After another year full of surprises, controversies and feelgood moments, the 2018 AFL season draws to a close this Saturday 29 September with the biggest game of them all – the Grand Final.
This year’s big dance features two teams who enjoyed convincing victories in their preliminary finals: Collingwood, fresh off a shock upset win over reigning premiers Richmond, and the West Coast Eagles, who must make the trek across the Nullarbor after making short work of Melbourne.
Tickets to watch the Grand Final at the ‘G are a hard commodity to come by but in a city that lives and breathes AFL, there’s plenty of other options available – here are some of the best spots to catch the game across Melbourne.
The whole family can watch the big game at Federation Square, with plenty on offer to keep kids of all ages entertained in the lead up to the match. Get there early to reserve a bean bag and enjoy the pre-game entertainment and food trucks available until kick-off at 2pm. Show your support by getting your face painted in your team’s colours, before settling in amongst the crowd to catch the first bounce.
Corner of Swanston St and Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Offering complimentary BBQ canapes from 2:00pm on game day and house mixologists’ unique twist on Heineken and Furphy, Left Bank is celebrating the Grand Final a little differently. If you’re feeling super keen, the venue will also be housing DJs on the Thursday and Friday nights prior from 5:30 to 11:30pm, as well as after the big dance.
1 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank VIC 3006
If you’d like to indulge in a drink or two as you take in the game, head down to Riverland on the banks of the Yarra. You’ll be able to enjoy $20 jugs of beer and the bar’s famous loaded hot dogs as you watch the game on one of the multiple TV screens – make sure you arrive early or book a table to grab the best vantage point.
Federation Wharf 1-9, Melbourne VIC 3000
The team at Welcome to Thornbury have created a Grand Final day package to tempt even the most reluctant of footy fans. For $70 per head, you can enjoy unlimited beer, espresso martinis and mimosas as well as a pork roll from the all-day spit roast between 11am and 2pm. The deal also guarantees you a seat for the Grand Final, so you’ll be able to watch the game in comfort.
520 High St, Northcote VIC 3070
One of Brunswick Street’s most-loved venues, The Provincial is a fantastic option to watch the Pies and Eagles square off. Enjoy the wide range of food and drinks on offer from the ever-popular rooftop bar or book a table on the ground floor if you’d like to guarantee your seat in front of one of the many TV screens.
299 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
With festivities running from midday until the early hours of Sunday morning, The Emerson is the place to be for southside footy fans. Treat yourself to the $65 beverage package which is valid from the first bounce to the final siren or consider a $20 food and snack pack to keep hunger at bay. If you’re looking to celebrate (or drown your sorrows) once the game is over, stay around and enjoy live DJ sets as you take in the city views from the rooftop bar.
141-145 Commercial Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
One of Melbourne’s most popular venues on Grand Final day, the Grosvenor has plenty of deals on offer both before and during the game. Happy Hour runs from noon until kick-off, with $8 Aperol spritzes and mimosas on offer, while the $15 burger deal is available until the final siren. There’s also free pots for everyone between first bounce and first score, so make sure you get there in time for kick-off!
10 Brighton Rd, St Kilda East VIC 3183
Footscray’s Victoria Hotel has you sorted for a full day of Grand Final celebrations. Arrive from 9am onwards and reward yourself with egg and bacon brekky rolls, then enjoy sausage rolls and $2 pots between first bounce and first score as the afternoon goes on. Hang around for the DJ set from 6pm onwards for an all-day AFL party.
43 Victoria St, Footscray VIC 3011
Make Grand Final day a family affair at Harley + Rose bar and diner in West Footscray. Adults will enjoy the happy hour specials from 11.30am until first goal, while the kids will be kept happy with all-day $5 pizzas. Watch the game inside or in the front yard (bookings essential).
572 Barkly St, West Footscray VIC 3012
Soak up all the finals atmosphere just around the corner from the ‘G. It’s a first in, best dressed arragement at the Corner – get there from 9am to cement a prime viewing spot in front of one of 14 big screens. A pre-game BBQ will be available to reward early comers, while a DJ will be playing until late for those looking to celebrate a win.
57 Swan St, Richmond VIC 3121
Look for the big red star on Burwood Road to find one of the best Grand Final packages in town. The $75 ‘Siren to Siren’ deal will keep you sorted for the whole game – enjoy a burger and chips and unlimited beer, wine and cider as you watch the game from your choice of two projectors or four TV screens.
329 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122