The AFL Grand Final is an annual Australian rules football match, traditionally held on the final Saturday in September at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia to determine the Australian Football League premiership champions.
The game has become significant to Australian culture, spawning a number of traditions and surrounding activities which have grown in popularity since the VFL/AFL went national in the 1980s. In 2006, the Sweeney Sports Report concluded that the AFL Grand Final became Australia's most important sporting event, with the largest attendance, metropolitan television audience and overall interest of any annual Australian sporting event.
With an official attendance of 100,012 at the 2008 AFL Grand Final, it is currently the best attended domestic club championship event in the world.
Premiership Glory and what it means to clubs is clearly expressed in different ways in the team songs of many of the VFL/AFL clubs. The Essendon song, for example, mentions the "premiership flag", "glory" and "fame" and the history of the "grand old game". Port Adelaide's song mentions "tradition", "history" and the "flag is ours for the taking". Collingwood's song refers to the "premiership". Some versions of the North Melbourne song declare that the club "will be premiers". Adelaide's song mentions "pride" and the "flag" as the goal. The West Coast Eagles song's "kings of the big game" refers to the Grand Final and premiership. The songs of Melbourne, Geelong and the Swans (Sydney) refer to the "banners" and "flag", which are meant to mean their supporters flag but can have the dual meaning of the premiership flag.
The current Premiership Cup is silver (With the exception of 1996 - when a gold cup was awarded instead of the usual silver one in the AFL/VFL's 100th season) and manufactured by Cash's International at their metalworks in Frankston, Victoria. The cup was first introduced in 1959 by the VFL, and before this, the reward was a pennant known by supporters simply as "The Flag". The AFL has since retrospectively awarded the premiers trophies based on the current design. Before the 1960s, premiership players received a personal premiership trophy instead of a medallion.
In recent years, the Premiership Cup has also been termed the "Holy Grail", and the Hunters and Collectors song by the same name is often used as an anthem for the AFL finals series and AFL Grand Final.
The premiers are also awarded the premiership flag, a large pennant which is unfurled at the premiers' first home game of the following season. Although the cup features much more prominently in celebrations immediately following the Grand Final, the flag has far greater symbolic significance. This is particularly reflected in football parlance, in which one always speaks of a team winning the flag, rather than the cup. This is possibly the result of history. The presentation of the flag first occurred in 1895, when the old VFA recognised Fitzroy's first premiership win.
It is a tradition for the premiership winning club to unfurl their flag at the first home game of the following season.
However the amount is probably not reflective of the magnitude of participating in the event. It is often assumed simply that the winner of the premiership typically experiences an increase in revenue through increases in membership and merchandise sales.
The current cash prize for the winning club is AUD$1 million. Before 2006, a cash prize to the winning club of AUD$250,000 was awarded (In contrast, the winner of the NAB Cup, the far less important pre-season competition, is currently awarded a similar amount, AUD$220,000). Following the Sydney Swans premiership in 2005, many clubs publicly questioned the prize money , which has not increased for many years and barely covers the cost of participation in the finals series.
The player judged by a panel of experts to be the best afield during the Grand Final is awarded the Norm Smith Medal, named after the great Melbourne Demons coach of the 50's and 60's and player of the 40's Norm Smith.
However, this method had flaws, so the VFL continued to experiment, playing "section" matches after the regular season and then a finals series where first on the ladder played the third team and second met fourth. The winners of these "semi" finals then met in a final to decide the premiership. This system caused problems in 1901 when Geelong finished on top of the ladder but was immediately eliminated when defeated in the semi final. A "right of challenge" was introduced, giving the team that finished on top at the end of the regular season (the minor premier) the right to challenge if they lost the semi final or the final. This challenge match came to be called the "grand final". The early finals were scattered around various Melbourne venues: Albert Park, St Kilda's Junction Oval and the now defunct East Melbourne Cricket Ground. The selection of the venue could depend on the portion of the gate demanded by the ground's landlords.
The public remained ambivalent to the concept of finals football until the VFL pulled off a coup in 1902. Previously, the MCG was unavailable to football in the early spring months as it was being prepared for the coming cricket season. The VFL convinced the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) to rent the ground for the finals series and the first grand final at what is today considered the home of the game attracted more than 35,000 people to watch Collingwood down Essendon. The success of the finals at the MCG was proven with big attendances every year, and soon all the major competitions around Australia were employing what was known as the "amended Argus system" of finals. The "original Argus system" had been instituted by the VFL in 1901, the amended system was instituted by the VFL in 1902. The 1907 Grand Final attracted an Australian record sporting attendance of 45,477.
