Optus Stadium sets biggest Australian sports crowd since Covid
With Covid restrictions easing to allow 100% capacity, 54,159 fans attended Friday’s AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and Collingwood at Optus Stadium, setting a new record.
The attendance figure is not only the largest sports crowd in Australia since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, but also the largest in the southern hemisphere. It’s also the largest AFL crowd recorded since the 2019 Grand Final at the MCG.
Only two T20 International matches in India have recorded larger attendances in the world, with crowds of 67,200 and 66,352 reported at Narendra Modi Stadium last month – the three remaining matches in the series were played behind closed doors due to a spike in cases.
Restrictions were eased in Western Australia on Monday to allow its stadiums to be filled to full capacity, including up to 60,000 at Optus Stadium. The Eagles defeated the Magpies 103-76 in tonight’s round 5 clash.
Also on Friday night in Perth, 11,485 spectators attended RAC Arena for the NBL match between the Perth Wildcats and Illawarra Hawks - the highest crowd of the NBL21 season to-date.
The state joins Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT in allowing 100% crowds at stadiums. Current restrictions mean Stadium Australia in Sydney can host the biggest crowd of any venue at the moment (83,500).
Victoria is currently allowing 75%, meaning up to 75,000 fans can fill the MCG, however the largest crowd that has attended a game in Melbourne has been 51,723 for Carlton v Collingwood on March 25.
The AFL is running a ticketing trial this weekend at two games in Melbourne whereby all ticket holders will be required to submit their contact details when pre-purchasing tickets. If successful, the Victorian Government is expected to permit 100% capacity from round 6, meaning 90,000+ will be able to attend the ANZAC Day blockbuster at the MCG.