Fans have started to arrive at The Gabba for the AFL Grand Final due to severe thunderstorms in Queensland’s capital.
The clash between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats could be delayed as wild weather bombarded Australia’s east coast on Saturday night.
Hours before the first bounce at 7:30 p.m., The Gabba – which is hosting the final this year due to Victoria’s deadly second wave of coronavirus – was already inundated with torrential rain.
Avid AFL enthusiasts began arriving at the Brisbane site from 5pm in preparation for the historic event.
The end of the season on Saturday marks the first time that the grand final will be played outside of Victoria.
A Richmond Tigers fan in a black face mask and team jersey proudly holds up her scarf for the AFL Grand Final
A young Geelong Cats fan waves a flag for her team when she arrives at The Gabba on a wet Saturday night in Brisbane
A Richmond Tigers fan in yellow and black face paint and a top hat poses for the end-of-season camera
Two Geelong Cats fans dressed in rain ponchos over their blue and white stripped sweaters for the occasion
A man smiles as he shows off his tiger makeup ahead of Saturday’s AFL Grand Final in Queensland
A Geelong fan in blue face paint poses for the grand final in Brisbane, Queensland on Saturday
Tiger fans adorned their faces with black and yellow paint before the game, while Cats supporters proudly waved blue and white flags.
Some savvy Grand Final participants were dressed for the bad weather and chose to wear a rain poncho over their team’s equipment.
Others chose to follow health recommendations during the coronavirus pandemic by wearing a face mask.
Dustin Martin, star of Richmond Tigers, arrives at The Gabba on Saturday for the grand finale
Tigers and Cats fans are celebrating in Melbourne, Victoria ahead of the 2020 AFL Grand Final in Brisbane, Queensland
Melburnians were forced to celebrate the Grand Final differently this year after their state suffered from a deadly second wave of coronavirus infections.
The 2020 AFL season was forced to move to Queensland due to the pandemic. Players and officials were part of a COVID-safe bubble to ensure the league got through the health crisis.
Tiger fans gathered in the street in front of a pub in Richmond, Melbourne, to celebrate the annual sporting event.
There is a severe thunderstorm warning for Queensland, with a warning from the weather bureau for a ‘multi-state thunderstorm’.
If the storm strikes within 10 km of the stadium, the game can be stopped thanks to a rule introduced in 2015.
The Gabba will be seen on Saturday at 3:30 PM, just four hours before the AFL Grand Final between the Richmond Tigers and the Geelong Cats begins.
Heavy rain hits East Coast on Saturday, with rain hitting Brisbane – where the AFL Grand Final kicks off at 7:30 PM
Under a rule put in place in 2015, the race could be called off if the thunderstorm hits within 10km of the race (pictured, the Gabba gets wet around 3:30 pm on Saturday)
Under the AFL’s Extreme Weather Policy, if there is a thunderstorm within 10km of the field, players must take cover inside and play must be stopped.
“Under the lightning rule, they can postpone the game for up to an hour,” said an AFL spokesperson 7 News.
“It has happened before, but it is very rare.”
Play can only be restarted if there is no lightning within 10 km of the field for 30 minutes.
The rule came in during the 2015 Swans and Giants clash, when lightning struck and the game stopped for 25 minutes.
But a spokesperson for the Bureau of Meteorology said the match is more likely to continue, albeit in heavy rain.
They said there was only a 20 percent chance that thunderstorms would occur within a 6-mile radius of the stadium.
The ‘multi-state thunderstorm outbreak’ will target Queensland, New South Wales, North East Victoria, parts of South Australia and northern parts of the Northern Territory
The massive storm spreads across Australia from the southeast coast and moves north all weekend
The Gabba was seen on Saturday morning ahead of the AFL Grand Final. There are concerns that the game could be postponed due to heavy weather, with rain starting around 3pm
FIVE DAYS AGAIN IN YOUR CITY
SATURDAY: Min 19. Max 29. Shower or two. Possible storm.
SUNDAY: Min 14. Max 19. Showers.
MONDAY: Min 14. Max 19. Showers.
TUESDAY: Min 13. Max 21. Shower or two.
WEDNESDAY: Min. 15. Max. 21. Shower or two.
SATURDAY: Min 19. Max 29. Partly cloudy
SUNDAY: Min 19. Max 30. Shower or two. Storm probably.
MONDAY: Min 19. Max 29. Shower or two. Possible storm.
TUESDAY: Min. 18. Max. 27. Shower or two.
WEDNESDAY: Min 17. Max 28. Shower or two.
SATURDAY: Min 12. Max 18. Shower or two.
SUNDAY: Min 9. Max 17. Cloudy.
MONDAY: Min. 9. Max. 18. Cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 9. Max 20. Cloudy.
WEDNESDAY: Min 10. Max 21. Mostly sunny.
SATURDAY: Min. 15. Max. 22. Showers. Possible storm.
SUNDAY: Min 8. Max 14. Showers.
MONDAY: Min 6. Max 11. Showers.
TUESDAY: Min 7. Max 16. Shower or two.
WEDNESDAY: Min 8. Max 17. Shower or two.
SATURDAY: Min 12. Max 16. Rain and then showers. Windy.
SUNDAY: Min 9. Max 14. Showers.
MONDAY: Min 9. Max 17. Partly cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 9. Max 18. Cloudy.
WEDNESDAY: Min 10. Max 19. Shower if necessary.
SATURDAY: Min 12. Max 29. Usually sunny.
SUNDAY: Min 17. Max 34. Sunny.
MONDAY: Min 19. Max 29. Partly cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 13. Max 26. Partly cloudy.
WEDNESDAY: Min. 15. Max. 24. Partly cloudy.
SATURDAY: Min 11. Max 16. Shower or two.
SUNDAY: Min 5. Max 13. Shower if necessary.
MONDAY: Min 6. Max 15. Cloudy.
TUESDAY: Min 7. Max 15. Shower or two.
WEDNESDAY: Min 9. Max 15. Shower or two.
SATURDAY: Min 26. Max 34. Partly cloudy.
SUNDAY: Min 26. Max 33. Partly cloudy.
MONDAY: Min. 26. Max. 33. Shower or two. Possible storm.
TUESDAY: Min 25. Max 32. Shower or two. Possible storm.
WEDNESDAY: Min 25. Max 32. Shower or two. Possible storm.
Source: Bureau of Meteorology