By 1908, a new record attendance of 50,261 was set, on a day when the crowd was so huge that they broke through the fence and filed onto the ground, sitting around the boundary line to watch the action. This figure was beaten in 1912 when 54,463 saw Essendon defeat South Melbourne. The big finals crowds (and increasing cricket attendances) prompted the MCC to cut down the eleven fifty-year old elm trees inside the ground and turn the stadium into a concrete bowl, complete with extra stands and standing room. The record fell again in the last grand final before World War I, when the excitement of St Kilda's first premiership attempt drew 59,479 spectators.
Collingwood's famous four premierships in a row between 1927 and 1930 became the catalyst for change to the system. The other clubs felt that the Magpies had an unfair advantage from finishing all four seasons on top of the ladder when the right of challenge saved them on a number of occasions. In 1927, 1928 and 1930, the biggest crowd of the year was drawn to the semi final and not the Grand Final. The Page-McIntyre system (or 'final four") was introduced for 1931, whereby the semi finals (1 v 2 and 3 v 4) were followed by the preliminary final and then the grand final, with the right of challenge abolished. This proved satisfactory to all, and the new system ushered in a golden age for the Grand Final.
Football served as a distraction for people on the homefront during the war, particularly during the darkest days between 1941 and 1943. The Australian government requisitioned a number of VFL grounds, including the MCG. Therefore, the Grand Final was staged at Princes Park (Carlton) in 1942, 1943 and 1945, and at St Kilda's Junction Oval in 1944 when Fitzroy won its last premiership on the hottest Grand Final day on record. The 1943 clash was a thrilling contest, Richmond defeating Essendon by five points. The 1942 and 1945 matches were marred by violence, and the latter game has gone down in history as the "Bloodbath". An amazing crowd of 62,986 crammed into the Carlton ground for this game, which was played just weeks after the armistice with Japan was declared. Clearly, the people of Melbourne were keen to normalise their lives again and football was central to this desire.
So when the MCG was finally relinquished by the government in August 1946, there was great expectation in the build up to the Grand Final, where Essendon booted a record score to defeat Melbourne. Attendances were back to 1930s levels by 1947 and 85,815 turned up to see Carlton beat Essendon by a solitary point; a similar crowd a year later watched the Bombers play the first draw in Grand Final history. However, they lost a replay with Melbourne the following week. The sight of thousands sitting between the fence and the boundary line, first seen in the late 1930s, was now usual at the Grand Final. Spectators were admitted on a first-come basis, and thousands took to lining up outside the stadium in the days before the match to gain the best vantage point when the gates opened on the morning of the match. Some reservations were raised about spectator safety as the MCG was clearly being filled above its capacity.
Attendances now hovered around the 100,000 mark during the coming years. Melbourne dominated the era with seven straight Grand Final appearances (for five flags), playing Collingwood three times and Essendon twice. The 1958 Grand Final, when Collingwood upset a Melbourne team attempting to equal the Magpies' proud record of four consecutive premierships, was arguably the greatest upset recorded in the biggest game of all. The Demons made amends by winning the next year, when the premiership cup was presented for the first time. Previously, the crowd descended on the arena at the end of the game, and the players were variously chaired off the ground or walked to the dressing room. The presentation of the cup gave the after-match a ceremonial focus and allowed the attention to settle on the premier team.
Following the 1956 introduction of television to Australia, there were repeated calls for the Grand Final to be telecast live, but the VFL refused on the basis that the crowd numbers might be affected. A delayed telecast was allowed for 1961, when Hawthorn won for the first time, but thereafter only a videotaped replay was shown.
By now, the MCG had been expanded again so that record crowds were set in 1968, 1969 and 1970. The epic Grand Final of 1970, when Carlton came back from a 44-point half time deficit to beat Collingwood, was watched by an all-time record crowd of 121,696 people. Most of the matches during this period had something to remember: Hawthorn's comeback to win in 1971, Carlton's record score in the highest scoring game ever played in 1972, Richmond's two wins over Carlton in 1969 and 1973 in very physical encounters, and North Melbourne's first Grand Final victory in 1975.
