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Gabba to host AFL Grand Final - but Adelaide Oval is emergency option

Football

The Gabba will host the 2020 AFL grand final on October 24 as the competition’s showpiece event leaves Victoria for the first time – but Adelaide Oval will be the fallback option if pandemic restrictions mean crowds can’t attend the Brisbane clash.

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The AFL announced on Wednesday afternoon that the Saturday match at the Gabba will be a night game before an expected crowd of 30,000, with a start time to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

But the AFL also announced a contingency plan “if the health and safety of the Queensland community is compromised and affects the ability of having a crowd at the Grand Final”.

“Should that occur, the Adelaide Oval in South Australia would be the back-up venue if required,” it said.

SA premier Steven Marshall welcomed the news.

“We stand ready if there’s a requirement to host the Grand Final,” he said.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said Queensland had supported the AFL at a time when it needed it most, after the pandemic wreaked havoc on team movements and match scheduling.

 “This has been a season like no other and I want to thank the Queensland community and the Queensland Government led by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk  for their support and for wholeheartedly welcoming our game to the state,” McLachlan said.

“I want to thank all those Governments – NSW, Queensland, SA and WA – who formally presented and put together proposals for hosting the event.  We thank you and are truly grateful for your support of our game. Both this season and all seasons.  The presentations were outstanding, and the decision extraordinarily difficult.”

As part of the arrangement to relinquish the match in 2020, the AFL has agreed with the Victorian Government to extend the current contractual arrangement with the Victorian Government and the MCG for an additional year to 2058, including the right to host the  AFL Grand Final.

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