Beyond the GF – Why the MCG Contract doesn’t pass the Stink Test

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Papa G

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 13, 2006
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Any sane person understands that having the Grand Final, basically in perpetuity, at your home ground, home city or home state is an advantage to varying degrees. This is beyond doubt.

The AFL has gifted the Grand Final to the MCC for a further 32 years, for what amounts to beans. $225 million for an upgrade of the “Docklands Precinct” a stadium/area which most Melbournite’s seem to despise any rate, some ongoing upkeep of the MCG and some money for women’s AFL facilities in Victoria. That’s it. For a 32 year contract? If you chuck in the MCG small upgrades and the Women’s facility upgrades in the 1 state, they basically sold the rights to the AFL Grand Final for around $10 million a year. An event that creates up to $100 million a year, in a normal year for the Victorian economy. What do you reckon $10 mill will buy you in 2058? A 3 bedder in Box Hill North? Complete madness. The AFL/MCC/Vic Government collusion on this has been extraordinary.

Whilst the actual Grand Final being held at the MCG every year is really, really corrupt, especially at the non commercial price they paid for it, it isn't even the most contemptuous facet of the disgraceful deal.

The MANDATED 10 of the top 12 highest drawing games must be played at the MCG is the most unfair, disgraceful and biased part of this deal. Why? Well look how this happens, who it benefits and why. What it means is that the AFL actively promote Marquee games, all at the MCG, almost always in stand alone spots. Who benefits? Exclusively the big Melbourne teams. Its why we have ANZAC Day, Dreamtime at the G, Queens birthday "tradition", the Easter Monday Geelong/Hawthorn "Blockbuster". It’s why Sheedy’s hair brained “Farmers Game” has been tried.

The rest of these AFL promoted "Blockbusters" are shared amongst the big 6 Vic teams depending on who's in form or they are scheduled early in the season when hope is still high. Again, who benefits? These specific teams because they get huge gate takings and huge exposure, with all the associated sponsorship and commercial benefits this brings. When did the AFL ever really promote a game, like properly promote a game that wasn't an MCG Blockbuster? I mean a Showdown hasn't ever been on a Friday night FFS.

McGuire's grubby hands are all over this deal. He's the conduit between the MCC/AFL and State Govt. Collingwood of course benefit the most from it. Have you ever thought it weird that McGuire always barracks for Carlton, Collingwood's supposed sworn enemy? It's because he's desperate for the rivalry to get back to what it was in VFL times. It's another chance to promote Collingwood and Collingwood's preeminence and most importantly, more cash for Collingwood.

With Perth now (in Non COVID times) regularly getting 55k to their games, the bar has now been lifted, to get 10 of the highest drawing games at the MCG to fulfill their disgraceful shitty contract, they’re going to have to try even harder to push these MCG "Blockbuster" games.

Bias, Non Commercial, Nepotistic, Corrupt, partisan, dishonourable.
 

LeverPuller

BigFooty Tanker
Jun 23, 2011
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Come back when you have a 100,000 seat stadium that you can fill every year for it.

Or, by the way, a stadium that can take those numbers you’re listing for the big games. Because right now Richmond have 100k members, Collingwood have around that, Carlton have 80k.

The benefits of having a huge supporter base for the code in Melbourne.
 

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Altum Volantes

92 - 94 - 06 - 18
Aug 4, 2003
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Come back when you have a 100,000 seat stadium that you can fill every year for it.

Or, by the way, a stadium that can take those numbers you’re listing for the big games. Because right now Richmond have 100k members, Collingwood have around that, Carlton have 80k.

The benefits of having a huge supporter base for the code in Melbourne.

Just out of interest, is the fact that the MCG holds more people than any other ground in Australia your #1 factor in holding the GF there every year? - and does the capacity of the ground take precedence over any of the other factors listed in the OP?
 

Papa G

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 13, 2006
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The size of the ground is not being argued here. Read the OP. It's the corrupt nature of the deal. The closed shop, non commercial aspect of it. The massive benefits received by certain clubs that aren't afforded to the rest. The non Vic clubs and the small Vic clubs get completely shafted. Why is the League signing onto something so favourable to one third of the clubs? For a paltry price? The collusion is mind blowing.
 

Tiger_Of_Old

🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Nov 23, 2000
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There is no doubt the game is better when the grand final is moved across Australia,

every 10 years should be like this
MCG
Optus
MCG
Adelaide oval
MCG
Gabba
MCG
SCG
MCG
MCG

6 grand finals at the MCG, 4 others across other stadiums
Had the same thought.Lets be honest if anything positive has come out of the past 2 yrs is the opportunity for the GF to be played around the country with the GF at the G every 2yrs.
Not sure how the MCC can be compensated but i'm sure that can be negotiated.
 

Tiger_Of_Old

🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Nov 23, 2000
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Come back when you have a 100,000 seat stadium that you can fill every year for it.

Or, by the way, a stadium that can take those numbers you’re listing for the big games. Because right now Richmond have 100k members, Collingwood have around that, Carlton have 80k.