Throughout the 90s, the standards of the Grand Finals never reached sensational heights, or concluded with nailbiting finishes. Collingwood walked over the Bombers in the '90 decider (which was played in October, due to the Magpies draw with the Eagles in the Qualifying Final, extending the finals series by a week), an aging Hawthorn unit was too classy for the Eagles, who got their revenge the following season with a come-from-behind victory over Geelong, before going on to record their second flag under coach Mick Malthouse and captain John Worsfold two years later over the same opponent. Wedged in between was Essendon's 'Baby Bombers', Kevin Sheedy molding a group of talented youngsters, including James Hird, Dustin Fletcher, Mark Mercuri, Joe Misiti, Ricky Olarenshaw, David Calthorpe and Paul Hills into a premiership winning combination, overrunning their older Carlton counterparts. The Blues, though, were not yet a spent force, trouncing the hapless Cats by 61 points in 1995. Greg Williams starred, winning the Norm Smith Medal with his 32 disposals and five goals.
1996 saw North Melbourne make up for their many years of near misses, downing Sydney with ease, to take home the only golden premiership cup yet to be used. Adelaide, under new coach Malcolm Blight, stunned the football world with two premierships in succession, defeating St Kilda in 1997, and the Kangaroos in 1998. On both occasions, Andrew McLeod did as he pleased at halfback to take home the Norm Smith Medal, whilst forward pocket Darren Jarman was a match winner in attack. An inaccurate second quarter cost the Kangaroos the chance to be in full control of the match at the halftime break, as they were only four goals ahead (6.15 (51) to 4.3 (27) despite having 21 scoring shots to only seven in the first half. Adelaide stormed home with 11 second half goals to the North Melbourne's two to be the first team since Hawthorn in 1988-89 to win back-to-back premierships.
Wayne Carey's Kangaroos fought back, however, to be premiers for the fourth time in 1999. The Roos were fortunate to meet Carlton on the day, as they were the sixth ranked team after the home and away season. Essendon were the minor premiers and Carlton only reached the Grand Final on the back of one of the biggest upsets in league history, toppling flag favourites Essendon by a point in the Preliminary Final.
2000 saw one of the most dominant seasons of all time by Essendon, with the Bombers winning all bar one of their home and away matches, before pummelling the Kangaroos by a record 125 points in the Qualifying Final, demoralising Carlton, their enemy of the previous season, by 45 points, before outclassing Melbourne by 10 goals in the Grand Final. The club was led brilliantly by Norm Smith Medal winning skipper James Hird and master coach Kevin Sheedy.
The following season, 2001, saw the Brisbane Lions win the first of their three premierships in succession. The Lions overran a tiring Bomber outfit in the second half of the 2001 decider, underrated rover Shaun Hart a surprise yet deserving recipient of the Norm Smith Medal. The following season saw Collingwood, vast underdogs, push the Lions to the limit in the 2002 decider, the Lions pipping the Magpies at the post by a mere nine points. Collingwood skipper Nathan Buckley was exceptional in winning the Norm Smith Medal, while his Lion counterpart Michael Voss was all but his equal.
Brisbane's third and final premiership in their historic run of success came in 2003, again accounting for Collingwood, though on this occasion by a whopping 50 points, crushing the spirit of the Magpies, who had been favourites going into the match. Simon Black led the romp with a Grand Final record 39 possessions, while Jason Akermanis booted five majors.
The Lions' castle finally came tumbling down in 2004, when Port Adelaide rolled them in the second half, running out 40 point victors. Byron Pickett, a premiership winning defender with the Kangaroos in 1999, turned into a match winning onballer for the Power, and capped his day with the Norm Smith Medal. The fairytale of the afternoon was the story behind Josh Mahoney, the until then little-known Port forward pocket had been cast aside by Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs in the seven years prior, trying his luck with Essendon's VFL squad in 2001 before switching to Williamstown. He belatedly received a third chance at the highest level, and made every post a winner, instrumental in the Power's third quarter charge.
Seasons 2005 and 2006 are best remembered for the classic rivalry forged between Sydney and the West Coast Eagles. The Swans clung on grimly to win the 2005 decider by four points, Leo Barry's epic defensive mark in the dying seconds an image to resound throughout the ages. The following year, the same two clubs were at it again, only this time the tables were turned, but only just - the Eagles only one point ahead of the Swans when the final siren blew, the first time only a point had separated two clubs in a Grand Final since St Kilda's nailbiting victory over Collingwood in 1966.
