Gabba to host 2020 AFL Grand Final
The Gabba will host the 2020 AFL Grand Final, in a landmark decision announced by the league on Wednesday.
The showpiece event of the season will be played on Saturday October 24th at Brisbane’s premier AFL venue, set to be played under lights at night with a start time yet to be confirmed.
“It is my pleasure to officially announce the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final will be played at the Gabba.” AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said.
“The Grand Final will be played before a crowd of at least 30,000 people. Adelaide Oval will be the backup venue.
“All the presentations were excellent. All states have their points of strengths and things that were less strong. It wasn't a done deal. It was a difficult decision.”
Optus Stadium was third in line to host the match, McLachlan confirming that WA Premier Mark McGowan’s hard border stance put Perth out of the picture.
“I think football fans will understand. West Australians are absolutely committed to a hard border over there,” he said.
“They weren't a distant third, they have a fantastic venue.”
McLachlan said the McGowan was understanding of the decision the AFL had made.
“He understood. He asked questions about why and we worked through that. He might not have agreed but he understood.”
McLachlan confirmed that home finals for West Coast beyond the first week of finals would be difficult due to the border restrictions currently in place in Western Australia.
“"I think it's difficult. I've spoken to West Coast about that. Week one is possible, the (pre-finals) bye helps. It's more difficult after that with a seven day hard quarantine."
Port Adelaide will be able to play finals in week one, two or three due to more relaxed restrictions, and the Adelaide Oval is the AFL’s back up option for the decider should a second COVID-19 spike occur in the state of Queensland.
Grand Final entertainment is set to be announced in the coming weeks, while the Brownlow Medal will be held as a hybrid event in Brisbane in October.
This will mark the first time the Grand Final has left the state of Victoria and only the second time it has been taken away from the MCG, the 1991 AFL Grand Final played at Waverley Park due to construction work at the premier sporting venue in Australia.
IMAGE: The New Daily.