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FOOTY!!! We love to see it. Literally — we love to go to a stadium, buy a mid-strength, high-priced beer and a pie, and watch the footy live and in the hot, sweaty flesh. And ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit Australia and the AFL men’s 2020 competition was moved to various hubs outside of Victoria, we’ve wondered when and if we can watch footy in 2021.

Today, AFL daddy Gillon McLachlan has confirmed that Victorian footy punters will be allowed to descend upon the MCG and Marvel Stadium for round one — in a reduced capacity, mind you.

At the larger MCG, attendance will be capped at 50,000, and over at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct, capacity will cap out at 50% — so 28,961 beer-swilling nuffies.

In a statement, Gil thanked Victorian premier Dan Andrews for giving his blessing for crowds — albeit smaller ones — to come back to AFL for round one.

“Footy fans in Victoria have been excited about getting back to matches and we have seen that with great numbers across the opening rounds of the AFLW season. We haven’t had footy crowds this big in Victoria since the match to support bushfire relief in February last year, so this announcement provides a big boost for our players and fans.”

Gil added: “Our team has been working extensively behind the scenes planning for multiple scenarios and all our venues will be ready to welcome fans back into the stands come next month.”

No word yet on Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium, but an announcement is expected soon.

Round one of the AFL men’s competition kicks off on Thursday, March 18 with the traditional opening clash of Richmond v Carlton at the MCG. With Richmond currently sitting at over 100,000 members, it’s going to be a brutal effort to even get tickets. That’s why I follow the GWS Giants, I can just bloody stroll in.