Fremantle businesses predict "shades of the America's Cup" if the Dockers win next weekend's AFL premiership, with jubilant fans already close to drinking the harbour town's pubs dry during Saturday's preliminary final.
Some venues were reviewing their grand final preparations after a massive crowd got through the Sail and Anchor's six kegs of special purple Freo Victory lager within an hour of the Dockers and Sydney Swans bounce-down.
"It was amazing, so amazing that I stayed back five hours after my shift finished just to serve on the bar," venue manager Peter Bottcher said before opening again yesterday.
"It was incredible.
"The crowd was jam-packed and reaching for the roof every time there was a goal.
"At the bar this morning, we had half a dozen taps out. We sold everything."
Moondyne Joe's manager Chris Peos said his pub also ran close to dry with some lines of beer running out after a sea of Dockers fans descended on the bar.
Plans were under way to roster on more staff for the big game and double-check supplies.
Mr Peos said if Saturday's partying was anything to go by, a grand final win was likely to spark celebrations akin to the legendary 1983 yacht race that catapulted Fremantle into a frenzy.
"It will be mayhem," he said. "I think every venue will be really full if they win it."
His comments came as many fans returned to Fremantle's cappuccino strip yesterday.
Slow to start and probably recovering from a night of one too many toasts, by midday they had begun to emerge wearing the team colours and turning the town's main drag into an informal parade of support.
Those without official merchandise pulled whatever was purple out of their wardrobe - shoes, umbrellas or glasses.
Even pet pooches donned the traditional colour of royalty and some cars were decorated with club flags. Purple remnants of the previous night's celebrations were still on the pavement and street.
Shopfronts along South Terrace seemed to suggest there could be a shortage in stocks of purple balloons in WA.
Inside historic Fremantle Markets, Cotton Pickin owner Phillip Dawson was selling football merchandise like hot cakes.
He said, luckily, he was prepared - stocking up weeks ago after he "had a feeling" that a shot at the flag could be around the corner.
A victory in the grand final would create an atmosphere even beyond what he experienced when he started his business amid the America's Cup celebrations, Mr Dawson said, as well as when West Coast won their flags."It's Dockermania, I ain't joking," he said. "The Eagles were big, but this is bigger … and they haven't even won yet."
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@andrewjfgreen lethal has enough $$$ anyway. Would love to know what he does. #biggestchin #anvil
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