Bulldogs keen to host WAFL Grand Final
South Fremantle CEO Cameron Britt believes Fremantle Oval is capable of hosting the 2020 WAFL Grand Final, should Optus Stadium be ruled out as the venue for this year’s decider.
Debate continues over the financial viability of Perth’s premier sporting venue for the WA Football Commission, who are exploring options for alternative grounds to host this year’s Grand Final, which is set down for Sunday October 4th.
Britt is one of two WAFL CEO’s part of a WAFC working group along with East Perth counterpart Dean Turner, telling Sports Drive on Tuesday that several options are being considered.
“We’re reviewing the appropriate models for the 2020 WAFL Grand Final, we need to look at the economic rationale for which venue probably stacks up,” he said.
“We all love Optus Stadium, it’s the home of footy in WA. But it may not be the best home for WAFL footy and the 2020 Grand Final.”
Britt confirmed that three WAFL venues are being considered as alternate options for the biggest day on the WA footy calendar.
“There is a unique opportunity to look at how can we possibly keep football revenue within the football industry this year. To that end we are looking at three venues, Arena Joondalup, Leederville and Fremantle Oval for a possible Grand Final venue,” he said.
“I think crowds are a really important consideration. October 4 is the Grand Final date, but whether we are still in phase four or have moved to phase five by that date, none of us can answer that. If it’s still phase four that means reduced crowd sizes.”
Britt, who took over as CEO of the Bulldogs in November last year said Fremantle Oval would be a perfect choice to host Grand Finals for all three grades.
“We’d love to have the Grand Final here. Fremantle is a really vibrant community, it’s had a pretty tough time of it through covid. There’s a really strong sentiment to recover and rebound from COVID-19 and the various lockdowns,” he said.
“I think the City of Fremantle are particularly keen to attract an event and really activate the city. I think what works beautifully here is that we have such a historic ground in the middle of the city, but we also have so many great venues and eateries and options for families and young people.
“Looking beyond the ground, it’s a whole of a precinct or whole of a city view. We want it to become an event for the whole of Fremantle.”
A decision is set to be made in the coming weeks, with Britt anticipating a decision before the end of the home and away season.
“We need to move very swiftly on a decision. As the ladder further forms and positions on that ladder start to shore up in a short season, choosing a WAFL venue that is not Optus Stadium is topical and perhaps even controversial,” he said.
“I think there’s a requirement to move quite quickly. I don’t think it will be confirmed this week, but certainly next week we should have an announcement on a venue, and that’s really important.”
The Bulldogs currently sit on top of the ladder undefeated, having lost the 2019 WAFL Grand Final to Subiaco.
IMAGE: Les Everett/The Footy Almanac.