Brisbane has a long and decorated association with the NRL, and the city’s sole team in the nation’s top league also happens to be one of the most well-supported. The Broncos regularly either lead or fall in the top handful of teams in the NRL in terms of membership, and their crowd numbers typically blow away the rest of the competition. Of course, not everyone can fit into Suncorp Stadium and it’s important to know where else to catch the action, so these are the best sport venues to watch the NRL at in Brisbane.
1. The Plough Inn
Located in South Brisbane, The Plough Inn has all that you need for a quality night watching the NRL. It’s a huge establishment from way back in the 19th century, and has a great sports bar inside full of big screen TVs and cold beers, cocktails, or whatever drink takes your fancy. Unsurprisingly, when the Broncos are playing it’s a pretty one-eyed crowd, but that just makes for an even better atmosphere. Once the game’s finished or during the extended half time break, you can also head outside to enjoy their huge beer garden and often a little live music.
2. The Alliance Hotel
The Alliance Hotel is a big, old pub on a street corner in Spring Hill, and is a great place to go if you’re looking to catch the game. The bar, which serves a range of different quality craft beers, wine or even coffee if you need a pick-me-up, is surrounded by big screen TVs showing whatever sporting events the customers want to watch, and if the NRL is on - particularly if the Broncos are playing - you can be confident that will be the event of choice. It’s also a great place for a feed, so if you fancy some food to ease the pre-game jitters then the extensive menu here is definitely worth a look.
3. The Caxton Hotel
If you’re after the best atmosphere possible for the game, then look no further than The Caxton Hotel. It’s located right next to Suncorp Stadium, and if a game is being played there then this is the best place to be aside from inside the ground itself. Whether you’re after beers or something a little stronger, you’ll be looked after by the bottle shop right next door. There is also sidewalk on which patrons can eat and drink, and when the Broncos are playing the crowd here can get pretty raucous. It might not quite match actually going to the game, but it’s almost certainly the next best thing.
4. The Lord Alfred Hotel
Another pub located just around the corner from Suncorp Stadium, the Lord Alfred Hotel is a pretty regular stopping point for fans heading either to or from the game, but if you’re going to be watching on TV then it’s a great place to be as well. Like the Caxton, the LA Hotel’s close proximity to Suncorp means it’s the viewing venue of choice for many die-hard fans, and the atmosphere is pretty electric as a result. They also often open up their car park for patrons when the Broncos are playing, with over 20 screens outside and all the food and drink you could ask for.
5. The Royal George Hotel
If you’re looking for somewhere to settle in for the long haul, then the Royal George Hotel is one of the best choices in Brisbane. It’s located in the heart of Fortitude Valley, has the self-proclaimed largest beer garden in the Valley as well as three separate bars. One of those is a fully adorned sports bar with all the bells and whistles you can imagine, and NRL fans flock here en masse to catch whatever game, or games, are on one of the many big screens scattered around the room.
It’s no secret that Brisbane locals love their NRL, and the massive support the Broncos get is testament to that. Even over the last couple of years, when it hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the Broncos and the NRL Premiership odds courtesy of Betway have demonstrated they are not exactly competing for a spot on Grand Final day, they have had some of the strongest membership numbers, so it’s little surprise there are always plenty of fans around Brisbane looking for somewhere to watch their beloved Broncos. The above five bars are some of the best in the city to do just that, with each of them boasting the NRL on TV, cold beers and a quality atmosphere.