No river in the way as fans flock to AFL final parade

Fans watch as Geelong and Sydney players take part in the 2022 grand final parade on the Yarra.

Fans watch as Geelong and Sydney players take part in the 2022 grand final parade on the Yarra. Photo: AAP

It’s in with the old and out with the new for the AFL grand final parade, with thousands of fans returning to the Melbourne sporting precinct instead of the Yarra River.

The motorcade procession is back on Friday morning after last year’s grand finalists were made to travel on boats as fans watched from the banks of the Yarra.

Many supporters canned the experiment, saying they couldn’t even see the players from popular vantage points.

The AFL conceded the river parade wasn’t the best experience for all those involved.

“The boats had some great elements, but ultimately we wanted to bring the fans and players closer together,” AFL customer and commercial general manager Kylie Rogers said.

“Our goal is to deliver a better viewing and overall event experience for fans, families and passers-by.”

Collingwood and Brisbane players will depart Melbourne Park Oval on the back of utes at 10.30am, before travelling through Birrarung Marr to the footy festival site outside the MCG.

Tens of thousands of fans are expected to line the parade route, with one of Victoria’s biggest clubs playing on the final Saturday in September.

Collingwood chief executive Craig Kelly has called on his club’s supporters to take over the Melbourne sporting precinct.

“This week is all about the Collingwood community and the connection with our fans,” he said.

“We look forward to embracing the week alongside every member of the Magpie army.”

Brisbane fans might be outnumbered, but they will feel at home with the Melbourne weather.

It is expected to soar into the high 20s for both the parade and grand final day.


Topics: AFL
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