AFL Grand Final move to Perth confirmed with no end in sight for the coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne
AFL Grand Final move to Perth confirmed with no end in sight for Melbourne coronavirus outbreak – but the MCG won’t lose its biggest game for nothing
- An announcement is expected to be made early this week that Perth will host the final
- Perth can also host the Brownlow Medal ceremony and a Grand Final parade
- The MCG has one more year to host the AFL Grand Final until 2059
- Victoria recorded 76 more Covid-19 cases on Tuesday as outbreak worsens
The move from the AFL Grand Final to Perth has been confirmed as Melbourne continues to battle a coronavirus outbreak, with 76 new cases on Tuesday.
The announcement is expected to be made Tuesday, the same day Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews is likely to extend the city’s lockdown.
Melbourne loses Australia’s biggest annual sporting event for the second year in a row, having been held in Brisbane during the city’s second wave last year.
But the MCG, which always hosts the grand finale, won’t walk away empty-handed after being denied a second year.
The AFL Grand Final moves to Perth for next month’s highly anticipated event as Melbourne struggles to contain the latest Covid-19 outbreak (pictured are Richmond fans celebrating at last year’s AFL Grand Final)
Another year has been promised to host the football final, as well as other matches to be held at the stadium in the coming years, the Herald Sun reported.
As part of the deal, more regional AFL games will also be held in Victoria.
The final, which kicks off in the evening on September 25, will take place at Perth’s Optus Stadium – the event’s first year of running.
The new stadium, which opened in January 2018, has a capacity of 60,000 people, making it one of the largest grounds in Australia.
The MCG’s contract to host the Grand Final was extended to 2058 last year and is now being extended for another year to 2059.
The Brownlow Medal is also expected to be awarded in Perth, possibly on the Sunday before the season decider, with a Grand Final parade also at stake for the Western Australian capital.
The AFL will take a week off before the finals to allow teams to attend community events after the quarantine.
The final, which kicks off on the evening of September 25, is now likely to take place at Perth’s Optus Stadium (pictured) – the venue’s first year hosting the event
Geelong and Melbourne have already moved to Perth after their qualifications.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan previously said his focus has been to have as many people in the stands as possible and Optus Stadium has a greater capacity than other Covid-safe rivals such as the Adelaide Oval.
The 2020 Grand Final was held at Brisbane’s Gabba Stadium during Melbourne’s second wave with 29,707 fans.
While WA has remained largely Covid-free in 2021, Victoria is in the midst of another outbreak that has seen Melbourne shut down for the sixth time.
A further 76 cases were registered in the state on Tuesday, 45 of which were related to known infections.
Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said on Sunday that the lockdown will not end on September 2.
The state’s outbreak has grown to 805 active virus cases, and up to 49 of Victoria’s new cases may have been contagious while in the community.
Perth’s Optus Stadium has a seating capacity of 60,000 and is expected to be announced as the official host of the footy final this week