GRAND BLOODY FINAL DAY. Can you smell it? Glory’s in the air, folks. Glory and footy of the hottest variety. It’s the best day of the year. Footy Christmas.
The AFL Grand Final is set to go down on Saturday afternoon, and the entire city of Melbourne is set to come to a grinding halt between the bounces. But whether you’re one of the lucky 100,000-odd who managed to snag tickets to the big game (h8 u), or a diehard you’re planning on getting down to area around the MCG just to soak up the atmosphere, or even if you’re traversing to a backyard or pub to watch the game, there’s a knack to getting around the great Victorian city on its biggest day of the year.
But fear not, we’ve collated all the info you could ever want that’ll ensure your footy commute is as smooth as humanly possible.
Your most trusted friend or your worst enemy, depending on how you navigate things.
With the day before Saturday being a public holiday (cheers, Dan Andrews ya mad dog), Yarra Trams has announced that services will be operating on a Saturday schedule all Friday. Routes 11, 48, 12, and 109 will also operate modified routes around the CBD from 9:00am until 1:40pm to account for the Grand Final Parade.
The Free Tram Zone is being extended along Wellington Parade up to the MCG, and at stops at Rod Laver and Hisense Arenas on the southern side of the ground, meaning no one heading to the ‘G from the city has to touch on their Myki before they get to the ground. This lasts from Wednesday right through till Sunday. Good gear.
In addition, Metro Trains is capping all fares on Friday and Saturday at a maximum of $6, to try and encourage peeps to take the train rather than attempt to drive anywhere near the ground. And speaking of…
PARKING AT THE GROUND
Don’t do it. Don’t even think about. Forget it.
The AFL and the MCG have mandated that there will be no public parking available in Yarra Park on Grand Final day this year. There will be an extremely limited number of spots available for cars with disability permits, but they open up at Gate 5 from 4:00am (heck) and are expected to fill up tout suite.
Unfortunately this also means no full-on tailgating outside the ground either, which is a huge bummer.
The good news, if you absolutely have to drive to the game, is that Le Garage at 114 Flinders Street is offering $8 parking if you scan your ticket or membership card at the pay station. Which leaves more change in your pocket for a glorious box of luke-warm undercooked Grand Final chips at the ground.
LEAVING THE AREA
Don’t try anything else, just hoof it. Boot scoot your way outta there. Jump in the Foot Falcon and peel off.
Unless you’re keen on sardining yourself into a post-Grand Final tram or train, putting your best foot forward is the easiest and smartest way out of the area. Cabs will be few and far between and you’d imagine the ye olde ridesharing surge-charges will be higher than a 420 weather balloon.
Along with the 100,000 fans inside the ground, there’s gonna be thousands more packed into temporary bars erected around the stadium, and an expected 20,000-odd screaming Tigers fans are gonna be watching from the neighbouring Punt Rd Oval. It’s gonna be hell. Magnificent footy hell.
It’s also worth noting that Yarra Council officials are expecting so many people to cram into the pubs just down the road from the ‘G that they’ve trucked in porta loos and considered shutting down a giant stretch of Swan Street and turning it into a fucken mammoth 48-hour street party. VicRoads isn’t having it for the time being, but still expect the streets of Richmond to overflow the footpaths well before the game even starts. If you’re keen to party, there’s yr best bet. If not, leg it elsewhere.
YEAH BUT WHAT ABOUT THE BLOODY WEATHER?
Calm yr farm, dickhead. It’s gonna be a beautiful Melbourne day, by which we mean it’s not gonna sit still for any more than five minutes and it could change its mind at the drop of a hat.
The blessed Bureau of Meteorology is, at this stage we stress, predicting a ho hum day rising to a dizzying high of 16 degrees.
Some showers are forecast for the morning, and there’s a 40% chance of a very light sprinkling of rain once the game starts at about 2:30, 3ish. The rain should be gone by the evening, but.
So, in other words, who heckin’ knows. Love you Melbourne. Keep doing you, babe.
As always, keep yr eyes on the socials for any sudden changes to transport, etc. And otherwise enjoy the game/hope yr team wins/hope the other one eats shit.
HELL YEAH FOOTY!