NSW stadiums move to 100% of seated capacity as Victoria rises to 75%
NSW has announced a further easing of Covid-19 restrictions, with stadiums able to be filled to 100% of their seated capacity from Monday, meanwhile Victoria has increased to 75% and set a new crowd record.
The announcement by Premier Gladys Berejiklian essentially returns all-seater stadiums back to normal, with the likes of Stadium Australia, SCG and Bankwest Stadium able to be filled to capacity from March 29.
For areas where there is no fixed seating, such as hills and designated standing room, the one person per 2 square metres rule will still apply, as it does at the moment. The new rules will apply for both outdoor and indoor venues.
Stadiums in New South Wales have been operating at 75% of their seated capacity, which has included the opening three rounds of the NRL season.
Restrictions in Victoria have further eased, with stadiums now able to accommodate 75% of their capacity, meaning the MCG can cater for up to 75,000 spectators. This was an increase of 25% that was in place since the start of the AFL season.
The first event to take advantage of the increased capacity was Thursday night’s AFL round 2 match between Carlton and Collingwood at the MCG, with 51,723 fans in attendance.
51,723.— Melbourne Cricket Ground (@MCG) March 26, 2021
The largest crowd in the Southern Hemisphere since COVID started.
📸 Dylan Burns/ AFL Photos via Getty Images pic.twitter.com/Aguy7vphWS
The crowd is the biggest in Australia (and the southern hemisphere) since the beginning of the Covid pandemic – 2505 more than the season-opener seven days earlier at the same venue between Richmond and Carlton.
The only crowds bigger around the world were for the first two T20 Internationals between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium, where attendances of 67,200 and 66,352 were reported. It was announced on March 18 that the three remaining games would be played behind closed doors due to the increasing number of Covid cases in Ahmedabad.
Although a new record, many saw it as slightly disappointing for game between the long-time rivals, given it was more than 23,000 below the permitted capacity. A move to electronic mobile-only tickets is a potential reason, while Yarra Park was also closed, meaning most fans had to catch public transport to the game.
The Victorian Government also imposed new rules for round 2 of the AFL season, whereby all fans must download an app and check in by scanning a QR code before entering the stadium, despite also having to scan in with their ticket.
The new 75% capacity restriction extends to all stadiums in Victoria, meaning Marvel stadium can now hold 43,440, GMHBA Stadium 27,819 and Mars Stadium 8,335.
A breakdown of the ticketing allocation for AFL games from round 2 is as follows:
Club Members/General Public – 41,300
MCC Members – 17,000
AFL Members – 15,000
Corporate – 1,500
Total – 75,000
Club Members/General Public – 33,640
AFL Members – 4,500
Medallion Club – 4,500
Corporate – 800
Total – 40,800
Elsewhere around the country, Western Australia and South Australia remain at 75% of capacity, while Queensland continues with no restrictions in place. With the current restrictions, Stadium Australia can host the biggest crowds in the country (83,500), followed by the MCG (75,000).