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

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Gibbke

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Totally agree with the opening post in this thread. Even as a Victorian the Grand Final MCG deal feels like a total 20th century anachronism. Laughable they've actually extended the deal to whichever distant year the contract lasts to now because of the last two switched GFs.

There are so many better ways it could be arranged. One idea is that whichever side finished top gets rewarded with the GF being held at their home ground/state, regardless of whether they make it or not. Provides an extra incentive to achieving that which has been severely diluted in recent decades.
...because making the GF after finishing top doesn't do it for the players anymore...?
 

Gibbke

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I think trying to use results to justify the lack of advantage just overcomplicates the issue. If you played West Coast in Perth in a Grand Final, would you view the location as an advantage? What about Port or the Crows at Adelaide Oval?

It's an advantage. Doesn't mean it will decide the game, but there really is no reasonable counter-argument to the fact that is an advantage.
By the time you get to the last two, it's out the window..sure, it's potentially a thing, but it's severely negated by many factors. Interstaters who finish high enough to get into the GF (and with just the one notable winning exception and also the GWS debacle it's never been anything but a top four game this century) have mastered travel that season. It's not the reason they lose when they do - 1996 virgins, and utter ineptitude in 2007-14-15-17-19 from teams who would have been destroyed in front of their adoring fans if they brought the crap that they did bring to the MCG to a home GF instead...2016 was just a great game, 2013 a nadir for footy itself, the only two which were genuinely up for grabs. Every team knows how to mark out witches hats too...you're not contending with Moorabbin bogs and Victoria Park cold showers anymore...

Footballistics does an excellent study outlining the clear advantage home teams have in all sports, but the AFL GF ranks least of all 207 matches in a season simply because of the usual high quality of combatants, the universal knowledge every team has of the MCG (even if you don't play there often, you train for it and you've probably played on a few ovals that have been designed to replicate the dimensions), the severely watered down home supporter mix, the fact that the Victorian home teams can't train there, and the off field distractions of the week...never mind it's the GF and you're in it, you'd be walking around with a boner all week...memories of the flight over tend to disappear in amongst all that...
 

Coolangatta

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Yeah, I'd settle for Melbourne every second year, as long as it's evenly shared around the non-Vic states, then throw in Tassie, NT and ACT eventually, but they shouldn't host as often as NSW, QLD, WA, or SA.

I wouldn't have such long contracts if it's going to be MCG-centric, though. I think based on how many Vic teams v non-Vic is fair.

18-year contract, 10 at the G, 2 Adel-Perth-Syd-Bris.

If you have a Tassie team etc., by then, new 20 odd year contract.
 
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Minka Beaver

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The only reason the MCG is sustainable as a 100,000-capacity stadium is because of the AFL Grand Final.

By all means share the Grand Final around Australia, but understand that there are huge knock-on effects: the reduction of the MCG's capacity and facilities; more MCG facility and management costs being borne by the Victorian Government; and the ongoing need for other state governments (or stadium member organisations) to upgrade their showpiece stadia.

Anyway, COVID-19 might be the watershed moment. If vaccinations don't halt the pandemic's worst effects and 100,000-capacity Grand Finals are no longer a reality, then there's no need for seating capacity to be the major Grand Final hosting consideration.
 

kranky al

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The only reason the MCG is sustainable as a 100,000-capacity stadium is because of the AFL Grand Final.

By all means share the Grand Final around Australia, but understand that there are huge knock-on effects: the reduction of the MCG's capacity and facilities; more MCG facility and management costs being borne by the Victorian Government; and the ongoing need for other state governments (or stadium member organisations) to upgrade their showpiece stadia.

Anyway, COVID-19 might be the watershed moment. If vaccinations don't halt the pandemic's worst effects and 100,000-capacity Grand Finals are no longer a reality, then there's no need for seating capacity to be the major Grand Final hosting consideration.
Adelaide and perth have already had substantial mods - upgrading both of these for regular gfs isnt a huge expense compared to a new stadium

gabba is being done for the olympics, sydney needs to be done. Tasmania needs a better ground.
 

