“Football and crowds are back in South Australia,” Premier Steven Marshall announced today. “It’s a good reward for people in South Australia who have done the right thing.”
Marshall said South Australia would become the first state to allow crowds at a major sporting event as part of the staged lifting of pandemic restrictions.
Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the state’s transition committee had met today and decided that the Showdown would have a crowd of 2000 people in the general area and another 240 people in private rooms.
“The Adelaide Oval has a comprehensive plan that effectively and safely manages the movement of people throughout the stadium,” Stevens said.
“It’s not just a free-for-all for 2000 people to mingle and move together.
“I know they have a plan in place that will separate these groups substantially.”
Port Adelaide Football Club said that the split of tickets would be 1475 for Port Adelaide members, 475 to Adelaide Football Club members and the remaining 50 for Adelaide Oval members.
Marshall said further detail about the lifting of restrictions would be provided following Friday’s meeting of the State Government transition committee.
The transition committee’s decision comes after up to 7000 people attended a Black Lives Matter protest in Adelaide on the weekend.
Earlier today AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said the league had not yet received authorisation to have crowds back in venues for the competition’s return this week, but the AFL was ready if that changes.
It comes despite reports the Queensland government had given the green light for the Gabba and Metricon Stadium to be at 25 per cent capacity for games as soon as this weekend.
GWS have also raised the prospect of hosting corporate supporters at their round-two match against North Melbourne at Giants Stadium on Sunday.
McLachlan told SEN on Tuesday morning his understanding is that, as things stand, no crowds are allowed to attend matches in Queensland or NSW this week.
“I think there will be announcements this week but as we sit here … my understanding is there’s not an authorisation in Queensland and there’s not an authorisation in NSW,” McLachlan said.
“That may change. There are discussions going on all the time and we’re ready if it changes.
“But right here, right now there is not an authorisation that I’m aware of.”
Earlier, Gold Coast chairman Tony Cochrane confirmed the club was pushing for a “test crowd” of up to 1000 people at Saturday’s clash with West Coast.
Cochrane said the Suns had submitted a detailed plan to the Queensland government and expected an answer on Tuesday.
The Queensland government is still considering the proposal.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday said there would be no crowds at AFL matches in his state “for the foreseeable future” as it attempts to control the COVID-19 spread.
However, AFL coaches Nathan Buckley and Rhyce Shaw had no issue with interstate rivals being allowed to have spectators attend their home matches before Victorian-based clubs.
“I’m not going to be throwing the toys out of the cot about crowds in other states and potentially not in ours,” Collingwood coach Buckley said.
“We’re given the privilege of continuing our work and our profession off the back of a social licence.
“There’s a price to pay for us in our personal lives… but we understand that we’ve worked with governments to find these opportunities.
“Different state governments will have different ideas on how they’re going to open their societies up, which includes crowds for us.”
North Melbourne coach Shaw echoed Buckley’s sentiments.
“I think any opportunity we can get to get crowds at a game, we must take that opportunity,” Shaw said.
“Whether that’s at GWS for instance this week – I think they’ve talked about 350 people possibly going to the game – fantastic.”
That won’t happen in Victoria any time soon, with Andrews declaring his government would take a cautious approach as it continues to follow advice from medical experts.
“As soon as we can have crowds back at the footy, as soon as we can have crowds back for a multitude of purposes, we will,” the premier said.
“But we’ve got to be cautious about this.
“People will be focused on the fact footy’s back, that’s absolutely fantastic news, we’re not going to be able to go to games for a period of time.
“Let’s be guided by the experts.”
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