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AFL aims for 2021 grand final to return as a full capacity daytime fixture at the MCG
The AFL has announced that its 2021 Grand Final will return to the traditional format of an afternoon kick-off at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, with the League aiming for 100,000 fans at the game.
With the relocated 2020 grand final at Brisbane’s Gabba having been played under lights, AFL Chief Executive, Gillon McLachlan advised that it was important for the code to reinstate “traditions and rituals” important to fans.
With the AFL targeting a full house for the game, the 18 clubs have been told this year’s Grand Final will return to a daytime slot at the MCG on 25th September. Coronavirus complications saw the bulk of last year’s schedule, including the entire finals series, played outside of Victoria.
Describing last year’s decider in Brisbane as a “huge success”, McLachlan said the League wanted to look after its supporters by making the Grand Final the “best event” in Australian sport.
He explained “our members and supporters were incredible in continuing to support their teams last year and they are wanting a season where they can return to some of the traditions and rituals around footy
“Ultimately, the AFL Commission decided that while we will keep some of the unique components of the 2020 season, the prestige, nostalgia and atmosphere of the day grand final is something that people can look forward to.
“Wherever they are located around Australia, we want to give footy fans that familiar feeling back on Grand Final day. We still have a lot of work as a league and a community to get the finish line, but I would love nothing more to see 100,000 back at the MCG on the last Saturday in September.”
The Victorian Government is currently allowing for stadiums to be a 50% capacity, with a bumper crowd of 50,000 expected to turn out for the season opener at the MCG between the Tigers and Carlton on 18th March.
Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium and Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium will also operate at 50% capacity for the initial rounds of the AFL season.
The MCG fixture will be the first AFL premiership season game with fans at the iconic venue since the 2019 grand final played in front of 100,014 fans.
Last year’s Gabba Grand Final, which saw Richmond defeat Geelong, was played in front of 29,707 fans.
Image: The 2017 AFL Grand Final at the MCG.
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