ANZAC Day AFL Game - The Ultimate Guide

The ANZAC Day game is an annual tradition and an integral part of the occasion. Contested between Collingwood and Essendon since 1995, the 2019 clash will again be played in front of a sell-out crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

AFL is almost a religion in Victoria and across Australia and has become a powerful way to honour the sacrifice and bravery of ANZAC soldiers. A variety of football codes were often played in war zones where Australians served and marking the occasion with a match between two of the game’s most famous and successful clubs seemed an appropriate way to commemorate April 25th.

This is one of Australia’s most popular sporting occasions, surpassed only by the AFL Grand Final, and is considered one of the most important dates on the Australian sporting calendar. In 2018, Collingwood crushed Essendon 101 – 52, cruising to their 14th ANZAC Day win, with Essendon still trailing on nine overall. Essendon has started the 2019 AFL season poorly, making Collingwood the firm favourites to take out the match again. In fact, the last time Collingwood didn’t win back-to-back ANZAC Day game was their 2002 victory that was sandwiched between a period of Essendon dominance.

The 2019 ANZAC Day Clash

There are several ticket options available, whether you’re looking for a premium ticket package or simply general admission. Some packages include food, drink and other VIP highlights, while the most basic option is simply to enjoy the on-field action.

The MCG is Melbourne’s, and possibly Australia’s, most famous stadium. Over 160 years old, the Melbourne Cricket Ground has become synonymous with AFL and has hosted almost every AFL Grand Final since the competition began. The largest ground in the country, regularly hosting 90,000 plus every year for the AFL grand final and the ANZAC Day match will draw a bumper crowd, with over 80,000 fans expected to flock to Richmond for the big day.

Getting to the MCG for the ANZAC Day Match

The MCG crowds are huge and it is advisable to arrive as early as possible. The ground will be filled to the rafters to witness one of the biggest events of the year and getting people into the MCG safely takes time. As always, there will be increased security and this may cause further delays getting to your seat, so don’t five minutes before the bounce or you’ll miss it.

Melbourne is a big city and there are a lot of options for people travelling from far and wide:

Public transport

The Metro train system is one of the country’s best and services run regularly throughout the day and into the night. As this is a big game day, there will be increased services to ensure everyone can get to the MCG on time.

There are two main train stations that offer access to the ground. These are:

  • Jolimont for the Hurstbridge and Epping lines
  • Richmond for the south-eastern lines.

Another popular and simple way to travel is by tram. There are three trams that will get you to the ground – 75, 48 and 70. Trams are slower and smaller than trains, so ensure you give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination.

You can also use the 246 bus service, which will take you almost to the gates of the stadium.

Check PTV for train, tram and bus timetables.

Walking

The MCG is located in the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct. This central location means it is just an easy 20-minute walk from the shopping districts in the CBD. There are several pedestrian bridges to get you across the Yarra River and well-maintained and signposted paths to guide your way. Walking from Flinders Street Station is a popular option for many people so the chances are you can follow the crowd if you’re unsure of where you’re headed.

Driving

It’s always advisable to try and avoid driving in Melbourne’s city centre whenever possible. the public transport network is comprehensive and simple to use, making it a superior option, especially on days when the CVBD will be flooded with activity. However, if driving is necessary there is parking available nearby, leaving just a short walk to the ground. The MCG itself has parking but bear in mind that this fills quickly and you will need to book ahead or arrive extra early to not miss out. Parking spaces can be limited to accommodate match day requirements.

Finally, Melbourne taxi companies such as 13CABS and Silver Top Taxi can help you get to the ground quickly and easily.