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AFL moving on grand final twilight game

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Martin Blake

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The last daytime footy grand final?

Our footy panel discuss the possibility that this year's grand final could be the last played in the daytime.

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THE AFL continues to warm to the idea of a twilight grand final.

Chief executive Andrew Demetriou and chief operating officer Gillon McLachlan both came out in favour of the timeslot yesterday, after the success of the Hawthorn-Adelaide preliminary final at 5.15pm.

Asked if the grand final would work better as a twilight event, Mr Demetriou said: ''I don't know that. What I do know is that we had a twilight preliminary final last week which was a huge success. Not just because it rated its socks off, but just because there seemed to be a lot of children [who] attended the game. When you consider the game finished [at] about quarter to eight, it was a beautiful night, it was just a wonderful thing. [It] started at five or 5.15 … Half-time is in the dark, you never know.''

Andrew Demtriou and Gillon McLachlan.

Andrew Demtriou and Gillon McLachlan. Photo: Getty Images

The league supremo later said he was merely ''speaking out loud'' about the possibility of a future twilight grand final.

But there is no doubt the AFL had its eyes opened by last week's ratings figures, up by 1 million on a day game.

Under the current broadcast agreement, which lasts until 2016, the grand final is to be played on a Saturday afternoon. But if the parties agree, this can be changed.

''It was a great success, the other night, we thought,'' Mr McLachlan told Triple M. ''It seems to have been well received and it's certainly something that we'd look at, but people have gone into overdrive a bit, I think … It's interesting. When we pushed it at 5.15 for the prelim, there was a bit of push back but no one really knew why, just because people don't like change.

''I've always thought twilight was a great time. You can get the kids there and get home, some people go to the game after sport and then people can go out to dinner and do what they want afterwards. I actually think it's a great slot.''

Meanwhile, AFL chiefs have an eye on the weather today in case the annual grand final parade through the streets of Melbourne cannot go ahead. Mr Demetriou admitted yesterday that if the weather forecast turned out to be true the parade could be called off.

''Obviously if it rains too heavily and there's hail, that makes it difficult for the parade to proceed,'' he said. ''But look, all the players want to participate in the parade. It's one of the great things they get to participate in. And we don't want to deny 100,000 people the opportunity to watch the parade through the streets of Melbourne.'' A possible thunderstorm with hail is forecast for Melbourne today.

Mr Demetriou yesterday met members of the Melbourne band Temper Trap, who will lead the entertainment at tomorrow's grand final at the MCG. He was surprised to learn that band member Toby Dundas had played on the MCG, as a little-leaguer years ago. ''We grew up here, or most of us did,'' said another band member, Lorenzo Sillitto.

36 comments

  • Television audience is again the driving force for the AFL. Do they ever stop to think of the traditional morning build up, North Melbourne breakfast etc. the city packed with supporters brunch before the game. A twighlight game means all this is put on hold until 5 pm, more drunks etc. and what about the after game celebrations, club functions, what 9 or 10 pm start times, people staying out until the early hours celebrating. Melbourne is looking for trouble.
    .

    Commenter
    Robby
    Date and time
    September 28, 2012, 7:59AM
    • I think it would be great and you'd not have to get up so early to get a seat at 8am (for members). North Melb breakfast could be a brunch at 11 and the world won't stop turning. The game would be over by 8pm, hardly late.

      Other sports (NRL, NFL...) have done this without "trouble". The atmosphere is brilliant. It would be the one big AFL change I'd agree with.

      Commenter
      cjs
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 8:58AM
    • cjs If you think that the NRL GF switch was 'without trouble', think again. Many were and are still filthy about it. All for TV.

      Commenter
      Grant
      Location
      ACT
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 10:04AM
    • I went to that game and it was fantastic! Met friends for lunch at 2pm, had a few drinks before wondering over the MCG for the pre-game build up at 4.30. After the game there was not the usual rush to get home as it was only 8.30 and not 11pm at night!

      Commenter
      Craig
      Location
      Mordialloc
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 10:15AM
    • Grant,
      If you refer to the original comment, the "trouble" referred to is drunks out celebrating, not people unhappy with the time change.

      Commenter
      cjs
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 10:30AM
    • I don't see how twilight games are good for TV audience. I started cooking my missus dinner at half time in the prelim and missed most of the 3rd quarter. If they bring this timeslot in for a GF I guess my better half will have to accept she's gonna go hungry on the last Saturday in September each year :)

      Commenter
      Mick
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 11:28AM
  • No, keep it where its at, some traditions must stay in the game, and and afternoon kick off feels more special...

    They moved the NRL to 5pm (I think) and dont like it...

    Commenter
    yogimix
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    September 28, 2012, 8:07AM
    • Stuff tradition! You don't still ride a horse and cart do you? I was very impressed with 5.15pm when I went 2 weeks ago!

      Commenter
      Craig
      Location
      Mordialloc
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 10:17AM
  • I am so over the AFL and their money-grabbing ideas. It's not about the game any more, it's all about how many people will watch the Grand Final on TV. Tradition means nothing to them. The whole discussion makes me angry. Already they've ruined a chance for a fair competition by insisting on adding all these extra interstate teams. What else will they do to our game for the sake of money?

    Commenter
    Suzanne
    Date and time
    September 28, 2012, 8:24AM
    • "Already they've ruined a chance for a fair competition by insisting on adding all these extra interstate teams"

      well its the AFL isnt it ? - and what do you think the "A" stands for ?
      its not the VFL is it ?

      and i dont even really follow the game much

      Commenter
      not telling
      Date and time
      September 28, 2012, 9:58AM

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