After another rollercoaster year, the 2021 AFL Grand Final is almost here.
While Australia is presently in something of a *state* and we’re currently navigating COVID-19 outbreaks, lockdowns, widespread uncertainty and a messy vaccine rollout, we can confirm that the footy final between Melbourne Football Club and the Western Bulldogs is set to go ahead. So, y’know, at least we have that.
Here’s what you need to know to bring you up to speed on the 2021 AFL Grand Final.
When is the 2021 AFL Grand Final?
The 2021 Grand Final is slated for Saturday, September 25 at 7:15 pm.
Initially, the match was set to be played at Victoria’s MCG Stadium, however, it was confirmed on Tuesday, August 31 that this would not go ahead for 2021.
CEO Gillon McLachlan shared the AFL Grand Final would be played at Optus Stadium in Perth this year.
“As the pandemic continued to challenge us, we looked at all the possibilities around holding the 2021 Grand Final at the MCG,” McLachlan shared in a statement.
“It has become clear as we continue to navigate through these challenges that it wouldn’t be in the best interests of the community to host a Grand Final at the MCG this year in front of a crowd.
“To all Victorians, we will be back at the MCG bigger and better in 2022.”
How can I watch it live, online and free?
Thankfully for all, the Grand Final is always exclusively shown on free-to-air television so everyone can tune in without paying a cent.
The grand final will be aired free on Channel Seven or 7Plus.
If you end up being busy that day (or forget) but still want to catch the big game, streaming service Kayo will have it available for re-runs. The sports streaming service also has a selection of AFL content available to watch free of cost on Kayo Freebies.
And for those Aussies who are currently abroad, there is the option of a WatchAFL Finals Pass. As described on the website, Watch AFL offers “LIVE-streams and on-demand replays of the Australian Football League to fans around the world”.
A Finals Pass will give you access to every remaining match of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, including the Finals Series and Grand Final for $85.
What if I’m heading to the event IRL?
For the lucky folks in Perth attending the event in the flesh, it’s worth noting that public transport to the game is free for ticket holders. TransPerth has shared details on that here.
As the ABC shares, pre-game entertainment kicks off at about 4:15 pm and will feature the likes of John Butler, Eskimo Joe and Baker Boy.
This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.