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'G after party set for return

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THE presentation of the premiership-winning team at the MCG after the grand final is set to become a mainstay of the entertainment for the AFL's marquee event.

The league yesterday hailed its inaugural ''premiership party'' for Sydney as a success and intends to continue with the initiative.

After their stunning triumph on Saturday, Sydney players returned to the ground - on a custom-built stage - with the premiership cup 90 minutes later to share the moment with its supporters.

In the interim, musical acts The Temper Trap and Paul Kelly performed on stage.

The AFL estimates 11,000 to 12,000 people saw the concert live, but could not say for certain how many of those were fans who had already had grand final tickets, and how many were new patrons.

Only 1000 spectators were permitted on to the ground, but that number could increase.


''It is certainly our intention to make it a mainstay of grand final day and perhaps increasing over time the number of people that were actually allowed on the ground,'' AFL spokesman James Tonkin said yesterday.

''From our perspective, we thought it was a great atmosphere and it was really well received by the players.

''They were really surprised with how many people were there, so they certainly enjoyed the experience. And the fans that were there seemed to thrive on the music and the interaction with the players.

''So we were really happy with the whole exercise.''

Sydney veteran Jude Bolton said yesterday the players loved being able to go back onto the ground and celebrate with supporters.

Tonkin said feedback from the fans suggested the entertainment was well received.

''Apparently The Temper Trap's album was sitting at No. 66 and it's now been pushed up into in the top 10. And they were trending on Twitter very high globally during the performance,'' he said.

Seven's two-and-a-half-hour broadcast was watched by an average five-city audience of 2.94 million viewers, and an average of 4.05 million nationally making it the most-watched grand final since 2006.

The figure was boosted by the 609,000 viewers in Sydney, who tuned in to watch the Swans contest a grand final for the first time since 2006. In Melbourne, 1.33 million watched.

The post-game presentation was watched by a national average of 4.26 million viewers.