With the A-League underway this weekend, this is a guide for visiting fans to the Suncorp Stadium, home of Brisbane Roar, and the city of Brisbane based on my trip their during the 2017-18 season.
The Suncorp Stadium & Brisbane Roar
The Suncorp Stadium is an impressive 52,500 seated multi-purpose stadium in the suburb of Milton in Brisbane. Originally opened in 1914, the stadium is not only the home of the Brisbane Roar since 2005, but also the home of the Brisbane Broncos (NRL) and Queensland Reds (Super Rugby), whilst also hosting Rugby League’s annual State of Origin.
The stadium has also played host to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup Final, a 2003 Rugby World Cup quarter-final and matches for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, as well as a number of high profile concerts.
There is no denying that the Suncorp is an impressive ground and you’ll generally have a good view wherever you sit in the ground. However when I visited in January 2018 for the Brisbane Roar v Western Sydney Wanderers match, the capacity was 11,189. With the stadium barely a fifth full, there really is an empty feel to the place, despite the attempts of ‘The Den’ supporters group located behind the Northern stand in trying to create an atmosphere.
Brisbane Roar struggled at the Suncorp in the 2017/18 season, winning just 3 matches at home but did still make the finals for the 8th season in a row. The Roar are looking to improve upon their 6th place finish last season and John Aloisi has bolstered his squad with signings including former Danish international, Tobias Mikkelsen and potential future Socceroo, Stefan Mauk.
With the average attendance for Brisbane Roar in the 2017/18 season being 9,093, you’re never going to struggle to get a ticket.
Occasionally, matches are ‘double-headers’ with the Brisbane Roar’s women team W-League fixture, preceding the A-league fixture.
Public transport is included for free with the cost of your ticket.
Ticket prices range from:
Adult – $25-$42
Concession (Full Time Student/Pensioner) – $22-$37
Junior (4-15 years) – $16-$18
Family (1 Adult & 1 Junior) – $37-$55
Family (2 Adults & 2 Juniors) – $65-$105
Tickets can be purchased through Ticketek here.
Getting to Brisbane
Air – Brisbane Airport is 16km north of Brisbane CBD and serves many international and domestic destinations.
Search & book your flights through Skyscanner here.
Coach – The Brisbane Transit Centre is the main bus station and has long distance services to Adelaide, Cairns, Darwin, Melbourne, Sydney and Townsville.
Greyhound is one of the most well known companies and tickets can be booked through the official website here.
Train – Roma Street Station is the main train hub for Brisbane with regional trains, as well as long distance services to Cairns, Charleville, Rockhampton, Sydney and Townsville.
Getting around Brisbane & to the Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane’s excellent public transport network is run by TransLink, I would recommend purchasing one of the reusable Go Card’s if you intend on taking a few journeys. Public transport is free with the cost of your ticket 4 hours before and after the match.
There is an excellent TransLink journey planner available online or as an app, click here to access.
To/From Airport – The Airtrain links Brisbane Airport with the CBD with tickets costing $16.50 one way, $31 return.
Bus – Most services stop at Queen Street Bus Station and King George Square Bus Station. On match days, there are shuttle services to the stadium from the City, Carindale, Eight Mile Plains/Mt Gravatt (Garden City), Chermside and The Gap.
Ferry – TransLink also runs a number of ferry services along Brisbane River. The closest terminal to the Suncorp Stadium is at Milton, approximately a 15 minute walk away.
Parking – Car parking is extremely limited on match days, with parking restrictions in force in the stadium’s surrounding area.
Train – The Citytrain network has six main lines, which all pass through Roma Street Station, Central Station and Fortitude Valley Station. Roma Street is 1km away from the stadium, with Milton Station about 500m away.
Walk – Both train stations are less than a 15 walk from the stadium, with Brisbane CBD being about a 25 minute walk.
I visited Brisbane several times in the last year and can therefore recommend the following accommodation:
Mercure Brisbane King George Square – Located right in the heart of King George Square, this is everything you’d expect from a Mercure hotel and more. Rooms from about $150 a night.
The Capitol Apartments – located in South Brisbane, these modern apartments are located about a 15 minute walk from South Bank. Apartments from about $120 a night.
Oaks Aurora Tower – another set of modern apartments overlooking Brisbane River, about a 10 minute walk from Brisbane CBD. Apartments from about $150 a night.
Art Series Hotel – The Johnson – a very modern and bright hotel, set in the area of Spring Hill. A little further out, it will take you about 15 minutes to walk into the CBD and rooms start from $100 a night.
Food & Drink
The main hub of Brisbane is located at Queen Street, with plenty of restaurants and bars to be found nearby. Fortitude Valley has a number of reasonably priced restaurants and bars.
If you’re looking for some quick and easy food pre-match, try Sushi Hub on Albert Street, probably the best sushi I’ve had anywhere in the world, or the Ginger Garlic Indian Cuisine on Adelaide Street for a cheap takeaway Indian.
Inside the Suncorp, there are a number of food outlets with different snacks on offer, food prices can be viewed through the official website by clicking here.
There are bars inside, including the Precinct Bar on the Northern Plaza, with beers such as XXXX on sale. One difference for me being from the UK was that you are able to drink beer inside the ground!
What to do in Brisbane
The largest city in Queensland, Brisbane is great to simply walk around, with museums, art galleries, bars and restaurants dotted either side of the Brisbane River. The South Bank Parklands has a free tropical lagoon, with the Wheel of Brisbane offering 360-degree views of the city.
A little further afield, one of Australia’s most famous tourist attractions, Australia Zoo, can be reached by Beerwah train station in about an hour.
The beaches of the Gold Coast are just over an hour away from Brisbane, and can be reached via the Airtrain from Roma Street Station.
Other sports in Brisbane
If its not football (soccer) you’re after, Brisbane hosts a number of other sports teams and events:
- The Brisbane Broncos (Rugby League) play at the Suncorp Stadium and compete in the National Rugby League (NRL) competition which runs from March to September.
- The State of Origin (Rugby League) is a best of three match series, played between state representatives from Queensland and New South Wales. The match hosted in Queensland is usually played at the Suncorp Stadium in June/July.
- The Queensland Reds (Rugby Union) compete in the Southern Hemisphere Super Rugby competition held from March to August, with home matches played at the Suncorp Stadium.
- Brisbane Heat and Queensland Bulls (Cricket) play their matches at The Gabba, with the Heat competing in the Big Bash from December to February and the Bulls in the Sheffield Shield/One-Day Cup between September and April.
- The Brisbane Lions (Australian rules football) compete in the AFL between March and September and play their home fixtures at The Gabba.
- The Brisbane Bullets (Basketball) play in the National Basketball League between October and March. Most of their matches are played at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, with some hosted at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
- Queensland Firebirds (Netball) play between April and August in the National Netball League at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
- The Brisbane International tennis event at the Queensland Tennis Centre takes place the end of December/start of January and features some of the biggest tennis’ players as they warm up for the Australian Open.