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If the Melbourne Cup is the race that stops a nation, the AFL Grand Final is the game that stops a nation. Granted, the Super Bowl is big, but no matter how many hot dogs and Hail Marys go down, it’s not big enough to warrant a public holiday.
Traditionally held on the final Saturday in September or the first Saturday in October, the AFL Grand Final is watched by over 3 million people. The Herculean event has been sold out every year for decades and in 1970 drew a crowd of 121,696.
When it comes to what to do on Grand Final Saturday, there are many options. Some are expensive, some are overcrowded and all of them are loud and lubricated. However, in our eyes, there are only two options that won’t disappoint. Unless your team loses and then not even a MayMac payday will turn your frown upside down, that is.
One can make the pilgrimage to the hallowed MCG. Squeezing into the packed stadium and cheer on “the boys” with 100,000 other punters. Or the other option is to venture to a rooftop party, indulge in fancy footy food, spiced Negronis and other dangerously delicious treats.
Go to the game
Expressions like “bucket list” and “must-see” are everywhere. I once saw a gumption-like cleaning product that was offering a “once in a lifetime” sparkle. GTFO. These expressions are used so much that it softens the impact when something really is that good. Well, let me tell you that going to the AFL Grand Final truly is that good. The heaving atmosphere created by a stadium full of fervent fans blaring team war cries is something that most will experience once in their life, if they’re lucky.
In addition to the two best AFL teams (in the world!?) battling it out for the ultimate prize, the GF has entertainment. Some past acts, like Paul Kelly, Tim Rogers, John Farnham and Jimmy Barnes, have nailed it. Others… haven’t #NeverForgetMeatloaf. This year The Killers will be gracing the stage, and although they don’t fit the Aussie rock mould, they do have plenty of sing-alongs.
AFL Grand Finale at QT rooftop
The other option is comfort. Perched high above the hustle and bustle of pubs, homes and the stadium overcome with Grand Final fever, is the Rooftop at QT.
The Rooftop will be showing the Grand Final live with full sound. Expert chefs will be serving a range of fancy version of footy eats, like steak sandwich ciabatta with onion marmalade, mustard, raclette cheese and rocket; braised eggplant and cauliflower pockets and Coffin Bay oysters. And to drink Four Pillars Spiced Negroni, Aperol Spritz and Perrier Jouet Rose.
The 2017 AFL grand final will take place Saturday, October 1 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
words by niall roeder
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