It’s a double-whammy for Victorian businesses this weekend, with school holidays and the AFL grand final providing a major cash boost.
NAB data reveals Victorians are set to spend more than $294 million in restaurants and pubs this week – a 38 per cent increase from 2019 - as the AFL decider returns to Australia’s sporting capital for the first time since the pandemic.
Bars and pubs in the MCG precinct are the big winners, with businesses in Cremorne, Richmond and East Melbourne looking forward to receiving more than 45 per cent of the spend across the grand final weekend.
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NAB executive for business metro Michael Saadie said businesses across the state had done it tough over the past few years, so it would be a welcome boost.
“I think I can speak for most of Victoria when I say we’re thrilled to see the grand final return to the MCG,” Saadie said.
“This is fantastic news for small businesses in the area who are preparing for a bumper few days’ trade.
“It’s great to see family, friends and loved ones spending time together in the community after watching the game from the couch over the past few years. Big events are back, and the city is buzzing.”
Business owners are excited for the boost.
Owner of Richmond pub The Spread Eagle Hotel, Anthony Foster, said the grand final weekend was one of the busiest trading periods of the year.
“Fans and footy lovers are gearing up for arguably the biggest sporting day in the calendar,” Foster said.
“With more than 100,000 football supporters expected to watch from the MCG for the first time since 2019, this will be one to remember.
“We’ve had a great run. Most of the pubs in the area have been operating at capacity during the final rounds.
“We’re happy to be back – we’ve seen crazy demand. This year’s been bigger than ever.”