Almanac Footy – Clarity on game access needed: View of the AFL Fans Association



With COVID-safe measures rightly in place, the AFL Fans Association wants ticketing clarity and every effort made to ensure men’s matches are accessible for as many supporters as possible.



The AFLFA says the move to digital entry must be clearly explained, especially to those unfamiliar with the technology. Online booking systems also need to be able to cope with strong demand, and venue scanning systems must be capable of dealing with thousands of digital tickets.



AFLFA president Cheryl Critchley says the AFL did an amazing job in 2020 and fans understand that this season is COVID-compromised. She says given the necessary ticketing and match day changes, clear information must be provided in a timely manner, which some clubs have done.



‘The AFL, MCC and clubs must be transparent about ticketing and which member categories, if any, will have priority at home and away games,’ she says. ‘Digital tickets make sense, but we need to support those who may struggle with or don’t have the right technology.


‘Fans need clear instructions about how game-day transport, ground access and conditions at games have changed. For example, patrons should download their digital ticket onto their phone before they get to the ground to minimise the chances of technical problems at the gate.


‘We also hope that traditions such as banners can return as soon as it’s safe. They add much-needed colour and provide a special link between grass-roots fans and their clubs.’



This year the AFLFA would particularly like to see:


    • Fixture certainty where possible and, once COVID-safe, a full fixture in advance.


    • Family-friendly scheduling that minimises school-night games.


    • Fair ticket allocation where attendance is compromised, with priority for long-term club, AFL and MCC members and reserved seat holders. No AFL, MCC or club guest passes while capacity is limited. Corporate allocations should also be limited in line with other ticket types.


    • Support for those who may need help with digital tickets, such as the elderly, people with a disability and those who don’t have the necessary technology.


    • A strong stance on any scalpers and/or on-sellers who sell tickets at inflated prices.


    • Games moved if crowd numbers remain limited, demand exists, and it enables significantly more fans to attend, while understanding there may be venue, broadcasting, corporate, catering, stakeholder, sponsorship, and other logistical challenges due to COVID.


    • More colour at games, such as banners (run-throughs), if safe to do so.


    • Fans directly consulted about changes that affect them, such as ticketing, scheduling, match day experiences and innovations like the ‘festival of footy’.


    • Minimal rule changes.


    • Fewer gambling ads, or better still – none.


    • Rewards for fans where game attendance is compromised, such as exclusive events.


    • More support for umpires to ensure consistent quality umpiring.


    • Competing clubs allocated more than the usual 17,000 tickets each for this year’s Grand Final if played at the MCG, in part to reward their loyalty in 2020.



More information: AFLFA president Cheryl Critchley on 0418 312 596. Email: [email protected]




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Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.




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