AFLW fans have snapped up thousands of seats to round one of the competition on the first day that all women’s matches charged spectators an entry fee, with Richmond’s Punt Road Oval clash a sellout.
Tickets to AFLW games over the first four seasons have been free – save for a handful of matches where tickets were sold at $2 for operational purposes – but this year spectators will pay $10 entry.
Crowds will be charged $10 a seat for this AFLW season. Credit:Rachael Dexter
The Tigers announced that Sunday’s Punt Road Oval clash with the Brisbane Lions had sold out in just over an hour, with a 1300-person capacity in place due to pandemic restrictions.
It’s the first time a senior Richmond side will play at Punt Road in a match for premiership points since 1964.
Nearly half of the 7500 tickets available for Thursday’s season-opener between Carlton and Collingwood at Ikon Park have been snapped up, while 1800 of 3800 tickets for St Kilda’s clash with the Western Bulldogs on Friday at Moorabbin have sold.
Sales for Geelong’s game against North Melbourne on Sunday and Gold Coast’s clash with Melbourne on Saturday have been slower.
Fans can’t purchase entry at grounds on game day. All tickets must be pre-purchased online.
Tickets to the two games in WA – West Coast v Adelaide and Fremantle v GWS – will go on sale on Wednesday.
Collingwood co-captain Steph Chiocci said on Monday that she was not surprised at the demand.
Collingwood co-captain Steph Chiocci.Credit:Simon Schluter
“I had no doubt that people would come to see us play. For me it was a no-brainer to make it a ticketed event. Pretty pumped to be opening the season, ticketed match, Ikon Park where it all began,” Chiocci said.
Thursday night’s season-opener has added spice on several fronts. Aside from the fact it pits the old rivals against each other, Carlton-Collingwood this time around also marks the first time ex-Blues captain Bri Davey faces her former side since being traded to the Pies in 2019. Davey, now Collingwood co-captain alongside Chiocci, missed the sides’ meeting last season through injury.
Chiocci backed Davey’s professionalism to prevail on the night but said she expected the Blues would get stuck into their former teammate.
“I have no doubt it’ll get a little bit lippy and be really physical but good luck taking Bri on I say,” Chiocci said.
Another backdrop to the game is the rematch between Collingwood key defender Stacey Livingstone and Carlton star Tayla Harris. Livingstone blanketed Harris during the Pies’ round two win last year, and in a post-match interview on Channel Seven described Harris as “useless” if stopped in the air.
The day after the game, Harris posted on Twitter that “a lion never loses sleep over the opinions of sheep”, adding that she was looking forward to facing Livingstone again.
However Chiocci and Collingwood coach Steve Symonds played down any sense of lingering spite.
“Stace is in really good form at the moment, looking really fit, so I’m sure if she comes across Tayla at some stage she’ll be looking forward to that challenge, but we’ve moved on,” Symonds said.
As a nominee for Young Australian of the Year, Harris prepared for the game by taking a selfie with Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday.
Chiocci, a teacher at Parkdale Secondary College, took term one off last year to focus on football but was unable to take leave this time around, a situation she said was not ideal.
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