Where to watch the grand final

Where to watch the big game on grand final weekend
Western Bulldogs vs Carlton AFL
Photograph: Flickr/Chris Brown
By Time Out editors |
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Whether you're barracking for the Bulldogs or the Swans, or more interested in seeing the Storm grin the Sharks into the turf, grand final weekend is like Christmas for sports fans. Teams have put their bodies on the line all season to get to this point and now the ulimate decider for both the AFL and the NRL will happen in 48 straight hours, crushing the spirits of some and showering the winners in glory. It's going to be a stressful weekend, which is why you need someone to be taking care of the hot eats and cold beers while your eyes remained glued to the big screens at these great venues screening the grand finals this long weekend.

Bars, Pubs

The Light Brigade Hotel

icon-location-pin Woollahra

They love their sport so much at this Paddo/Woollahra borderlands hotel that we’ve seen them turn every seat in the house to face the big screen like it was a cinema, and they still post the televised sport schedule online so you never miss a match, whatever your code.

Bars, Pubs

Courthouse Hotel

icon-location-pin Newtown

When there’s a bite in the air that makes sitting in the garden a little too chilly for comfort, there’s no better way to spend an afternoon that posting up on one of the bar stools and watching the footy over a jug of beer and a Courty burger. They only have the commentary on for Swans games, but they screen most big games on the four large screens. 

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Bars

24/7 Sports Bar

icon-location-pin Darling Harbour

The 24/7 Sports Bar is your destination in the Star for all things sports-related. The bar features three mega screens as well as more than 50 LCD TVs (yes, 50). The menu is pub classics and there's a paperless TAB right in the centre of the action. Plus, the bar has a slew of specials including happy hour (Mon-Fri, 5-7pm) with $5 local beers, house wine and spirits.

Bars, Pubs

Cricketers Arms Hotel

icon-location-pin Surry Hills

As one of the closest public bars to the SCG, this well-worn local is the next best thing to being at the game when the Swans are playing. Plus, once the full-time horn blows you can sit smugly on your bar stool while people try and cram into the pub to discuss the outcome over a schooner.

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Bars, Pubs

The Sheaf

icon-location-pin Double Bay

The big drawcard of this Double Bay establishment is the beautifully renovated leafy garden bar, which conveniently means getting a seat in the older-style public bar with a great view of the big screens is a good bet.

Bars, Pubs

The Lord Gladstone

icon-location-pin Chippendale

Sydney might be struggling to keep the late-night vibes pumping, but there’s a rebel force of party people and most weekends they are congregating at the Lord Gladstone. The ability to squash so many Sydney scenes inside a modest space is one of this pub’s most impressive attributes. On an unremarkable Saturday night you’ve got Bondi babes, queer indie kids, footy fans, sneaker freakers, hip-hop heads and what appears to be a crew of nonchalant models all cramming into the concrete courtyard for a good time. Remember out the back of the Abercrombie? It’s like a more condensed version of that: you’re yelling over the tunes, people are smoking up on the balcony and everyone’s getting their flirt on. And they like to keep you guessing. There’s always a Sunday session, but it might be disco tunes at Completely Sundays, or perhaps it’s an afternoon of hip hop and live graffiti at Sunday Walls. Fridays are a knees-up featuring Sydney legends like Joyride and the Bad Deep crew, and if you clock off a little early, Fridays at 5pm are also when they tap a keg of Tooheys New with the proceeds going to an elected charity. What a clutch of good eggs. You can trust them with your $22 sirloin, which comes with green beans and a peppery gravy, or visit on a Thursday and a rump steak will only cost you a tenner. And you’re not a real Sydneysider until you’ve eaten at least one deep-fried Golden Gaytime and thumbed your nose at the gods of nutrition. Right now many of our pubs are going ha

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Young Henrys beer
Photograph: Anna Kucera
Bars

Churchills Sports Bar

icon-location-pin Kingsford

Fancy a flutter? Every sporting event you can think of is available on the big screens here and they have a bistro menu that stretches from breakfast through to late night snacks so you are all sorted for game day.    

Bars, Pubs

Public House Petersham

icon-location-pin Petersham

At this gussied up Petersham pub you'll find a huge HD projector screen and good sound, both for sport as well as film screenings. They’ve also added a whole lot more furniture so everyone can bung in together for a pub dinner; replaced the gambling facilities with a dedicated games corner (the fooshockey is still there); and strung the upstairs verandah with festoon lights so that smokers have a nice spot to sit and muse on the state of the nation. 

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Bars, Sports bars

York 75

icon-location-pin Sydney

A top notch clubhouse hidden above Bistrode CBD, which itself is stacked on top of the Hotel CBD. This is the place where your booth comes with it's own, individual TV screen. That’s right, sports fans, the power is yours. Sick of your niche interest always getting bumped in favour of the NRL? Desperate to catch some of the Netball World Cup and no one is screening it? If it’s televised, you can watch it here over beers and a Philly cheesesteak.

Bars

The Warren View Hotel

icon-location-pin Enmore

The big advantage of this Enmore favourite can be summed up thusly: the beer garden, which has a gate off Enmore Road. But the front rooms fill up fast on finals weekend because the TVs ringing the room mean everyone can see.

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