Huge crowd for Australia sporting spectacles



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AFL Grand Final The Gabba 2020 with fans Image: Stadiums Queensland

Two biggest sporting extravaganzas of the year held in Australia recently were graced by almost 70,000 people. Some 29,707 people attended the Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final Aussie rules showpiece on October 24th at ‘The Gabba’ in Brisbane. Meanwhile, more than 37,300 fans were in attendance at the 2020 National Rugby League (NRL) Grand Final at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

The AFL Grand Final is an annual Australian rules football match staged to determine the premiers for that year’s Australian Football League (AFL) season. The Australian Football League is the pre-eminent and only fully professional men’s competition of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport’s governing body, and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game.

The NRL Grand Final, which determines the Australian rugby league football season’s premiers, is one of Australia’s major sporting events and one of the largest attended club championship events in the world.

The AFL final at the 42,000-capacity stadium, in which Richmond beat Geelong by a margin of 31 points, was capped at 30,000 due to COVID-19 restrictions in place. The restrictions meant it was the lowest crowd to attend a Grand Final since 1917, during World War I.

The fixture in Queensland was originally scheduled for the last Saturday of September, but was delayed by several weeks due to the suspension of the season as a result of the cataclysmic effect of coronavirus on the sports venue sector. It was the first AFL Grand Final to be staged outside the State of Victoria, and the first to be held at night.

Last week, all tickets that were put on general sale for the Grand Final got sold like hot cakes within 20 minutes, marking the first time in more than 20 years that passes for the event have gone on sale to the general public.

The NRL final clash was between the Penrith Panthers and the Melbourne Storm, with the Panthers making a late comeback to post 26-20 win, claiming their 4th Premiership title.

Penrith Panthers are an Australian professional rugby league football team based in the western Sydney suburb of Penrith. The Melbourne Storm is a rugby league team based in Melbourne, Victoria, in Australia, that participates in the NRL. The first fully professional rugby league team based in the State, the Storm entered the competition in 1998.

Due to the COVID-19 havoc in Australia, the event at the 82,500-capacity ANZ Stadium was made limited by the New South Wales Government and the same was attended by onlookers in restricted numbers.

Earlier this month, thousands of NRL fans were left holding the bag outside Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane after a mobile ticketing glitch by Ticketek, leading to serious concerns over an unsafe COVID-19 environment.

The malfunction left staff at the preliminary final between Melbourne Storm and Canberra Raiders unable to scan tickets and briefly delayed kick-off.

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