The Gabba is reportedly the chosen host of this year’s AFL grand final.
With COVID-19 affecting Victoria more than any other state, the event needed to be taken away from Melbourne for the first time in history.
Queensland, Western Australia, NSW and South Australia all threw their hats in the ring to host the year’s biggest match, but ultimately it will be the Gabba who receive the nod.
On Monday evening, The Herald Sun revealed the AFL Commission is expected to reward Queensland after saving the 2020 season.
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Speaking on Fox Sports’ AFL Tonight, Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph asserted Brisbane would host the AFL Grand Final on Saturday, October 24th with a 7pm kick-off.
The decision is expected to be officially announced on Tuesday.
“It would be a jaw-dropping upset, one of massive proportions, if it was not the Gabba … I would be flummoxed if that was not the venue,” Ralph said.
“All of those bids will be weighed and Travis Auld’s recommendation will go to the AFL Commission. They make their own mind, sometimes they can make weird decisions but I’ll tell you what, every single figure in the AFL and clubland that I’ve canvassed today says that bid just stacks up.
“I can confirm tonight that the decision has been made that Port Adelaide and West Coast will still be able to play (preliminary finals) in their home states.”
Queensland opened its doors to the league this year, setting teams up in quarantine hubs to allow the season to continue.
In June, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was “only fair” her state be chosen to host the grand final.
“If we are doing the heavy lifting we would like to be considered for a grand final — I think that’s only fair,” Palaszczuk told ABC News Breakfast.
“Queensland should have the first opportunity, so fingers crossed.”
However, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan argued Perth was the most logical option as the state pushed to host the entire finals series.
“If they want to go to the healthiest, safest place and they want to comply with the quarantine requirements, then Perth is the obvious solution,” McGowan said.
On Sunday, Geelong president and former AFL Commission member Colin Carter claimed Queensland deserved to host the Grand Final.
“There is no club position, but my personal opinion is I hope Queensland gets it. They deserve it,” Carter told The Herald Sun.
“It would be incredible for our code and they deserve it because they have had most of the competition camped up there this year.
“There is no reason why they shouldn’t get it.
“A bit more than half of the Australian population is north of the Murray river and the development of footy in Queensland is terrific and a story most people don’t know a lot about.
“This would kick it along another distance.”
Speaking to Nine News, veteran journalist Caroline Wilson also threw her support behind the Gabba: “If it’s not Brisbane, I’ll be shocked.
“Gillon McLachlan has made up his own mind, he’ll put it to the Commission in the morning, I’d be amazed if they rejected what he suggests.”