The Tiger Army has the AFL nervous about crowd numbers for the events around Saturday’s grand final.
Richmond’s 9.45am training session at Punt Rd on Friday is certain to be a lockout, while officials are unsure what to expect for the post-match free concert inside the MCG.
The Tigers’ training session will be followed by the noon grand final parade from the Melbourne CBD to outside the MCG.
Punt Rd only has a capacity of 5000 and Richmond’s massive supporter base, plus their long wait for a premiership, means it will fill up quickly.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has urged Richmond and Adelaide fans to arrive early for Friday’s events.
“The capacity and the crowding issues are a priority for us – we’re working with Victorian Police, working with the clubs,” McLachlan said.
“It’s going to be a great spectacle, the parade, the final training at Punt Rd, all that sort of stuff.
“Please, to all Richmond and Adelaide supporters, understand that there are going to be a lot of people, get there early … expect it to be a big event.”
Organisers will also have their hands full for the post-game concert on Saturday night, featuring American rock band The Killers.
“This year it feels like we might need to make sure we managed the capacity,” McLachlan said.
“We can fit a lot of people in – it’s a free show, it’s not just for those who have grand final tickets.”
McLachlan said they want to have as many people as possible attend the concert.
It is open to the public, not just fans who have grand final tickets.
“Clearly if Richmond wins, there’s a chance no-one leaves and there’s 30,000 outside,” he said.
“I think we can fit everyone in … generally, we haven’t had an issue with capacity.
“This is a big band and a there are a couple of big teams playing in the grand final, so we’ll see.”
McLachlan said he wished the MCG had double its 100,000 capacity, given the massive interest in this year’s grand final.