Victorian football supporters have been urged to attend the A-League grand final to guarantee a good crowd for the decider.

A-League officials concede a 30,000 AAMI Park full house is unlikely for Saturday night’s grand final due to the absence of Melbourne Victory.

However, hopes remain high of a “good turnout” for the all-Victorian decider between Melbourne City and a Western United club only in its third season of existence.

“It’s certainly a challenge but it’s a showpiece event and we expect it’ll be really good turnout,” Australian Professional Leagues CEO Danny Townsend said.

“Grand finals are always big events.”

The “challenge” of attracting a big crowd to the final is largely due to Western United’s small supporter base.

Melbourne City also fall short of rivalling the Victory in the fan stakes, but their success in recent years has helped boost their amount of supporters.

“It would have been sold out in a day if the Victory and City would have been playing each other,” Townsend said.

“But the benefit to us is that Western United are so early on in their cycle of trying to build a connection with the west of Melbourne and trying to build a brand. Playing in a grand final is a pretty good way to do it.

“For them to do it so early on is pretty amazing.”

Townsend was hopeful Saturday night’s crowd would at least top last year’s grand final attendance of 14,017 at the same venue

“That it was Melbourne City versus Sydney FC, and Sydney fans weren’t allowed to travel due to Covid,” he said.

Townsend was also banking on a cross-town “rivalry” boosting numbers.

“Now that City have gone to the south-east of Melbourne, there’s a bit of a rivalry between the east and the west. Hopefully we can build on that this weekend,” he said.

United CEO Chris Pehlivanis urged Victoria’s football fraternity to attend the final.

“There are two Victorian teams playing in a grand final, so anybody that loves football in this state has got to be there,” Pehlivanis said.

“If you say you love football and you don’t come to the game, you’re actually doing a disservice to the game.

“We are all in this together. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Western United fan, a Melbourne City fan or a Melbourne Victory fan … come to the game.

“Be a neutral if you want to be. Just come to watch the best teams put on a show.

“This is football, and we need all football fans to get behind this game.”

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