Fans arrive for Melbourne Demons vs Western Bulldogs AFL grand final

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Thousands of footy die-hards have arrived at Optus Stadium for the first ever AFL grand final in Perth.

The Western Australian capital has been blanketed in a sea of blue, red and white ahead of the end of season showdown between Melbourne Demons and Western Bulldogs.  

Fans have shown their true colours as they make their way to Optus Stadium, which will be packed with a sell-out crowd of 60,000 by the first bounce at 7.15pm AEST.

Players from both clubs have also arrived at the ground for their last minute preparations. 

Meanwhile, eagled-eyed viewers have mercifully mocked broadcaster Channel Seven over a cross-code mix-up.

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Channel Seven accidentally called the Demons Melbourne Storm, the city’s club in the rival NRL code in emails promoting the game. 

Defending NRL premiers Storm were also in action on Saturday night in their preliminary final against Penrith Panthers before going down 10-6.

‘Oops. Hey does Melbourne Storm know they’re in the AFL grand final? I know you guys are *good*,’ one fan tweeted.

Another fan quipped ‘I thought it was going to be a tight #AFLGF but I think the Bulldogs’ AFL experience will be too much for the Storm to overcome.

AFL fans have also gathered in Melbourne to watch the big game, despite warnings from health officials to stay home after Victoria recorded 847, its highest ever daily infection spike during the pandemic.

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It’s the second time in history the AFL grand final has been played outside of Melbourne due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The Demons hope to break a 57-year premiership drought while the Western Bulldogs hope to lift the trophy for a second time since 2016. 

The code has also been rocked by the sudden death of AFL legend Greg Parke, who played for both grand final sides. 

The Demons go into the grand final as red hot favourites, priced at $1.62 by Sportsbet.

AFL boss Gil McLachlan is delighted with how Perth has rallied around the grand final.

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‘There’s a huge energy and demand that I took for granted,’ McLachlan told 6PR radio on Friday.

‘What’s struck me is how appreciative West Australians are. There’s a respect and an empathy for the loss the Victorians are feeling.

‘We might have a silver lining for West Australians, where there’ll be more big games coming to this town.

‘I’m confident about that. We know this is a football town.’  

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