2007 belonged to Geelong, who, 44 years after their last premiership, stamped their authority on the competition, losing only one match after round five, and trouncing Port Adelaide in the decider by a record 119 points. Mercurial forward Steve Johnson took home the Norm Smith Medal, completing one of the most dominant seasons by one club on record.
2008 also appeared to be Geelong's year, after they blitzed the home and away season winning 21 out of 22 games equally Essendons's record of most matches won in a home and away season from 2000. However Hawthorn stunned the favourites with a 26 point victory in the Grand Final.
|2002||Jared Crouch||Sydney Swans Football Club|
|2003||James Walker||Fremantle Football Club|
|2004||James Walker||Fremantle Football Club|
|2005||Brett Deledio||Richmond Football Club|
|2006||Brendan Fevola||Carlton Football Club|
|2007||Jake King||Richmond Football Club|
|2008||Matt White||Richmond Football Club|
The Grand Final is traditionally played in Melbourne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It has been played elsewhere only on a few occasions, being held at Lake Oval and the Junction Oval early in the league's history and Princes Park (Optus Oval) during World War II when the MCG was being used as barracks to house US Troops. When the MCG was being redeveloped in 1991, the Grand Final was contested at the AFL-owned Waverley Park.
The Grand Final has traditionally been played on the final Saturday in September each year and is referred to in popular Australian culture as the One day in September. The only notable exception was during 2000, when the Sydney Olympics forced the season to be played early; in this season, the One day in September was the first Saturday, instead of the last.
Of the current clubs, only Fremantle has never (as of the 2007 finals) made a Grand Final appearance. Defunct clubs which never made it include University and the Brisbane Bears (although their successor, the Brisbane Lions have won three Grand Finals and lost a fourth.)
The first interstate (non-Victorian) team to play in the Grand Final was the West Coast Eagles, who lost in 1991 but came back to win their first Premiership in 1992. (The Swans had been in several Grand Finals before their move to Sydney in 1982, but always as South Melbourne: their first Grand Final appearance after their move to Sydney didn't come until 1996.) The first Grand Final matching two interstate teams was the 2004 contest where the Port Adelaide Power beat the Brisbane Lions 113-73.
Since the expansion of the league, the AFL Grand Final has become a truly national event. For six years in a row (2001-2006) the premiership had been won by teams outside of Victoria (where the AFL's precursor competition, the Victorian Football League (VFL) had originated). An original VFL side, Geelong Football Club won the 2007 grand final by 119 points. As a result there have been calls for hosting Grand Finals on a national stage, similar to the Super Bowl in the USA. Since the construction of Stadium Australia, Sydney has expressed interest in hosting the final on several occasions. So far, the AFL has resisted the temptation of doing so. Another challenge to tradition has been the proposal of a night grand final with anticipated increased television audience.
The 2006 Grand Final was officially regarded as the 110th Grand Final. Throughout history, Grand Finals were not staged in either of 1897 or 1924, with the premiership instead being awarded after a round robin amongst the top four teams; this accounts for 107 Grand Finals. An additional Grand Final was played in 1948 and 1977, each of which was necessitated by a tied Grand Final. These are generally referred to as Grand Final Replays or "Extra Finals", but count in the official tally of Grand Finals. Furthermore, under the "amended Argus finals system" which operated from 1902 until 1930, a "Grand Final" match depended upon the minor premiers having not won the previous week's game, known as the Final: each final which decided the premiership had hence been reclassified a Grand Final retrospectively.