Coolangatta

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Yep, 2022-32 rotate between Perth, Adelaide, and Melbourne. 2033 onwards, bring in Brisbane and Sydney (if they have a new stadium or upgrades).

2040s look at Hobart and Canberra, 2050s Darwin and perhaps others.
 

Minka Beaver

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Adelaide and perth have already had substantial mods - upgrading both of these for regular gfs isnt a huge expense compared to a new stadium

gabba is being done for the olympics, sydney needs to be done. Tasmania needs a better ground.

The biggest advantage of Perth is that it's a 'clean' ground - it's 60,000 seats sold at premium price. There's no sunk-cost members to look after. On the flip side, you can have a 100,000-capacity Grand Final at the MCG because there are two major membership cohorts who effectively cover the astonishing running costs of a stadium that size. Without those members attached, the stadium becomes unaffordable in its current configuration.
 

kranky al

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The biggest advantage of Perth is that it's a 'clean' ground - it's 60,000 seats sold at premium price. There's no sunk-cost members to look after. On the flip side, you can have a 100,000-capacity Grand Final at the MCG because there are two major membership cohorts who effectively cover the astonishing running costs of a stadium that size. Without those members attached, the stadium becomes unaffordable in its current configuration.
It also means victorians make up 70+ percent minimum of every gf crowd.

hardly a national comp
 

Papa G

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The biggest advantage of Perth is that it's a 'clean' ground - it's 60,000 seats sold at premium price. There's no sunk-cost members to look after. On the flip side, you can have a 100,000-capacity Grand Final at the MCG because there are two major membership cohorts who effectively cover the astonishing running costs of a stadium that size. Without those members attached, the stadium becomes unaffordable in its current configuration.

What, the 45 regular AFL games a season, the test matches, the 20/20s etc? It's a wonder how other stadiums survive on half the game allocations, many many less ground memberships?
 

Minka Beaver

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What, the 45 regular AFL games a season, the test matches, the 20/20s etc? It's a wonder how other stadiums survive on half the game allocations, many many less ground memberships?

Because they don't have 100,000 seats to fill...

Most stadia top out at 80,000 because the infrastructure and upkeep costs become ridiculous.

There's only one guaranteed event each year that requires that capacity and it's an enormous carrot to the MCC/AFL membership cohorts. It's fine to rotate the Grand Final - it just means that there's little reason for anyone to be an AFL or MCC member, which means there's no way to justifty the running costs (estimated at $55-60 million per year) needed for a stadium that large. Ultimately that rests on the Victorian taxpayer if no new ground manager can be arranged (as the MCG and Yarra Park are run by the MCC under a trust agreement), which would I'm guessing become tedious very soon - and that requires a stadium reconfiguration.

So...I have no problem with rotating the Grand Final. It just means that - when it comes around to the MCG's turn - it would be at a stadium with around 80,000 rather than 100,000 seats.
 

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doppleganger

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What, the 45 regular AFL games a season, the test matches, the 20/20s etc? It's a wonder how other stadiums survive on half the game allocations, many many less ground memberships?
??
There are no other 100k stadiums.

And other stadiums rely on State government funding them. The WA taxpayer will handover $1.8 billion for Optus.

Vic govt paid just $75m of the circa $500m it cost to do the Olympic Stand upgrade at the G, because the MCC took on the $400m+ debt...

But yes, a few WA/SA fans sooking that they don't get easy access to the big game in town anymore is going to change things.
 

kranky al

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Because they don't have 100,000 seats to fill...

Most stadia top out at 80,000 because the infrastructure and upkeep costs become ridiculous.

