For those of us who follow and enjoy AFL footy, we have reached what pundits describe as ‘the pointy end of the season’—yes, the finals.
As September nears the end, this year—like every year before it—the footy finals promise to be a sensational and exciting time to be an AFL fan.
This finals season saw four of the final eight top teams come from outside Victoria (for the initiated, the AFL’s birth state).
This really must encourage the AFL bosses, as they can see the impact that our great game is having right around Australia. It is a healthy sign of the way the game is being embraced and supported in cities across the country.
Next Saturday, 1 October, one team will hold aloft the cherished and hard fought Premiership Cup on Grand Final Day at Melbourne’s hallowed ground—the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Which makes it appropriate that this year the Grand Final occurs around ‘World Tourism Day’ (27 September).
According to the publicholidays.com.au there are three things die-hard footy fans don’t want to miss.
First is the game at the ‘tenth-biggest stadium on the planet. Its light towers are the tallest at any sports stadium in the world. The Grand Final is the most important game in all of Australian football.’
On Grand Final Day, the atmosphere both in, and around, the magnificent MCG will be electric.
Then there’s the spectacle of the parade on Grand Final Eve, where thousands will line the streets to watch it pass by.
‘You will see fans dressed in full uniform, waving flags, colourful balloons, team mascots, and more as the parade moves from the Old Treasury Building, past the CBD, and to the stadium,’ says publicholidays.com.au.
But aside from all the footy mania, Melbourne, Australia’s second largest capital city, really has something for everyone. In addition to the souvenir shops along Swanston Street in the city’s CBD and AFL shops for footy fans looking for memorabilia and club gear, hotels and motels will be full, restaurants and cafes will be patronised—it really is an exciting few weeks.
Let’s all take time to enjoy this exciting 2016 finals series. For those of us who call Melbourne home, let’s make all of our interstate visitors feel welcome and help them to enjoy some of the sights and experiences this city has to offer.
‘Then God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day’ (Genesis 1 verse 31).