Queensland will host the AFL Grand Final on October 24th at the Gabba in Brisbane, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has confirmed.
It’s a momentous moment. As per 9news, it will be the first time in history the match will be played outside of Victoria, breaking 123 years of tradition. It will also be played at night for the first time.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today’s announcement marked an “historic day” for Queensland.
“If it wasn’t for that strong health response, and the fact that every Queenslander has been part of that, this would not have happened. So, this is a win for Queensland,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said she was honoured the AFL had chosen Queensland and said the state would ensure it would be “inclusive of Victoria”.
She joked the game would still happen at “the G” but “the G is for Gabba this year” before it returns to Melbourne in 2021.
The AFL season decider is usually played before more than 100,000 fans at the MCG but the Gabba is looking at only a maximum crowd of around 30,000 due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The state governments of South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales also put cases forward to host the game but were unsuccessful.
Mr McLachlan added that the Adelaide Oval would serve as a contingency plan if a COVID-19 outbreak threatened the viability of hosting the game in Queensland.
Earlier finals could still be played in other states, pending border and quarantine arrangements.
The final start time is yet to be locked in but moving to a night match will avoid a clash with the Cox Plate at Mooney Valley on October 24th.
A plane load of 400 officials and their families landed on the Gold Coast late yesterday including Mr McLachlan, who brought with him the Premiership Cup.
Earlier today Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk expressed her delight about the AFL Grand Final being held in Brisbane as speculation was rife.
“I want the Lions in the final, fingers crossed,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The match would bring in “millions of dollars” for the Queensland economy, she said.
“But (also) the ability to grow the game in Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk added.
“We know that Victoria is the home of the AFL but we are seeing with the Lions and the Suns the game is growing.”
Check out highlights of the 2019 AFL Grand Final: