THE GRAND Final Parade will return to the streets of Melbourne this year in a traditional format with players and coaches riding in cars, after last year's shake-up saw the competing teams travel down the Yarra River on boats.
The AFL has confirmed plans for the 2023 Toyota AFL Grand Final parade, which will include a new twist as the Grand Final teams start their route at a second fan site at Melbourne Park Oval before making their way to the MCG Yarra Park Precinct.
The changes are designed to bring fans and players closer together, the League said, with a new 360-degree stage at Melbourne Park Oval forming the centrepiece of the starting live site.
The Grand Final teams will then follow the banks of the Yarra River down to Birrarung Marr, over the pedestrian bridge and into Yarra Park before finishing at the AFL’s free Footy Festival.
The League expected an extra 10,000 to 15,000 fans would have the opportunity to enjoy the parade this year after a new format in 2022 that followed back-to-back Grand Finals outside Melbourne.
"The boats had some great elements, but ultimately, we wanted to bring the fans and players closer together," AFL EGM Customer and Commercial Kylie Rogers said.
"Our goal is to deliver a better viewing and overall event experience for fans, families, and passers-by who are out and about enjoying the Grand Final public holiday.
"The extra live site at Melbourne Park Oval allows another 10,000 -15,000 fans greater access to take part in the parade."
Rogers said the Parade, which will begin at 10.30am AEST, was an iconic part of Grand Final week in Melbourne.
The AFL Footy Festival will run from Wednesday to Saturday during Grand Final week.