There’s no doubt that Stadium Australia is the place to be for the NRL Grand Final, but the reality is that only a small percentage of rugby league fans get the opportunity to go each year. Last year, that percentage was even smaller with only 37,303 attending, and while that number will hopefully be higher this year, it’s still important to know how to enjoy the game from the comfort of your own home. By following these four tips, it’ll be just like you’re right there at the game.
1. Dress yourself and your living room up
One of the biggest features of Grand Final Day is the sea of colour present throughout the crowd, with fans of both participants doing their best to show off their support for their team. You might not be able to pack 80,000 supporters into your house, but you can get dressed up in your own team colours and deck out your living room in NRL-related paraphernalia to add to the atmosphere. Think balloons, scarves and even face paint if you’re that way inclined.
2. Invite friends and family over
Whether it’s a full blown NRL Grand Final party or just a handful of your closest friends and families, having guests over to watch the game with you can make a huge difference to your enjoyment levels. They won’t be able to make the kind of noise generated at Stadium Australia on the big day, but in the confines of your living room you can still create a rowdy, footy-like atmosphere. Plus, unlike at the game itself, you can pick and choose who you invite, so if your side is playing you can ensure you avoid those irritating opposition supporters.
3. Prepare your own food and drinks
This is one major advantage of watching the NRL Grand Final at home as opposed to heading to the game itself. You can buy whatever drinks you like and make whatever food you like, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg like it would at the game. And even if you love the pies and hot dogs that you find at Stadium Australia, you can make them at home and probably get four pies to heat up in the oven for the same price that you would pay for one at the game.
4. Turn the volume up loud
This one is key. Even if you’re not experiencing the sounds of the crowd first hand, by turning your TV up to the limit you’ll still feel like you’re there. On top of that, you’ll get to enjoy the dulcet tones of Ray Warren and the analysis of the latest former NRL star to get a commentary gig, giving you a perspective of the match that you simply wouldn’t have at the game.
Heading to the NRL Grand Final is a unique experience and something that every rugby league fan should do at least once in their life, but even at home there are a few things that you can do to help create an atmosphere which is every bit as good as what you’ll find at Stadium Australia. Get the streamers out, turn up the volume, invite a few friends over and enjoy your own choice of food and drinks, and you’re ready to make the most of your NRL Grand Final experience at home.