|Year||Results/Date||Crowd||Norm Smith Medalist|
|2000||Essendon 19. 21. (135) def. Melbourne 11. 9. (75)||96,249||James Hird|
|2001||Brisbane Lions 15. 18. (108) def. Essendon 12. 10. (82)||91,482||Shaun Hart|
|2002||Brisbane Lions 10. 15. (75) def. Collingwood 9. 12. (66)||91,817||Nathan Buckley (losing team)|
|2003||Brisbane Lions 20. 14. (134) def. Collingwood 12. 12. (84)||79,451*||Simon Black|
|2004||Port Adelaide 17. 11. (113) def. Brisbane Lions 10. 13. (73)||77,671*||Byron Pickett|
|2005||Sydney 8. 10. (58) def. West Coast 7. 12. (54)||91,828*||Chris Judd (losing team)|
|2006||West Coast 12. 13. (85) def. Sydney 12. 12. (84)||97,431||Andrew Embley|
|2007||Geelong 24. 19. (163) def. Port Adelaide 6. 8. (44)||97,302||Steve Johnson|
|2008||Hawthorn 18. 7. (115) def. Geelong 11. 23. (89)||100,012||Luke Hodge|
|2009||26 September , 2009|
|2010||25 September , 2010|
|1979||Wayne Harmes||Carlton||Great-nephew of Norm Smith, inaugural winner|
|1982||Maurice Rioli||Richmond||First winner from losing team; First aboriginal winner|
|1988||Gary Ayres||Hawthorn||First multiple winner|
|1989||Gary Ablett||Geelong||Won in a losing team; equalled record for most goals (9)|
|1990||Tony Shaw||Collingwood||First captain to win|
|1992||Peter Matera||West Coast||First winner from a non-Victorian club|
|1994||Dean Kemp||West Coast|
|1995||Greg Williams||Carlton||First Brownlow medallist to win, Collected 32 possessions on his 32nd birthday the day of the Grand Final|
|1996||Glen Archer||North Melbourne|
|1998||Andrew McLeod||Adelaide||First consecutive winner|
|2002||Nathan Buckley||Collingwood||Team lost, captain|
|2003||Simon Black||Brisbane||Most possessions ever recorded in Grand Final|
|2004||Byron Pickett||Port Adelaide|
|2005||Chris Judd||West Coast||Team lost|
|2006||Andrew Embley||West Coast|
|Most Matches (Player)||11: Michael Tuck (Hawthorn) 10: Gordon Coventry (Collingwood), Albert Collier (Collingwood), Dick Reynolds (Essendon), Bill Hutchison (Essendon)|
|Most Matches (Captain)||9: Dick Reynolds (Essendon) 5: John Nicholls (Carlton), Michael Tuck (Hawthorn)|
|Most Matches (Coach)|| 17: Jock McHale (Collingwood) 12: Dick Reynolds (Essendon) |
11: Frank 'Checker' Hughes (Richmond/Melbourne)
10: Tom Hafey (Richmond/Collingwood)
|Most Matches (Umpire)||10: Jack Elder (1908-22) 9: Ian Robinson(1973-87)|
|Most Matches (Player/Coach)|| 20: Jock McHale (Collingwood) 17: Ron Barassi (Melbourne/Carlton/N Melbourne) |
14: F 'Checker' Hughes (Richmond/Melbourne), Norm Smith (Melbourne) 14
|Most Wins (Player)||7: Michael Tuck (Hawthorn) 6: Albert Collier (Collingwood), Harry Collier (Collingwood), Frank 'Bluey' Adams (Melbourne), Ron Barassi (Melbourne)|
|Most Wins (Captain)||4: Dick Reynolds (Essendon), Syd Coventry (Collingwood), Michael Tuck (Hawthorn)|
|Most Wins (Coach)|| 8: Jock McHale (Collingwood) 6: Norm Smith (Melbourne)|
5: Jack Worrall (Carlton/Essendon), F 'Checker' Hughes (Richmond/Melbourne)
|Most Losses (Player)||6: Jack Titus (Richmond) 5: Dick Reynolds (Essendon), Bill Hutchison (Essendon), Rene Kink (Collingwood/Essendon), Thomas O'Halloran (Richmond), Jack Dyer (Richmond), Jack Bissett (Richmond/South Melbourne)|
|Most Losses (Captain)||4: Dick Reynolds (Essendon) 3: Jack Bissett (South Melbourne), Jack Dyer (Richmond)|
|Most Losses (Coach)|| 9: Jock McHale (Collingwood) 7: Dick Reynolds (Essendon)|
5: Allan Jeans (St Kilda/Hawthorn), Tom Hafey (Richmond/Collingwood)
|1st Game in GF||Jack Prout (Essendon) 1908, Bill James (Richmond) 1920, George Rawle (Essendon) 1923, F 'Pop' Vine (Melbourne) 1926, Ken Batchelor (Collingwood) 1952, Vin Catoggio (Carlton) 1973|
|Most Games before 1st GF|| 313: Paul Roos (Fitzroy/Sydney) 1996 304: Shane Crawford (Hawthorn) 2008|
267: Marcus Ashcroft (Brisbane) 2001
255: Greg Wells (Melbourne/Carlton) 1981
248: Alastair Lynch (Fitzroy/Brisbane) 2001
|Most Goals in GF||9: Gordon Coventry (Collingwood) 1928, Gary Ablett (Geelong) 1989 8: Dermott Brereton (Hawthorn) 1985|