There's only one guaranteed event each year that requires that capacity and it's an enormous carrot to the MCC/AFL membership cohorts. It's fine to rotate the Grand Final - it just means that there's little reason for anyone to be an AFL or MCC member, which means there's no way to justifty the running costs (estimated at $55-60 million per year) needed for a stadium that large. Ultimately that rests on the Victorian taxpayer if no new ground manager can be arranged (as the MCG and Yarra Park are run by the MCC under a trust agreement), which would I'm guessing become tedious very soon - and that requires a stadium reconfiguration.

So...I have no problem with rotating the Grand Final. It just means that - when it comes around to the MCG's turn - it would be at a stadium with around 80,000 rather than 100,000 seats.
How often does the mcg hit 90000+ as a matter of interest?
 

Back One Out

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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.
The MCG is the home of football

That's not hype and marketing spin. It's a fact. It was the birthplace of our great game and it is the traditional host of finals and VFL/AFL Grand Finals.

No amount of whining on Big Footy can alter this status quo.

Apart from the WW2 requirements from 1942-45, stadium redevelopment in 1991 and the covid-19 restrictions in 2020/21, the MCG has hosted all other 113 Grand Finals since 1902... and it will continue to do for another 40 odd years up until the year 2060.

You could wave a magic wand and build a 250,000 seat stadium at Alberton made out of solidified tears, but it wouldn't change a thing.

Feel free to bleat and sook about this for the rest of your life.
 
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kranky al

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After your decade of whinging and 10 cent bus fare to the ground or whatever it was I seriously hope you will be going to the GF this year.
Well its an 800km round drive but yeah im trying very hard to get my dirty rotten little c%^*scratchers on some tix

Port then dogs then geelong in that order. Whoever plays melbourne thats left.
 

greatwhiteshark

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The MCG is the home of football

That's not hype and marketing spin. It's a fact. It was the birthplace of our great game and it is the traditional host of finals and VFL/AFL Grand Finals.

No amount of whining on Big Footy can alter this status quo.

Apart from the WW2 requirements from 1942-45, stadium redevelopment in 1991 and the covid-19 restrictions in 2020/21, the MCG has hosted all other 113 Grand Finals since 1902... and it will continue to do for another 40 odd years up until the year 2060.

You could wave a magic wand and build a 250,000 seat stadium at Alberton made out of solidified tears, but it wouldn't change a thing.

Feel free to bleat and sook about this for the rest of your life.

I love the MCG so don't take this the wrong way but the MCG was never the home of football to West Australians and I doubt it was to South Australians either.
While it was certainly the home of Football to Victoria and the game actually started there in WA people grew up wanting to play a GF on Subiaco Oval one day. It was not until the late 70's that the MCG started to become quite the thing it now currently is.
All my mates and I did growing up in the 70's was want to play in a WAFL grand Final at Subiaco Oval. To us that was the home of footy.
 

doppleganger

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I love the MCG so don't take this the wrong way but the MCG was never the home of football to West Australians and I doubt it was to South Australians either.
While it was certainly the home of Football to Victoria and the game actually started there in WA people grew up wanting to play a GF on Subiaco Oval one day. It was not until the late 70's that the MCG started to become quite the thing it now currently is.
All my mates and I did growing up in the 70's was want to play in a WAFL grand Final at Subiaco Oval. To us that was the home of footy.
Surely you guys expected the WAFL GF to be played at Claremont, Fremantle or Leederville Oval yeah?

How ridiculous to not get a home GF based on merit.
 

greatwhiteshark

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Surely you guys expected the WAFL GF to be played at Claremont, Fremantle or Leederville Oval yeah?

How ridiculous to not get a home GF based on merit.

Last time I looked all the sides were from the Perth metro area, we had no clubs in our comp from outside of WA.
 

doppleganger

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Last time I looked all the sides were from the Perth metro area, we had no clubs in our comp from outside of WA.
So WA fans get that GFs were played at specific clubs (Subiaco) grounds, they weren't awarded on merit or rotated around to Fremantle, Leederville etc.

Bit rich calling it a state competition if you didn't have clubs from outside Perth.
 
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