Guide to the 2023 AFL Grand Final

The MCG on Grand Final day


Posted September 25, 2023

Whether you’re heading to Grand Final parade, the big game, or watching from the couch, here’s everything you need to know for the AFL Grand Final for 2023.

After a thrilling season, on Saturday, 30 September 2023, the Collingwood Magpies and the Brisbane Lions will duke it out for premiership glory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

AFL is ‘more than a game’ to Victorians, so it’s understandable that there are several ways to celebrate that one day in September.

From parades to group viewings and live entertainment, there’s something for everyone during footy’s biggest weekend. And if the Grand Final isn’t really your thing, you can always check out things to do over the long weekend that aren’t AFL related.

For those emotionally invested, here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening before, during, and after the 2023 AFL Grand Final in Victoria, and the best ways to get to events in the Melbourne CBD via public transport with the free arevo journey planner app.


2023 AFL Grand Final: what you need to know

When is the 2023 AFL Grand Final?

The 2023 AFL Grand Final will take place on Saturday, 30 September at 2.30pm AEST, and should finish around 5:00pm.

Where is the 2023 AFL Grand Final being held?

As usual, the MCG will play host to the 2023 AFL Grand Final.

For those watching from home, it can also be viewed live on Channel 7 and 7plus.

Is there a public holiday for the 2023 AFL Grand Final?

While the actual game is held on a Saturday and is not a public holiday, the day before, Grand Final Eve on Friday, 29 September 2023, is a public holiday in Victoria.

It is not a public holiday in other parts of Australia. 

When and where is the AFL Footy Festival?

This year, the free AFL Footy Festival will run from Wednesday, 27 September, 2023 through to Grand Final Day on Saturday, 30 September, 2023. 

Held next to the MCG at Yarra Park, the family-friendly festival features live music, giveaways, Auskick clinics, food and drinks stalls, merchandise, player appearances and roving entertainment. 

When and where is the AFL Grand Final Parade?

This year, the AFL Grand Final Parade will kick off around 9:00am on Friday, 29 September, 2023.

Typically, the two AFL teams vying for the premiership will be in attendance, along with iconic AFL legends, the Brownlow Medal winner, Coleman Medallist and Rising Star Award winner.

Other attendees include Auskickers, mascots, and the holy grail – the Premiership Cup – cruising down from Melbourne Park through Batman Avenue, to Birrarung Marr, down the Lower Terrace, crossing over William Barak footbridge, and onto Yarra Park.

The parade will then join fans at the Footy Festival live site, where players will be introduced on stage next to the MCG.

It is advised that those wishing to attend arrive early to secure their spot along the trail. 


catching the tram melbourne

Public transport will be busy, so make sure you plan your journey ahead of time. Image: Supplied. 

Who is performing at the 2023 AFL Grand Final?

The AFL pre-game entertainment is almost as hotly anticipated as the match itself, with some of the best performances cementing their place in our collective memories.

For 2023, the AFL has scored iconic American rock band KISS to headline the major sporting event.

How do I get to the MCG for the 2023 AFL Grand Final?

There is an expected crowd of more than 100,000 to attend the MCG for the Grand Final, so make sure to plan your journey to the city ahead of time with the free arevo journey planner app.

Using public transport is the easiest way to get to the 2023 AFL Grand Final. Extra tram and train services are scheduled for the Grand Final Parade on Friday, September 29, 2023 and for the AFL Grand Final Day on September 30, 2023. 

For the Grand Final, the two closest train stations are Jolimont, a five minute walk through Yarra Park, and Richmond, walking past the Punt Road Oval. The 48, 70, and 75 trams also run to the MCG. 

Those taking a V-Line service to Southern Cross Station can hop on the Hurstbridge line to Jolimont station. 

A number of bicycle loop and parking facilities are also available in Yarra Park, with extra facilities provided on Game Day. 

If you’re driving to the game, limited paid on-street parking can be found around the Royal Botanic Gardens and Fitzroy Gardens. Use the arevo app to find the cheapest fuel near to your location.

Parking at Yarra Park will have restricted access for only those with accreditation or possessing a disability permit.


sausage rolls

There's nothing like a homemade sausage roll when watching the footy. Image: Supplied. 

Where can I watch the AFL Grand Final?

If you couldn’t score tickets to the big game, don’t fret, as there are still plenty of places to get in on the crowd atmosphere in the city and surrounds. As well as at pubs and bars across Melbourne and regional Victoria, the game will be broadcast live and free in Federation Square in Melbourne's CBD. 

How to host the ultimate AFL Grand Final party 

If you’re not among the fortunate few to score a ticket to the game, why not invite your friends and family over for a Grand Final party? 

Whether you’re looking to fire up the barbecue and serve the perfect chicken parmasteaks and sausages, or rustling up a batch of crowd-pleasing sausage rolls from the RACV Club Kitchen, make sure you’ve got a good seat to catch all the action on the field. 


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