rated footy stadiumsAverage rating out of 10998.98.98.78.78.58.58.38.38.18.17.87.87.77.77.37.37.17.16.96.9Optus StadiumAdelaide OvalMCGGMHBA StadiumSCGSpotless StadiumEtihad StadiumMetricon StadiumThe GabbaBlundstone ArenaUNSW Canberra OvalThe Gabba‚óŹ Percentage of fan vote: 7.3

Work to do in Docklands

Etihad Stadium's place at No.7 in the list with a rating of 7.8 won't surprise decision makers at AFL House.

The AFL moved to purchase the 50,000-seat Docklands stadium ahead of schedule last year, before partnering with the Victorian Government to secure $225m in funding for an extensive redevelopment of the stadium and surrounds.

The League's plans include opening up the precinct across Harbour Esplanade to the waterfront.

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