The AFL has announced that an extra 5000 tickets will be made available to members of competing clubs at year's grand final. But to pay for the improved access to grassroots fans, ticket prices will rise across all levels.
The cheapest way into this year's decider will be a standing room ticket costing $176.50, up from $150 last season. The cheapest 'bronze' level of seats will set a fan back $200, while the most expensive 'platinum' level tickets will be worth $390, up from $295 in 2011.
The AFL says the price rises were necessary to compensate non-competing clubs, and because of "revised seating categories and increased staging costs".
AFL general manager of commercial operations Darren Birch insists the tickets represent "extremely good value" for members.
“The Toyota AFL Grand Final is not only the ultimate contest each year in our code but also provides several hours of entertainment and an unforgettable experience for fans of the game.”
Fans have slammed the pre-game entertainment at recent grand finals, with the Meatloaf debacle before last year's decider proving a major embarrassment to the league.
The AFL says up 70 per cent of the crowd at the game will be either a club member, AFL member or MCC member.
“The changes in ticketing allocations and price levels are the result of consumer feedback and work with our clubs to ensure we can better meet the expectations of fans, members and clubs, particularly around access to the biggest AFL game of the year," Birch said.
“The allocation of an extra 5,000 Grand Final tickets to competing club members is significant and necessary. The clubs have done a great job in building their membership bases, with numbers continuing to grow substantially each season."
Most clubs expected to contend for a berth on grand final day have memberships pushing above 40,000, with only members holding the most expensive packages likely to have any chance of obtaining one of the 15,000 tickets available to each competing club.
Ticket prices for the 2012 AFL Grand Final are:
· Standing Room $176.50
· Bronze $200
· Silver $300
· Gold $355
· Platinum $390