The AFL is looking for Victorian stadia to be allowed to operate at full capacity, unveiling a plan that would see fans being required to enter the name and contact details of every person attending the match when buying tickets.
Looking to ensure 100% capacity before the Anzac Day clash between Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG, one of the League’s games of the season, the AFL’s plan aims to assist the Victorian Government in obtaining the contact details of all fans attending matches to best assist with COVID-19 contact tracing, should an outbreak occur at a venue.
When purchasing tickets online, fans will now be required to enter the name and contact number of each person attending the venue. Through the first four rounds of the season, fans only needed to enter the details of one person in the attending group.
The trial will be conducted for the upcoming Carlton v Port Adelaide game at the MCG, as well as the Western Bulldogs v Gold Coast clash at Marvel Stadium.
Introducing the trial, AFL Executive General Manager Commercial and Customer, Kylie Rogers stated "we empathise that fans have had to change the way they may ordinarily purchase tickets and attend matches as we continue to navigate the pandemic and modify our behaviours.
"Encouragingly the data shows fans have quickly adopted the digital ticketing process, and we thank them for embracing the required change.
"The trial this week will assist us in getting back to 100 percent capacity as soon as possible and eventually seeing members get back to their beloved reserved seats in stadium."
The AFL estimates that adding contact details during the ticketing purchase process should only add a maximum of minute to the total transaction time.
However, while state public health officials are working with the AFL to boost capacity to 100%, Victorian acting Premier James Merlino has not indicated when that will be.
The acting Victorian Premier stated “we are working together to get to (full capacity), but we cannot put a timeline on that today.
"It's all about contact tracing, and having the confidence that if we have 100,000 people filling (the MCG), there's the ability for public health to effectively contact trace.”
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said last month it would be difficult to fill large venues such as the MCG and still maintain separate zones, noting “I think, for very large venues, getting to 100% is pretty tricky. You’ve got to maintain those hard zones, so you do need that space to be able to have the infrastructure to separate people.”
The current stadium capacity in Victoria is 75%.
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