The AFL have settled on Saturday 24 October for this year’s grand final but the location of where it will be played out still remains a mystery.
The AFL’s decision to hold it on 24 October is to avoid a clash with NRL’s grand final on 25 October and sets up a huge sporting weekend across the country.
Due to Melbourne’s ongoing battle with COVID-19 other states have been bidding to host the finals series on their home grounds.
South Australia joined the race last night by bidding Adelaide Oval as the host. The current capacity at the oval is just over 10,000 with hopes to raise the capacity to 25,000 in time for finals. Clubs will not be required to quarantine because of hub locations if the finals go ahead in SA.
Perth has already bid Optus Stadium with the Western Australian Government set to reduce COVID-19 restrictions around the time of the grand final.
WA Premier Mark McGowan has been questioned as to whether the restrictions will be removed to allow for a full capacity at the stadium.
“We’re getting health advice around that and we’ll get back to them with that health advice shortly. But clearly we’re not going to compromise our safety and security requirements,” he said.
Players and officials travelling to WA for any games will need to quarantine for 14 days and will not be allowed to come into contact with members of the public during that time.
The ground is said to be in great form and hosted the biggest crowd to date of 27,000 on Sunday night for the West Coast – GWS game.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has bid hosting the grand final at the Gabba and the Brownlow Medal on the Gold Coast. Queensland looks to be in the lead to host the GF with James Warburton, the Channel 7 boss, saying it would make sense for the game to be played in the evening.
“I would’ve thought it would be around heat – having to play later in the day – but it’s the AFL’s decision and we’ll support them with whatever they need to do,” Warburton said.
With the rotation of hubs, 15 out of the 18 teams are said to be located on the Sunshine Coast by the time season ends with the practicality argument working in Queensland’s favour.
When bidding to the AFL, Queensland expressed hopes that the Gabba will be at 75 percent capacity or slightly more than 30,000 spectators.
NSW will be the last state to make their bid today. The crowd capacity at ANZ Stadium is unclear at the moment but teams and officials won’t need to quarantine if they are to play there.
The Victorian Government have a contract with the AFL to host the grand final at the MCG until 2057. Pitches from all the states are said to conclude today with the AFL and the Victorian Government to be involved in the decision of which state will get hosting rights this year.
Photo: Optus Stadium by Tama Leaver available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.