Melbourne expects up to 20,000 West Coast Eagles fans to flood the city for Saturday’s AFL grand final.
This will be the first year Melbourne’s traditional Friday CBD grand final parade has been held on a public holiday, which has been controversial among small businesses.
“What the public holiday does this year is allow people outside the CBD to come in and enjoy what is a wonderful day,” AFL operations general manager Travis Auld told reporters on Monday.
“We’ll also welcome 20,000 West Australians into our city.
“They’ll come for a day of footy and stay for three, four days of good fun.”
Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan played down fears the CBD would be quiet on Friday thanks to the public holiday.
“You’re going to have thousands and thousands of people who have never before had the opportunity to come into the city and watch the grand final parade,” she said.