The benefits of having a huge supporter base for the code in Melbourne.
Just have to time your premiership tilt.:D
 

LeverPuller

BigFooty Tanker
Jun 23, 2011
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Just out of interest, is the fact that the MCG holds more people than any other ground in Australia your #1 factor in holding the GF there every year? - and does the capacity of the ground take precedence over any of the other factors listed in the OP?
Capacity and population interest in the league.

More than 1 in 10 Melbournians hold an AFL club membership. That’s without consideration for AFL members or the MCC. (About 12%)

For the record, Perth is about 7%.
Adelaide is about 8.5%.

The reality is that Melbourne isn’t just the ground with the biggest capacity, it’s also the place with the most supporters of the code. Both in physical numbers and as a proportion of the population.

That fact isn’t going to change anytime soon.
 

Chopperdave

Club Legend
Aug 29, 2008
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There is no doubt the game is better when the grand final is moved across Australia,

every 10 years should be like this
MCG
Optus
MCG
Adelaide oval
MCG
Gabba
MCG
SCG
MCG
MCG

6 grand finals at the MCG, 4 others across other stadiums
I think eventually they will settle on a rotating system similar to this.

Their biggest worry would be something like an Essendon Collingwood GF being played interstate but you would easily get enough traveling fans. Besides, 90% of the tickets are corporate anyway (which is a different issue...)

Regarding the financial aspects, I feel like that is a slight simplification of the matter. Considering the costs of Grand Final tickets and packaging a 100k crowd vs a 55k crowd is a significant difference.


I'm torn as a Victorian I want it at the MCG every year because nothing compares to Melbourne on GF week. The whole week build-up, parade, and the game, I just don't think you would get the same in any other state. However, as a supporter of an "interstate" team, I'd love to see a more fair rotation of the ground so its not just MCG teams benefiting every year....
 

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GWT6

Team Captain
Jun 7, 2011
565
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OP just moved near the airport - who can he complain about the noise to?

Join a Vic-based competition then complain that it is Vic-based?

If you want to watch a Grandfinal at Football park stay watching the SANFL - oh that's right, both the ground and the comp have decayed.
 

76woodenspooners

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 4, 2011
21,236
32,229
Sydney
AFL Club
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Any sane person understands that having the Grand Final, basically in perpetuity, at your home ground, home city or home state is an advantage to varying degrees. This is beyond doubt.

The AFL has gifted the Grand Final to the MCC for a further 32 years, for what amounts to beans. $225 million for an upgrade of the “Docklands Precinct” a stadium/area which most Melbournite’s seem to despise any rate, some ongoing upkeep of the MCG and some money for women’s AFL facilities in Victoria. That’s it. For a 32 year contract? If you chuck in the MCG small upgrades and the Women’s facility upgrades in the 1 state, they basically sold the rights to the AFL Grand Final for around $10 million a year. An event that creates up to $100 million a year, in a normal year for the Victorian economy. What do you reckon $10 mill will buy you in 2058? A 3 bedder in Box Hill North? Complete madness. The AFL/MCC/Vic Government collusion on this has been extraordinary.

Whilst the actual Grand Final being held at the MCG every year is really, really corrupt, especially at the non commercial price they paid for it, it isn't even the most contemptuous facet of the disgraceful deal.

The MANDATED 10 of the top 12 highest drawing games must be played at the MCG is the most unfair, disgraceful and biased part of this deal. Why? Well look how this happens, who it benefits and why. What it means is that the AFL actively promote Marquee games, all at the MCG, almost always in stand alone spots. Who benefits? Exclusively the big Melbourne teams. Its why we have ANZAC Day, Dreamtime at the G, Queens birthday "tradition", the Easter Monday Geelong/Hawthorn "Blockbuster". It’s why Sheedy’s hair brained “Farmers Game” has been tried.

The rest of these AFL promoted "Blockbusters" are shared amongst the big 6 Vic teams depending on who's in form or they are scheduled early in the season when hope is still high. Again, who benefits? These specific teams because they get huge gate takings and huge exposure, with all the associated sponsorship and commercial benefits this brings. When did the AFL ever really promote a game, like properly promote a game that wasn't an MCG Blockbuster? I mean a Showdown hasn't ever been on a Friday night FFS.

McGuire's grubby hands are all over this deal. He's the conduit between the MCC/AFL and State Govt. Collingwood of course benefit the most from it. Have you ever thought it weird that McGuire always barracks for Carlton, Collingwood's supposed sworn enemy? It's because he's desperate for the rivalry to get back to what it was in VFL times. It's another chance to promote Collingwood and Collingwood's preeminence and most importantly, more cash for Collingwood.

With Perth now (in Non COVID times) regularly getting 55k to their games, the bar has now been lifted, to get 10 of the highest drawing games at the MCG to fulfill their disgraceful shitty contract, they’re going to have to try even harder to push these MCG "Blockbuster" games.

Bias, Non Commercial, Nepotistic, Corrupt, partisan, dishonourable.

