Whether you’re a Swan, a Giant, a Rooster or a Shark – if you’re heading to footy finals this Saturday, you may want to take advantage of extra public transport services because 80,000 punters are expected to converge on Moore Park and Sydney Olympic Park for game day.
It’s Sydney Swans vs. GWS Giants from 4.20pm at the SCG in the AFL Elimination final, then Roosters vs. Sharks at Allianz Stadium from 7.40pm. But the biggest clash of all might be when fans of both codes flood the precinct at around 7pm.
“With so many people going to Moore Park, limited parking available and heavy traffic in the area, public transport is the best way to travel,” a Transport Management Centre spokesperson said in a statement.
From 1.35pm, AFL fans can catch a shuttle bus direct to Moore Park from Central or Circular Quay; NRL fans can take advantage of the same special services from 6pm.
There will be return shuttles too, between 6pm and 8.05pm, and 9.30pm and 11.15pm, after the respective final sirens.
An Opal card will get you on the bus if you’re an AFL fan, but NRL tickets include travel in the price – for trains as well.
That said, a number of train stations will be affected by pre-planned trackwork over the weekend, including the T1 Western Line (between Blacktown and Emu Plains), T4 Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra Line (between Central and Bondi Junction) and Blue Mountains Line (between Blacktown and Lithgow) – there will be replacement buses but forward planning is advised. (This goes for Panthers and Warriors fans headed to the Elimination Final at ANZ Stadium at 5.30pm too.)
Roads around Moore Park are likely to be clogged, with “significant delays” expected for the Eastern Distributor, Anzac Parade, Oxford Street, Flinders Street, South Dowling Street, Cleveland Street, Dacey Avenue, Lang Road and Moore Park Road, according to Transport NSW.
Parking will be a problem too, with already limited spots further restricted by additional clearways from 1pm until midnight.
If you do drive, “aim to arrive early, carpool if you can and check the signs as vehicles left in special-event clearways will be towed and a fee applies,” the TMC spokesperson said.
Basically, Transport NSW advises using its journey-planning tool, take the 25 to 35 minute walk from Central to Moore Park (via Devonshire Street or Foveaux Street and the Albert “Tibby” Cotter Walkway) or drive at your own peril – just leave plenty of time and keep an eye on Live Traffic NSW for traffic updates.
And, if you're travelling on Sunday, there will also be issues because of the marathon. Here's more details.