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Skinny flat: new Adelaide Oval one of League's thinnest

(Photo: Port Adelaide FC)
It's longer (by two metres) and narrower by 10. This is the new home of Port Adelaide in the AFL. [pic: portadelaidefc.com.au]
GREEN is a slimmed down colour.

That's right, the new Adelaide Oval is much leaner that its predecessor Football Park, and longer.

The laser-level surface is perfectly flat and the spongy new turf is perfect for football - drawing praise from both Port Adelaide and the Crows in the lead up to the historic first Showdown at the Oval. 

The Power played on the cricket-primed surface back in 2011, but this will be a different deck to the one experience then.

The old straight-line boundary on the Members' side and slight curvature on the King William wing is gone - the Adelaide Oval is now an AFL-standard ellipse.

There has been significant change to the dimensions of the ground too, particularly when compared to the old home of South Australian football.

At 167 metres in length, it is two metres longer than at West Lakes, but it has skinny hips, with the new ground a full 10 metres narrower than AAMI Stadium at 123 metres from wing boundary to wing boundary.

Only Simonds Stadium (115m), ANZ Stadium (118m), and Patersons Stadium (122m) are narrower.

While Port Adelaide could theoretically gain the advantage of familiarity when playing at the fortresses of Kardinia and Subiaco, in reality any edge gained is, well, slim.

The big smoke of the MCG is now 25 metres wider than Port Adelaide's home ground - that's a lot in a game determined by inches.

Reality dictates that ground dimensions do influence the game styles adopted by teams and for Port Adelaide, playing 12 out of 22 games at the Adelaide Oval means it will want to take advantage of the proportionally larger corridor. 

It will do that with a strong defensive gameplan and aggressive and ambitious forward thrust through the centre of the ground.

And for those concerned the Power will be disadvantaged by playing on a skinnier ground when it comes to finals, the easy rebuttal is to look at the way modern pacesetters like Geelong and Fremantle take advantage of their home grounds.

The grounds of this game come in all shapes and sizes and a good, competitive game plan must be adaptive and malleable enough to suit all surfaces.

Here are the ground dimensions for 2014:

Venue AKA Length Width Square metres^ PAFC games in 2014
Adelaide Oval   167m 123m 16,132m 12
AAMI Stadium* Football Park 165m 133m 17,235m -
MCG   173.6m 148.4m 20,233m 1
Etihad Stadium Docklands 159.5m 128.8m 16,134m 3
Simonds Stadium Kardinia Park 170m 115m 15,354m -
Aurora Stadium York Park 170m 140m 18,692m -
Blundstone Arena Bellerive Oval 160m 124m 15,528m -
StarTrack Oval Manuka 162.5m 138.4m 17,663m 1
SCG   155m 136m 16,556m 1
ANZ Stadium Homebush 160m 118m 14,828m -
Metricon Stadium Carrara 161m 134m 16,944m 1
The Gabba   156m 138m 16,908m -
Cazaly's Stadium   165m 135m 17,494m -
TIO Stadium Marrara Oval 175m 135m 18,555m -
TIO Traeger Park Traeger Park 168m 132m 17,416m 1
Patersons Stadium Subiaco 175m 122m 16,768m 2
Westpac Stadium Wellington Stadium 160m 129m 16,210m -
* no longer in use
^ approximate figure
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs