Industry News

AFL grand final bill could ensure half of tickets allocated to finalists

Australian Football League (AFL) grand final ticket allocations could be debated in state parliament later this year through a bill aimed at delivering an additional 20,000 tickets to competing clubs.

Victoria’s Green Party this week introduced a bill in the state parliament aimed at ensuring half of all tickets for the Melbourne event, set for September 30 this year, are allocated to the finalists themselves.

For the season-deciding game both competing clubs are currently allocated 15,000 tickets. Approximately half of the tickets for the game are split between AFL and Melbourne Cricket Club members.

Corporate sponsors and partners have received more than 15 per cent of the tickets, while non-competing clubs have also been given a smaller amount of tickets to sell.

Sam Hibbins, the Greens’ spokesperson for sport in Victoria, has already called for more tickets for club members. The proposed bill is aimed at applying further pressure on Labor Minister John Eren, who is responsible for sports matters in the state.

As a part of anti-scalping legislation, Eren currently approves grand final ticket allocations each year.

“Club members are the lifeblood of our footy clubs. Club members stump up at the start of the year to financially support their club but miss out to corporates come grand final day,” Hibbins said to Australian newspaper The Age. 

“Last year many Western Bulldogs members missed out on attending the Doggies’ first premiership in over 60 years. The current ticket allocation creates a perfect storm for ticket scalpers to flourish. Severely restricting the number of tickets available to die-hard fans and selling expensive ‘corporate packages’ drives fans onto the black market.

“The AFL and state government need to take meaningful action to increase grand final ticket allocation for competing club members, but if they don’t act, parliament should.”

Eren said: “There’s no greater feeling than watching your team win a flag, and we want more passionate club members to get that chance.

“That’s why we’re working with the league on future arrangements that put footy fans first. The ticketing scheme provides a balance, so that more people can see the great game for themselves.”

The Australian government uses several methods to reduce grand final scalping, including website monitoring, and policing outside the stadium on grand final day.