Angry fans slam the AFL final parade as it leads up the Yarra River for the first time with a large crowd thronging to see the stars of Geelong and Sydney, but leaving VERY disappointed
- A large number of supporters gathered on the banks of the Yarra River to see the stars
- The reaction to abandoning the CBD show was sometimes brutal
- Many fans complained that they couldn’t get close and close to their heroes
Finals fever started when footy fans took to Melbourne’s Yarra River for this year’s history-making AFL final parade, but some angry fans decided not to hold the event on the streets of the city.
The main element of the biggest footy week usually moves to central Melbourne with the players on their backs, but this year the Sydney Swans and Geelong Cats floated down the waterway affectionately known as the “Upside Down River” because of its muddy brown water.
The AFL canceled the event in 2020 and 2021 when the grand finale was played interstate due to the Covid-19 blockade in Melbourne.
This year’s parade saw players travel along the Yarra from the Swan Street Bridge to the Princes Bridge from 10:30 am, before returning to the MCG as the state enjoyed a public holiday.
The historic parade saw the stars of the grand finale float down the Yarra River for the first time ever and fans were not happy with the change
A large number of fans traveled to the banks of the river but were disappointed that they could not see the stars up close and in person.
Players were introduced to the off-pitch crowd, with the 2022 Premiership Cup on display.
However, the transition from the streets of the CBD to the riverside plummeted like a lead balloon with many fans.
One of the main complaints of the fans was that it was difficult to see the players, while in the past years the stars were up close and personal.
Sydney Swans players wave goodbye from a barge on the Yarra, leaving many angry supporters and prompting radio host Tony Jones to call the new version of the parade a “disaster.”
“No interaction with the players and the coaches,” tweeted Alex Baskin.
‘The key component of the AFL Grand Final Parade is for fans to get close and personalize the players. The idea of requiring binoculars to find your hero from a river bank is not ideal, ”wrote Adam White.
A tweeter named Milly wrote: ‘So so bad. The boats turned long before anyone in this photo who waited for hours in your “observation areas”.
Geelong fan Sue Garlick said the parade organizers needed “a good kick in the butt”.
“It was the biggest snort ever. There was no applause from anyone. There were children crying because they couldn’t see anything, “he told The Age.
“It says a lot about the AFL that someone thought it would be a good idea,” tweeted Ashley Little.
Tony Jones of 3AW Radio was ferocious, calling the new parade a “disaster” and saying, “I would put it in the same category as Meat Loaf, AFLX and the Batmobile … in 10 years we will look at pictures of this and use it as a joke. the final.’
The grand finale has already attracted thousands of people to the city with 75% of Melbourne’s hotels, motels and apartments serviced full for the weekend.
The parade attracted a huge turnout, but a fan spoke for many when she called the Yarra experiment “the greatest sparkling wine ever”
“This is a truly extraordinary boom for us,” Victoria’s Sports Minister Steve Dimopolous told reporters on Friday.
“It’s really important, but it’s also fundamentally about who we are as a Victorian community.”
Mr. Dimopolous said allegations of racism at Hawthorn Football Club would not have tarnished the excitement of the big last week.
“These are heartbreaking and very disturbing allegations,” he said.
‘But the AFL is heavily engaged in an independent external investigation, which is the right thing to do.
“It has provided us with clean air and a real opportunity for the Victorians to enjoy the biggest game in the country.”