LATEST: AFL makes decision on 2021 Grand Final
This year’s AFL grand final will be played in Perth, if the MCG cannot host a large crowd due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Given Victoria’s coronavirus case numbers, that looks incredibly unlikely.
The AFL has just announced the plan for the finals series at a press conference.
Gillon McLachlan said a formal decision would be locked in “early next week” but said crowd capacity played a significant factor in Optus Stadium getting the nod.
“That’s pretty compelling,” he said.
Western Australian premier Mark McGowan released the following statement:
“The AFL has confirmed with the State Government today that Perth will host the 2021 AFL Grand Final if Melbourne is unable to due to its COVID situation.
“This news, while exciting for many Western Australian AFL fans, is obviously very sad for our friends in Victoria who could miss out on hosting the traditional MCG Grand Final for the second year in a row.
“Our position remains that we hope Victoria – and all states currently impacted by COVID – are able to crush the Delta variant as soon as possible.
“If a decision is made by the AFL to move the Grand Final to Perth, we can assure the community that WA’s strict COVID-safe protocols and arrangements would be in place so that safety remains the top priority.
“Western Australia has some of the best facilities and the safest environment to host major events.
“The scale of an AFL Grand Final is not lost on WA, we are footy state after all. If we get the nod from the AFL, then we will certainly do the occasion justice.
“I’ve spoken to the AFL Chairman, Mr Goyder, and the AFL CEO, Mr McLachlan, today and emphasised safety is my number one priority.
“One of the benefits of being COVID-free with no restrictions is the opportunity to hold the Grand Final in a COVID safe way.”