The grand final parade has begun in Melbourne, with a leg of the festivities taking place by boat along the Yarra River for the first time.
Saturday’s clash between the Swans and the Cats at the MCG will be the first premiership match held in the city since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.
Players and coaches from both teams have travelled by boat along the Yarra, to disembark at Birrarung Marr.
They will then get on a fleet of utes and travel over the William Barak Bridge and make their way through parkland to Gate 3 of the MCG.
It’s estimated up to 250,000 people will take part in today’s events.
Among those in Melbourne this morning is the divided Chapman family.
Sydney Swans fan Matt is convinced his team will take out the win.
His seven-year-old son, Geelong Cats fan Rafa, is equally convinced his team will win.
The family bought tickets to the grand final six weeks ago.
“To have both our teams in the game is pretty special,” Mr Chapman said.
He said it was great to have the grand final parade and the game back in Melbourne.
“We’re looking forward to the day and looking forward to tomorrow’s game,” Mr Chapman said.
The grand final festivities come as the AFL grapples with fresh allegations of racism.
A review by the Hawthorn Football Club has unearthed accusations that key figures at the club intimidated and separated young First Nations players from their families.
The AFL has committed to an external investigation into the allegations.