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Western Bulldogs vs Carlton AFL
Photograph: Flickr/Chris Brown

Where to watch the grand final

Where to watch the big game on grand final weekend

Written 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.

The Light Brigade Hotel
  • Bars
  • Woollahra
  • price 1 of 4

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.

The Oaks Hotel
  • Bars
  • Neutral Bay
  • price 2 of 4

The recently refurbished Oaks is about to add another string to its bow with the introduction of Taffy's. Billed as the "ultimate man cave", this contemporary take on the classic sports bar isn't merely a place to watch the game. There's the biggest foosball table in NSW, arcade-style basketball hoops and air hockey, and a manly menu with a few gourmet twists: you can feed the beast with Taffy's foot-long, fully-loaded hotdogs, or fancy things up with some duck nachos. 

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Courthouse Hotel
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Newtown
  • price 1 of 4

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. 

24/7 Sports Bar
  • Bars
  • 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 features typical pub classics and the bar has a slew of rotating specials.

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The Golden Sheaf
  • Bars
  • Double Bay
  • price 1 of 4

The big drawcard of this Double Bay establishment is the beautifully appointed 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.

The Lord Gladstone
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Chippendale

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 and rugby 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.

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  • Bars
  • 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.    

Public House Petersham
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Petersham
  • price 1 of 4

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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York 75
  • Bars
  • 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.

The Warren View Hotel
  • Bars
  • 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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