AAMI Flashback – First game at Football Park 1974

Sponsored by AAMI


For the last 11 years of its life, we knew it as AAMI Stadium.

But when it was first opened on Saturday May 4, 1974, Football Park looked vastly different upon hosting its first SANFL match between Central District and North Adelaide.

Only concrete steps were provided for the comfort of fans in the absence of seats while the only undercover area on the ”members wing” was still incomplete.

A makeshift scoreboard operated by attendants took pride of place on the outer wing, in the foreground of mounds of dirt and sparse housing which could be spotted in the distance outside of SA’s home of football until 2013.

North Adelaide forward Barry Hearl had the honour of kicking the first goal at West Lakes, a self-described ”big screwy” from 5om in the first quarter.

And while Hearl also snared the final major of the match – courtesy of a baulk and lace out pass from triple Magarey Medallist Barrie Robran – the Roosters were overwhelmed by 30 points as the Bulldogs built on a stunning nine-goal second stanza.

In the fourth quarter vision below, Central greats Terry Moore, Sonny Morey and Peter Vivian are prominent, with SA Football Hall of Famer Vivian kicking a classy left-foot snap goal after weaving through traffic.

But it was another Bulldog – forward Graham Reed – who gave us a taste of what to expect from the south-west pocket for the next four decades when he had his simple set shot taken off course by a surging gust of wind eight minutes in.

North Adelaide stars Terry Von Bertouch and Barry Stringer are also noticeable together with the Robran brothers – Barrie and Rodney.

Barrie – considered to be one of the greats players in South Australian history – shows glimpses of his best when he effortlessly floats through the air for an overhead mark six minutes in before baulking around Morey to set up Hearl’s last goal of the game.

Round 5 1974 - Central District v North Adelaide at Football Park (AAMI Stadium)

Saturday May 4

Central District  4.2  13.4  18.7  21.13 (139)

North Adelaide  5.3  9.5  13.9  16.13 (109)

At Football Park, West Lakes

Sign up to receive the latest SANFL news straight to your inbox.