The AFL Grand Final WON’T be hosted in Melbourne for the first time in history as rugby league heartland wins bid to hold the event – and it will be played at NIGHT in front of 30,000 fans
It’s understood the Gabba will hold the grand final, with a capped crowd of about 30,000 set to attend on October 24.
Melbourne Cricket Ground has hosted the AFL Grand Final since 1897, but game has been moved due to the city’s second COVID-19 wave.
In another tradition-breaking change, the match is expected to be played at night.
The grand final is traditionally held on the last Saturday of September in front of 100,000 fans at the MCG, which has hosting rights until at least 2057.
It’s understood the Gabba in Brisbane (pictured) will hold the grand final, with a capped crowd of about 30,000 set to attend on October 24
The AFL Commission made their final decision on the new venue during a meeting on Tuesday. They are set to announce it publicly on Wednesday.
The commission considered bids from Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide to host the grand final, which is regarded one of the biggest events on the Australian sporting calendar.
The AFL premiership trophy was spotted at Melbourne Airport being loaded onto a Queensland-bound flight on Tuesday.
AFL chief executive Gil McLachlan was tight-lipped when pressed for more details while boarding a plane for the Gold Coast from Melbourne.
‘There is a recommendation to the commission that’s been accepted,’ McLachlan told reporters.
‘But there’s stuff we’re working through clearly today with the Victorian government and the relevant bodies and hopefully we get there.
‘We’re looking forward to completing it tonight or in the morning and making an announcement tomorrow.’
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick said he’s ‘more than happy’ for Queensland to have hosting rights.
‘I think Team Queensland for mine. We love it up here. They’ve embraced us. We’re very fortunate to be up here playing great footy in this great state,’ he said.
The AFL grand final is traditionally held on the last Saturday of September in front of 100,000 fans at the MCG (pictured) which has hosting rights until at least 2057
The AFL Commission made their final decision on the new venue during a meeting on Tuesday. They are set to announce it publicly on Wednesday. Pictured: Marlion Pickett of the Tigers after winning the 2019 AFL Grand Final
‘They’ve certainly got my vote. And I think it’s incredible for the growth of the game.
‘To sit there and look at the state and the footy frenzy we’re in at the moment, from my point of view taking Richmond out of it, I’d be more than happy for the grand final to be played here.’
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government ‘made a very comprehensive pitch.
‘We know when the AFL first floated the idea of a hub, we welcomed that idea and worked with the Chief Health Officer to make that happen. Since then we have hosted nearly the entire AFL competition,’ she said.
‘If Queensland is fortunate [enough to host the grand final], we know that it is just this once and it is to look after the AFL whilst Victoria is going through a very difficult time.’