|Most Behinds in GF||10: Ron Todd (Collingwood) 1936 8: Bob Pratt (South Melbourne) 1933, John Hendrie (Hawthorn) 1976|
|Highest Score||28.9 (177)||by Carlton vs Richmond 1972|
|Lowest Score||1.7 (13)||by Richmond vs Collingwood 1927|
|327 points||Carlton vs Richmond 1972|
|Lowest Aggregate||38 points||Collingwood vs Richmond 1927|
|Highest Winning Margin||119 points||by Geelong vs Port Adelaide 2007|
|Lowest Winning Margin||1 point||by Fitzroy vs South Melbourne 1899, by Carlton vs Essendon 1947, by St Kilda vs Collingwood 1966, by West Coast vs Sydney 2006|
|Drawn Games||1948 1977||Essendon vs Melbourne (Melbourne won replay) Collingwood vs North Melbourne (North Melbourne won replay)|
|Postponed Games||1923||Essendon vs Fitzroy postponed one week due to bad weather|
|Highest Attendance||121,896||Collingwood vs Carlton 1970|
|Lowest Attendance||4,823||Fitzroy vs South Melbourne 1899|
|Best Score - 1st Qtr||8.4 (52)||by Hawthorn vs Geelong 1989, by Carlton vs Richmond 1972|
|Best Score - 2nd Qtr||10.2 (62)||by Carlton vs Richmond 1972|
|Best Score - 3rd Qtr||11.8 (74)||by Essendon vs Melbourne 1946|
|Best Score - 4th Qtr||11.3 (69)||by Essendon vs Hawthorn 1985|
|1979||Mike Brady & John Farnham|
|1991||Daryl Braithwaite and Angry Anderson|
|1993||Maroochy Barambah, Archie Roach & Yothu Yindi|
|1994||The Seekers & Debra Byrne|
|1996||A collection of past singers|
|1997||Scott Robert Little (saxophone)|
|1998||Muhammad Ali made an appearance. Mark Seymour sang Holy Grail. Rob Guest sang This Is The Moment and Advance Australia Fair. Jane Scali and Michael Cormick sang Waltzing Matilda.|
|2000||The Idea of North, Trish Delaney-Brown, Megan Corson, Andrew Piper and Nick Begie, Mike Brady, Russell Morris and Rick Price|
|2002||Killing Heidi, The Whitlams, Kate Ceberano, The Human Tide. Mark Seymour sang Holy Grail.|
|2003||Christine Anu, Gorgi Quill, the Australian idols|
|2004||Guy Sebastian sang both Waltzing Matilda and Advance Australia Fair, The Ten Tenors, Davis Hobson|
|2005||Silvie Paladino sang Advance Australia Fair. Delta Goodrem sang I Am Australian. Michael Buble and Dame Edna Everage performed I Still Call Australia Home. The Whitlams performed No Aphrodisiac. Kath and Kim|
|2006||Brian Mannix, John Paul Young, Sean Kelly, Daryl Braithwaite and Shane Howard sang Advance Australia Fair. Irene Cara sang Flashdance (What A Feeling) plus appearances from Brian Mannix, John Paul Young, Sean Kelly, Daryl Braithwaite and Shane Howard performing a medley including Up There Cazaly, One Day in September, Solid Rock, Yesterday's Hero, The Horses, Everybody Wants to Work and I Hear Motion. Young Divas sang You're the Inspiration|
|2007||Natalie Bassingthwaighte sang Advance Australia Fair. Jet performed Are You Gonna Be My Girl & Rollover DJ|
|2008||Powderfinger performed (Baby I've Got You) On My Mind and AC/DC's It's a Long Way to the Top accompanied by the City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band, Ian Moss performed electric guitar versions of Up There Cazaly and the competing club theme songs and Lucy Durack and Amanda Harrison sang the national anthem.|
The 2005 AFL Grand Final was watched by a television audience of more than 3.3 million people across five of Australia's most highly populated cities, including 1.2 million in Melbourne and 991,000 in Sydney. The worldwide audience has grown substantially to a potential 170 million viewers from 72 countries., although the actual audience is likely to be around 30 million.
The AFL Grand Final has been in the top 5 TV programmes across the five Australian mainland state capitals in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, and was the top-rating sports programme in both 2004 and 2005 and in 2005, AFL Grand Final related shows (Final, wrap up and pre-match) were the top 3 rating television programmes for the year. The program wassecond in the 2006 ratings after the coverage of the 2006 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.