Closed carparks add to finals challenges

·2-min read

Officials are bracing for a logistical nightmare ahead of Sydney's Saturday night finals double-header, with close to 1000 parking spots likely to be closed off due to recent rain and government legislation.

The AFL and NRL finals at the SCG and the adjacent Allianz Stadium loom as the biggest back-to-back events in Sydney since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with close to 90,000 fans set to descend on the Moore Park precinct.

The night marks the first time major NRL and AFL matches have been played in close proximity since 2018, with Allianz Stadium only reopening earlier this month.

But, causing great concern for fans, situations have changed significantly since then.

Some 650 spaces on the grass fields opposite the SCG and Allianz Stadium became closed off in March, under the Greater Sydney Parklands Trust Act 2022.

The Lower Kippax section - closest to Allianz Stadium - is also currently shut off due to Sydney's wet weather, ruling out another 300 spots for cars.

If it were to remain closed, it would leave only the Sydney Showground field, which takes some 900 cars, open for the double-header.

"Event parking will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis," a Greater Sydney Parklands spokesperson said.

"The area currently reserved for parking on the grass at Moore Park has been significantly impacted by recent rain and parking for major events.

"As a result, the Lower Kippax section of Moore Park is currently closed.

"With more rain forecast for this week, further assessments will be carried out to ensure the safety of all Moore Park visitors.

"We continue to work with other government and non-government agencies to plan for large events at Moore Park to ensure they run as smoothly as possible."

The Entertainment Quarter carpark near Fox Studios is also operating at limited capacity, with one level of the 2000-spot multi-storey currently leased out by hyper karting.

NRL fans are likely to be those to suffer, with Greater Sydney Parklands confirming they would operate on a first-in, first-serve basis.

FIrst bounce for the AFL preliminary final between Sydney and Collingwood is 4:45pm, with the NRL pushing back kick off for Cronulla and South Sydney to 8pm to allow for a gap between matches.

Officials have, however, pointed to the fact Sydney's light rail is now operating, as opposed to when the two grounds last hosted events at the same time.

In turn, fans have been urged to use public transport .

The 48,000 at the SCG and 42,000 at Allianz Stadium will pale in comparison to when 123,000 packed into Moore Park in 1965 for a motor show, NSWRL grand final and Shute Shield rugby union match on the same day.