The AFL is considering a change to the Grand Final parade, where players will be sent down the Yarra River on boats before boarding the traditional utes to embark through the streets of Melbourne.
An idea initially flagged by City of Perth mayor Basil Zempilas, the former Channel 7 commentator suggested the parade change in Perth due to the pandemic and restrictions in place September last year.
After being absent for two years due to COVID-19 impacts, the much-liked parade will return to Melbourne following premiership deciders in Brisbane (2020 – Gabba) and Perth (2021 – Optus Stadium).
But with fans being deprived of having the Grand Final at the home of football, the league is attempting to celebrate in style on the public holiday before the highly anticipated match.
Players, coaches and officials alike have historically been seen in the back of utes through Melbourne’s CBD.
2019 was the last parade in Melbourne, with Richmond and expansion-club GWS filing through the streets before a one-sided affair the following day.
Footy fans could see a hybrid of the traditional ute-rides as well as the potential boat trip while the AFL ponders what would excite the followers the most.
The Herald Sun suggested players could ride in boats down the Yarra, floating past fans with a potential loop between the Princes Bridge near the Art Centre and Swan Street Bridge near Rod Laver Arena.
The players could then exit the river at Birrarung Marr and take the traditional ute ride to the MCG before being presented to fans at Yarra Park outside the stadium.
If the League were to opt for the boat-ride down the river, it will be the fifth route taken since the parade began back in 1977.
On the same day as the Grand Final parade, the AFLW has planned four matches that will take place in Melbourne, including two games at Punt Road Oval while rivals Collingwood and Essendon will do battle at Olympic Park.
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