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AFL Grand Final returns to arvo slot

"We want to give footy fans that familiar feeling back," says AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.

After it flirted with a primetime match in 2020, the AFL Grand Final is returning to the afternoon for 2021.

AFL club presidents were told on Wednesday afternoon the game would start at 2.30pm on Saturday September 25 at the MCG.

An AFL reports claims there are hopes for a capacity 100,000 spectators able to attend, pending COVID-19 protocols.

CEO Gillon McLachlan said, “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 – a Saturday afternoon start-time, the build-up, the anticipation, friends, family and the BBQ in the backyard, all combining to make it the best event on the Australian sporting calendar.

“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.”

Grand finals played outside primetime make baby Jesus cry….

7 Responses

  1. Hallelujah. So many authorities are now trying to enforce “temporary” or “necessary” changes from last year, and it looked like the night GF was going to be one of them. One thing that was nice was the light show at half-time, but that is not enough to warrant a permanent change.

  2. That’s really disappointing.
    Purely from viewing results, the AFL GF was the 2nd highest this decade and the largest not featuring Sydney Swans.
    Meanwhile NRL 2nd lowest despite Melbourne v Sydney teams.
    What of the following do we lose with an evening GF. “Build-up, anticipation, friends, family and the BBQ in the backyard”. Or, is it because it’d impact Gill’s GF lunch?
    The only way NRL GF gets close to AFL is having a daytime GF. Good one AFL.

  3. I’m in the minority i think but i want a night GF. It was so much better imo. The atmosphere and everything. I always enjoy night games when i watch. The AFL has basically backtracked on moving forward with the game. I think this is a backward step honestly.

  4. Admittedly I’m not a sports fan, but in looking at the coverage of the night Final, I feel like a night final bigger event (plus I think it rated higher than 2019, although that may be lockdown influenced).

    Seams silly to throw away something that could grow & evolve for stagnate tradition.

  5. Very happy that the GF will revert back to its 2:30pm timeslot. I was at someone’s house & i didnt watch the AFL GF last year because it wasn’t the same without a day time GF. As well, I couldn’t stand these two teams (Tigers and Cats). I want to see two non-Victorian teams in the Grand Final this year.

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