Footy fans at Marvel Stadium this year will have to stay put in their seats when crowds return to Melbourne for the first time in over a year.

COVID-Safe rules introduced in a bid to help spectators socially distance include restrictions on where and how fans are permitted to cheer on their teams.

Patrons are being told that they will need to stay in their designated seats during the game and will not be permitted to stand either on or at their seats to celebrate or remonstrate their team.

Fans will only be allowed out of their seat to use bathroom facilities, parent rooms, prayer or sensory rooms, visit food and drink venues or leave the stadium.

There will also be restrictions on the size of bags that punters will be allowed to bring into grounds, with bags no bigger than A4 size allowed in the stadium.

Communal water fountains will also be turned off with all food and drink to be consumed at seats.

However, despite the restrictive rules at Marvel Stadium, fans at the MCG will be allowed more freedom, with fans at that stadium permitted to leave their seats and stand during the game.

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AFL Fans’ Association President Cheryl Critchley told the Herald Sun that it is going to be hard for passionate fans to stay seated.

“Many instinctively stand up after a goal, or during quarter and half time breaks to stretch their legs,” Ms Critchley told the Herald Sun.

The AFL season gets underway at the MCG this Thursday night with the traditional blockbuster between Richmond and Carlton. The first game at Marvel Stadium will take place on Saturday night between Essendon and Hawthorn.

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