The latest on the MCG crowd for Round 1 season opener between Richmond and Carlton
The latest on the MCG crowd for Round 1 season opener between Richmond and Carlton

Tigers reveal crowd hopes for footy’s MCG return

Richmond is hopeful of having 50,000 fans at the MCG season opener, when it will become the first club in VFL-AFL history to unfurl two premiership flags at the same time.

The Tigers last year deferred unfurling their 2019 flag until they could share the moment with their fans at the MCG.

Unless the COVID-19 situation in Victoria worsened between now and the March 18 season opener, a reduced capacity of fans will be there for football's triumphant return to the MCG.

The blockbuster clash between Richmond and Carlton is set to be the hottest ticket in town, although Tigers chief executive Brendon Gale said he still did not know how many fans would be let in for the yellow and black celebration.

 

"Things change on the flip of a coin (with the COVID situation)," Gale said.

"We're hopeful we could have 50 per cent capacity but that might change, as the events of the last week show.

"We'll keep doing what we can do as a football community and we'll continue to rely on the advice of the Victorian Government and the AFL.

"It's a moving feast."

 

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The AFL season opener between Richmond and Carlton at an empty MCG last year. Picture: Michael Klein
The AFL season opener between Richmond and Carlton at an empty MCG last year. Picture: Michael Klein

 

A full MCG at the corresponding game in 2019. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian
A full MCG at the corresponding game in 2019. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

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Major Events Minster Martin Pakula said on Tuesday the size of the crowds allowed in for the start of the season was still to be determined.

"I'd love to be able to tell you but I'm not able to do that today," he said.

"I'm pretty optimistic we'll have a decent crowd (for the season opener), but ultimately it will be up to the chief health officer.

"And I know the AFL is working closely with the department of health about their COVID safe plans.

"There will be an announcement closer to Round 1, but I'm hoping for the biggest crowd we can possibly get within the parameters of COVID safety."

Tigers spearhead Tom Lynch said the Richmond players were counting down the days until they can play in front of their fans at the MCG again.

"We can't wait," he said.

"To play on the MCG, there's nothing better and a full Tiger army behind us would be awesome.

"Hopefully we're allowed to get a good crowd in Round 1."

Originally published as Tigers reveal crowd hopes for footy's MCG return


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