The standard of play is not the only impressive part the A-League in 2011-12, with both the quality of the playing surfaces and the atmosphere in the terraces also improving according the to the PFA Stadium Rating System.

The PFA consults away captains after each A-League fixture for their ratings across several criteria associated with pitch quality.
After being awarded by the players the best playing surface of season 2009/10 and 2010/11, Brisbane Roar’s Suncorp Stadium remains one of the A-League’s best after 9 rounds in 2011/12, but has been overtaken by Melbourne’s carpet-like AAMI Park surface and equalled by Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.
Pitch ratings are based on 3 criteria being the smoothness, pace and hardness, plus an overall score, and have improved overall compared to after the same number of rounds last year.

This year, away captains have also been asked to assess the grounds for their atmosphere. Before the start of this season the players overwhelmingly agreed that A-League fans should also be recognised for their contribution towards the atmosphere they generate at games.
As a result ‘atmosphere’ was added as a criteria for away captains to provide feedback on, and so far Etihad Stadium, which is expecting another bumper crowd for the arrival of Beckham and the LA Galaxy tomorrow night, has rated highest among the players.  Unfortunately, Gold Coast United has struggled to attract crowds to its home matches and consequently has the poorest atmosphere rating of all 10 A-League clubs.
Adelaide’s Hindmarsh and the Sydney Football Stadium round out the top 3 respectively, with AAMI Park rating strongly in 4th place for fan noise, with its highest rating following Melbourne Victory’s thrilling 3-2 win versus Gold Coast United.
The PFA will provide awards to the ground staff and official fan group of the teams with the best pitch and atmosphere respectively at the end of the season.
To view the stadium ratings please click here