Unless there’s some new contract I don’t know about, the last Grand Final contract was tied to the funding of building the new northern stands (and the building the great southern stand for the contract before that).

Come back when you have a 100,000 seat stadium that you can fill every year for it.

It’s a chicken-and-egg. The reason why Melbourne has a nice newish 100,000 seat grandstands is because it was built with funds that were underwritten by a contract to hold the Grand Final there for a long time.

Or, by the way, a stadium that can take those numbers you’re listing for the big games. Because right now Richmond have 100k members, Collingwood have around that, Carlton have 80k.

The biggest average crowds are West Coast by a long way. They’re the only club with a membership waiting list.

The benefits of having a huge supporter base for the code in Melbourne.

It’s huge in all the southern states. It’s just that Melbourne has 2 - 3 times the population, but support is divided amongst 10 teams instead of 2.
 

The Tilt

Senior List
Oct 12, 2020
217
228
AFL Club
Sydney
The MANDATED 10 of the top 12 highest drawing games must be played at the MCG is the most unfair, disgraceful and biased part of this deal. Why? Well look how this happens, who it benefits and why. What it means is that the AFL actively promote Marquee games, all at the MCG, almost always in stand alone spots. Who benefits? Exclusively the big Melbourne teams. Its why we have ANZAC Day, Dreamtime at the G, Queens birthday "tradition", the Easter Monday Geelong/Hawthorn "Blockbuster". It’s why Sheedy’s hair brained “Farmers Game” has been tried.

The mandated top 10 of 12 games is something the MCC/Vic Govt has stipulated to stop the AFL from diverting valuable fixtures to the Docklands. The MCC wants to make sure it's getting its money's worth.

And no, this is not the work of Eddie McGuire (you twit). What the AFL gets from the contract is a large members reserve where it generates tens of millions in revenue each year, overwhelmingly from high-spending supporters of Victorian clubs who buy an AFL membership instead of a club membership. The money raised within Victoria is then available to the AFL to do all sorts of things, e.g. to shield "recipient" clubs such as Port Adelaide from the impact of the pandemic.

Anyway, I get it. You think the GF should be rotated around the country - that's fair enough. Just try not to be such a f**king child about it.
 

The wily weagle

Club Legend
Oct 16, 2014
2,528
5,532
AFL Club
West Coast
The deal stinks because it was signed off with barely any consultation with the interstate clubs

The Melbourne clubs, MCG, and docklands get significant infrastructure upgrades

For the interstate teams.........increased MCG access. That's it

But hey that's entirely equitable and there is nothing to see here......
 

The Tilt

Senior List
Oct 12, 2020
217
228
AFL Club
Sydney
There is no doubt the game is better when the grand final is moved across Australia,

every 10 years should be like this
MCG
Optus
MCG
Adelaide oval
MCG
Gabba
MCG
SCG
MCG
MCG

6 grand finals at the MCG, 4 others across other stadiums

I have to say, I'd much prefer a rotation policy such as this to a policy of the highest ranked team earning hosting rights. This is not the BBL, ffs.
 

RunningBounce

Premiership Player
Jun 12, 2013
4,464
10,118
AFL Club
Richmond
Agree that the MCC deal was grubby. AFL is an entertainment business, not a sporting competition, as others have said.

I really do not follow the next bit. You can't mandate which games draw the biggest crowds. Isn't that down to the punters turning up, and the size of the stadium? Richmond supporters don't turn up at Dreamtime only because the AFL market it.
 

E92_

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Aug 10, 2009
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If the crowd number is such an important factor as some like to say then wouldn’t logic dictate that it would be written into the contract?

In that were the case the MCG/Victorian government can’t fulfil their contractual obligations so why do they get extra games/years added onto their existing contract?

I’ve been to two winning grand finals (2006 and 2018) and there’s absolutely nothing special about it being in Melbourne. Other non-MCG finals have even had a better atmosphere despite having less fans in attendance.

The contract stinks.
 

Papa G

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 13, 2006
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Agree that the MCC deal was grubby. AFL is an entertainment business, not a sporting competition, as others have said.

I really do not follow the next bit. You can't mandate which games draw the biggest crowds. Isn't that down to the punters turning up, and the size of the stadium? Richmond supporters don't turn up at Dreamtime only because the AFL market it.

Do you not think the Marquee Game status, the fact that it is promoted as the Dreamtime Game, brings in a bigger crowd than a say normal Essendon Richmond game later in the year when 1 or 2 of the teams are out of finals contention?
 

HaroLad

HaroChad
Dec 11, 2013
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There is no doubt the game is better when the grand final is moved across Australia,

every 10 years should be like this
MCG
Optus
MCG
Adelaide oval
MCG
Gabba
MCG
SCG
MCG
MCG

6 grand finals at the MCG, 4 others across other stadiums
There is no doubt it isn't.

The Grand Final MUST be at the MCG for it to count as a real Grand Final. Last year did not feel like a Grand Final at all, nor will this year. Non-Vics need to remember they are guests in this league.
 
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