The last Saturday in September

4 min

The AFL ‘Granny’. It’s one of the biggest sporting events in Australia, drawing in one hundred thousand spectators to the MCG and millions more viewing live from home, pubs and clubs both here and overseas. It’s also the biggest energy consumption day of the year for one of the world’s largest stadiums.

Whoever you barrack for, the last Saturday in September is marked in the calendar long in advance (doubly so if you’re a Victorian, due to the public holiday the day before!). Footy mania grips the country – even for those still exhausted from the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s preliminary final – with desperate fans hitting up distant relatives and messaging old school friends on social media, doing anything they can to secure their Grand Final spot in Melbourne’s famous coliseum: the MCG.

But to ensure the big show goes off without a hitch, the G (as it’s colloquially known) requires a lot of power – even though the nervous energy of players and fans alone can be a potent force! The stadium, which is the tenth largest in the world and has the rights to the AFL Grand Final until 2057, consumes approximately 1.65M kWh of electricity during the month of September alone, which is on par with the monthly energy demand of 4,000 Victorian homes.

The MCG uses an IoT portal called the Utility Monitoring Visualisation System (UMVS), in partnership with energy management experts AZZO, which is cloud hosted and enables the live tracking of electricity, water and gas consumption during events. This provides the stadium’s operations team with a holistic view of energy usage throughout the ground, helping them to proactively manage it when the pressure is on during the Grand Final.

The UMVS ensures that a full capacity stadium on 28 September (which is expected to set an attendance record for the code) is kept online through periods of peak demand during the game. This includes demand from its multiple electronic screens and scoreboards (and nearly 3,000 TV screens around the stadium) and digital advertising signage, sound technology, lights and light towers, and heating (all those pies) and cooling (all that beer).

You can see the massive game time electricity spike during last year’s Grand Final below:

AEMO would like to wish both Richmond Tigers and Greater Western Sydney Giants the very best of luck this Saturday and we hope that both sets of supporters have a safe and memorable day.

Find out more about innovative energy usage at a smaller scale footy oval and, for all the latest newsinsights and analysis from the Australian energy industry, subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter and download the new Energy Live app on Apple and Android.

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