AFL locks onto primetime Grand Final
First-ever night time grand final confirmed for October 24.
The AFL Grand Final will take place on Saturday October 24 in a history-making nighttime match.
CEO Gillon McLachlan announced 30,000 spectators would safely attend the event at the GABBA, at a press conference today on the Gold Coast.
Updated: AFL confirms a 6:30pm start Qld time (7:30pm AEDT Melbourne).
The change follows a challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are also contingency plans in case of a positive COVID-19 breakout including a shift to Adelaide Oval.
McLachlan said bids by all states to host the event had been impressive and competitive.
The AFL reviewed bids to host the Grand Final at the Gabba in Queensland, the newly built Optus Stadium in Western Australia and the recently reconstructed Adelaide Oval in South Australia.
McLachlan said, “The presentations were outstanding, and a decision was extraordinarily difficult. In the end the AFL Executive and Commission based its decision on these key criteria: Safety in the best environment for all; Integrity and the need for uncompromised games in a high performance environment; our Fans and the engagement of existing and new supporters; Financial Support for our game in a year where revenue has been so impacted; and the Legacy in the long term vision for our game.”
It will be the first time in AFL history the game’s showpiece event is held away from Victoria. It has been played away from the MCG just once in the last 74 years, when it was hosted by Waverley Park in 1991 due to reconstruction works.
Entertainment is yet to be confirmed but McLachlan said Australian acts would star.
The Grand Final will return to the MCG next year, which now has the event until 2058 -extended by one year.
Seven CEO and Managing Director James Warburton said: “The Grand Final at the Gabba is the culmination of an incredible season of collaboration with the AFL. Together we’ve been able to deliver a top-quality broadcast schedule in a season like no other, and it’s a testament to the strength of our partnership that the fans have continued to see great footy throughout.”
Managing Director Seven Melbourne and Head of Network Sport Lewis Martin commented: “We applaud the AFL’s decision to play the 2020 Grand Final at the Gabba. It’s just reward for the way Queensland has stood up in the competition’s season of need and will also ensure – on the back of another Lions’ finals push and the Suns’ rise in 2020 – that footy continues to go from strength to strength in the Sunshine State. We’d also like to acknowledge the incredible effort of the clubs to keep the season on track and now on the verge of a thrilling finals series. At Seven, we’ll roll our sleeves up and get ready to deliver an AFL Grand Final of epic proportions to all Australians, one that will be part of a truly historic day of sport that also features the 100th running of the iconic Cox Plate.”
Seven will announce more details of its Grand Final broadcast in the coming weeks.