Take the family out for a night at the Footy this season

The 2019 NRL Season is almost upon us and this means it’s time to dust off the blue, grey and yellow face paint, dig out your Cowboys supporters t-shirt, and book your tickets for the home games (or ensure your membership is up to date!)
Townsville is ‘Cowboys’ territory and much to the dismay of those who relocate here from Southern states, NRL seems to be the king of sports here.  When I first moved to town, I admit I wasn’t much of a footy fan and held a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude.  8 years later and while I do still have that same attitude towards the sport, I also appreciate how much fun it can be attending the Cowboys home games at 1300 Smiles Stadium.
If you’ve just moved to Townsville and have never attended a live game before you might be wondering what to expect.

First of all let’s talk tickets.  You have a choice between buying tickets for single games or buying a membership that covers entry to 12 home games.  The easiest way to purchase tickets or membership is to head to the Cowboys website here. You can also visit the Ticketek desk in person at Stocklands Townsville for tickets.

You have a choice between grandstand seating or general admission.  For grandstand tickets you can choose which end or side of the field you would prefer, and if you’re not cheering for the home team you can choose to sit in the ‘Away Supporters’ stand with other away team fans.

General Admission areas are grassy areas at either end of the field.  As we have young kids who like to run around (and the ticket price is cheaper!) this is where we usually sit.  It’s seated space on a sloped grass area and there is usually plenty of room – even at busier games.

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Prior to the main game, there is a game by the junior team followed by pre-game entertainment such as live music, cheerleading performances and more.  We always try to get to the games early so we can get settled in with a picnic blanket and snacks, so it’s good to know that we’ll have something to watch before the main event begins.

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As you can see from the photo above, those who choose to sit on ‘the hill’ in General Admission, take along picnic blankets to sit on.  As the NRL season runs through winter, keep in mind that the ground does get damp and cold so a blanket is always a good idea!  You cannot take chairs in so this also needs to be considered when selecting seats as those with mobility issues may find it difficult to navigate the slope of the hill and sitting on the ground.

For the budget conscious family the good news is that we can take in our own food and snacks, BUT you must abide by the rules.  As a licensed venue, the first rule is that you cannot take in alcohol.  There is also the Stadium rule that there is to be no commercially packaged food and drinks purchased outside the grounds taken in with you.

What does this mean?  If you have a bottle of water, then you need to remove the label or pour it into a reusable bottle.  Before you leave home, open up the packet of Samboy chips and empty into a sealable container instead.  Homemade food is permitted to be taken in provided it’s packaged in unmarked/non-branded containers and bags.

For full information about the Stadium terms and conditions visit the 1300SMILES stadium here

For those not wanting to take in their own food, the good news is that there is a selection of kiosks and food trucks on offer.  For those who enjoy a bevvie with their footy, there are bars located in various spots around the stadium.

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The great news is that the Cowboys home games are very family friendly.  The cheerleaders take the time to walk around the ground several times greeting fans, and the mascots do their job well with their hilarious antics and my kids LOVE the cow’s dancing moves!  Following every game, the players themselves walk around the field for lots of high 5’s, photo ops and autographs.

And remember how I said that I wasn’t a major footy fan?  You might be wondering then why I’d bother going along to games.  Well, it’s the atmosphere!  It’s fun to experience the sound of the crowd and see just how passionate and excited the die hard fans get.

I suggest heading to at least one game to see it for yourself!


The first Cowboys home game for the 2019 NRL Season kicks off on 16th March at 7.35pm, against the Dragons.  For more info visit www.cowboys.com.au

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