Celebrating 100 million MCG footy fans
May 22, 2012
Saturday's Round 9 match between Richmond and Hawthorn is set to mark a significant milestone in VFL/AFL history, with recognition of the 100 millionth fan to attend a match at the MCG.
The AFL and MCC will pick four fans from the crowd on the day to celebrate the historic mark, with one supporter to leave the match with a new Toyota Camry Hybrid HL proudly provided by supporting Premier Partner Toyota, and MCG match-day ticketing prizes.
The three other fans chosen from the crowd will each receive two 10-year AFL memberships.
While the AFL could not predict the exact match when the target would be reached, Mr Demetriou said a traditional Saturday afternoon game was being used as a celebration to thank all fans for their support of matches over the competition’s history – a strength in attendance numbers that has been a hallmark of Australia’s only indigenous game.
AFL historian Col Hutchison has been working over the last 18 months researching all attendance figures at VFL/AFL matches since the VFL first started its competition in 1897.
“While attendance records were scant for some 70 or so matches between 1897-1902, Col and his team have worked through newspaper records and other journals of the time to provide the best estimate of attendances at the time, using comparisons from other similar games at the time, when no formal figure was recorded,” Mr Demetriou said.
“His detailed research told us that his best estimate up to the start of this season was that around 99 million fans had attended VFL or AFL home and away games and finals since our competition began.
“All the records available to our research cannot give us an exact number of fans, and an exact match when the target would be reached, but our game has always been privileged to have strong crowd support as a wonderful recognition of the place the game holds in the hearts of our supporters.”
Mr Demetriou said the AFL wanted to wait until after the conclusion of the Indigenous Round last week to recognise the nominal 100 million figure, and a Saturday afternoon game represented the traditional time slot for the majority of the game’s history, as well as the AFL Grand Final.
“This Saturday at the Richmond v Hawthorn game, the AFL and the MCC want to thank all supporters for their commitment to our game over the last 115 years and to reward a number of lucky fans in the crowd at the MCG,” he said.
The mechanics of selecting the winning supporters to compete for the car and ticketing / membership prizes will apply as follows:
• Toyota promotional staff will hand out ‘Toyota thunder sticks’ in the pre-match arrival period.
• A ‘face in the crowd’ selection on the MCG screens will take place for two fans in the immediate pre-match period and for a further two fans at the quarter-time break, for those supporters holding up / waving their Toyota thunder sticks.
• One supporter will be selected from each of the following areas – MCC Reserve, AFL Members Reserve, Richmond supporter area, Hawthorn supporter area.
• At half time, the four selected fans will each be given a key in an attempt to unlock the car. The winning key will receive the Toyota Camry Hybrid HL and MCC ticketing package, with the other three fans to each receive two 10-year AFL memberships.
VIC Permit No. 12/1243.
For Terms and Conditions please refer to http://www.afl.com.au/100millionfans.