This weekend, Saturday September 28, sees the Richmond Tigers take on the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the AFL Grand Final. If you’re a rabid fan who has followed either of those teams for 26 weeks, you will definitely want to be there - but there’s only 34,000 tickets for club members and the teams have a combined membership of over 120,000.
So how can you get tickets?
If you’re not aware, Grand Final tickets are allocated to members who have pre-registered on the Ticketek website, prior to the preliminary finals. Gold members are guaranteed tickets, but any lower tier memberships must go into a ballot and cross their fingers, hoping they’ll get the opportunity to be there on September 28.
At this stage of the year, it’s really bloody hard to acquire tickets to the Grand Final, especially considering the Tigers alone have over 100,000 members. With that said, it's not impossible. Here are a few options that don't involve sitting heading down the pub or sitting in front of the couch at home. (Not that those are bad options!)
Radio stations, such as Triple M, are the most likely to be running Grand Final ticket giveaways, particularly if you’re living in NSW or Victoria. I wouldn’t be surprised if national broadcasters had a few tickets to be giving away also, so I’d be listening out and phoning in as much as possible.
If you've never called a radio station before, my hot tip is to be the most excitable, loud version of yourself that you can be - radio stations love that sort of thing.
Other than that, here are a couple of others I found with a quick Google search that are still open:
- 7 News are running a ‘watch out for the codeword’ promotion that ends on Wednesday night. The codeword is displayed during 7 News broadcasts and then you can enter it on this website. The grand prize includes tickets to the sold-out The Front Bar Grand Final Edition show at the Hotel Esplanade, St Kilda. Everyone will go into the draw to win double passes to the 2019 Toyota AFL Grand Final.
- The Herald Sun are also doing a codeword-based competition. You can find the codeword in today's newspaper so grab a copy on the way home! Here's the online comp page.
While most club members would rather give up their first-born child than part with their ticket, very occasionally you’ll see a post in supporter’s forums where an unfortunate member is trying to offload a ticket – for a price, of course. It’s best to scope this avenue out through Facebook, but be wary of those trying to take advantage of your desperation! Don’t hand over any cash until you’ve got the tickets in your hands.
This is super important because all Grand Final tickets have to be picked up from Ticketek, in person. The AFL Grand Final only has physical, paper tickets. If someone is offering to email or scan their tickets and send them to you, decline!
Gumtree only has a tiny handful of results right now, but that could change as we get closer to Saturday. I’d bookmark this page to ensure that you’re always checking.
You can also put up a listing yourself requesting tickets, but you'll need to compete with plenty of other die-hard fans. In other words, haggling won't be an option. Note that a Category 1 ticket to the Grand Final costs under $500 while tix on Gumtree are going for over $2000. Only spend what you can afford and justify.
It's also worth checking sites like eBay and Craigslist for any potential leads. If you jag one, just make sure it's legitimate! (Keep an eye out for deals that look too good to be true, because they definitely are.)
Outside the MCG
Of course, you could just turn up to the MCG on Saturday morning, holding a handwritten sign that says “NEED A TICKET” and hope that someone is willing to offload to you. This is a tried and true, last-ditch, ultra-desperation method that has proven to work in the past.
On the day, there are likely to be a few people floating around with tickets in hand, so you could take a stack of cash and hope for the best. It's a risk - especially if you aren't based in Melbourne - but there should be a few fair-weather spectators willing to part with their tickets.
One thing to be wary of is the rules and regulations set by Ticketek, the company which provides access to AFL Grand Final tickets. Buying a ticket from an unauthorised reseller above face value is in breach of Ticketek's Terms and Conditions of Sale. If the ticket you have bought is deemed to be in breach of Ticketek Terms and Conditions of Sale, then there is a chance that ticket is cancelled without a refund. That means you could be forking out for a dud ticket, get to the gates at the MCG and be denied entry. A truly horrible fate.
However, Ticketek also state that "if you can't attend an event for legitimate reasons and want to sell your ticket via an online auction site, Ticketek will not object to your sale as long as the selling/offer price is no more than the face value of the ticket."
How to watch the AFL Grand Final online
One of the best ways to catch the 2019 AFL Grand Final online is through Foxtel's Kayo Sports app. If you haven't signed up before, you can cop a free 14-day trial - just remember to cancel after the big game and you won't be charged anything.
Additional reporting by Jackson Ryan.