Footy Festivities Kick Off As Fans Flock To SA

South Australian Tourism Commission

Ahead of the first bounce of AFL Gather Round 2024 at Adelaide Oval tonight, the festivities start today across the bridge at the Macca’s Footy Festival which opens to the public this morning inviting families to the heart of the city.

Open from 10am until late from Thursday to Sunday, the Macca’s Footy Festival at Elder Park is expected to welcome more than 100,000 fans – growing on the 81,000 attendees it attracted in Gather Round’s inaugural year.

Free activities and entertainment for all ages are on offer – including player appearances, some of South Australia’s best local vendors, and live entertainment. The popular 150m-long zip line over the River Torrens returns after more than 1,700 rides were enjoyed last year.

New offerings include upgraded big screens for fans to watch all the live action from AFL Gather Round matches, new fan engagement activations, and a Battle of the Bands competition showcasing local talent.

It comes as tourism and hospitality operators are gearing up for four massive days welcoming footy fans from across the state, country, and world.

Latest AFL ticketing data shows almost 40 per cent (38%) of ticket holders have been buyers from out of state – up on the 32 per cent of sales from outside South Australia last year. Footy fans from all Australian states and territories have secured tickets, along with some of the state’s key international markets such as USA, UK, Canada, China, Germany, and Singapore.

The inaugural AFL Gather Round in 2023 contributed more than $83 million to the South Australian economy, attracting more than 40,000 interstate visitors.

Minister for Tourism, Zoe Bettison said she can feel the footy energy right across South Australia as visitors from across the state, country and world are welcomed for four epic days of AFL Gather Round 2024.

“The Macca’s Footy Festival in Elder Park is another element of this great event that will inspire families, footy fans, and festivalgoers to linger longer before and after the matches – with or without a ticket,” Minister Bettison said.

“We have delivered on bringing fans and operators a bigger and better footy festival, which will help build on the $83 million that was pumped into our state’s economy during the inaugural event.

The response has been overwhelming from both consumers and industry about just how great it is to have AFL Gather Round in South Australia, and I have no doubt our hotels, restaurant, pubs, and bars across our city and regions will be feeling the full benefits of Gather Round beyond the final goal.”

/Public Release. View in full here.