The AFL are expected to announce the Gabba as the venue for the 2020 AFL grand final on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.
The league has submitted a recommendation to the AFL Commission, with a night grand final at the Brisbane ground reportedly backed by AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan and fixtures boss Travis Auld.
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The commission has reportedly accepted the proposal, which will now be vetted by both the Victorian and Queensland state governments.
Speaking at Melbourne airport on Tuesday morning, McLachlan said he was hoping to make an announcement about the grand final on Wednesday.
“The recommendation to the Commission has been accepted but there’s stuff to work through clearly then today, with the Victorian government and the relevant bodies,” he said.
“Hopefully we get there and then we’re looking forward to completing it tonight or in the morning, and making an announcement tomorrow.”
The Queensland, Western Australian and New South Wales state governments all pitched to be the first state to host the AFL grand final outside of Victoria.
Queensland, which has also played host to the NRL as the nation recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, revealed a video pumping up the state’s merits for hosting the match, which had been used as part of their pitch to the AFL.
The ‘Good to Go’ campaign featured two young footy fans, reminding viewers that while the MCG was the traditional home of the grand final, that Brisbane had its very own ‘G’.
Gabba favoured to host AFL grand final
The fixture for the finals has not yet been set, but both the West Coast Eagles and Port Adelaide will be able to host finals at their home grounds of they earn them.
As for the grand final, Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph said the Gabba was almost a certainty to host the season decider.
“I think it would be a jaw-dropping upset, one of massive proportions, if it was not the Gabba that was the venue for the October 24 Grand Final, at around 7pm as the starting time,” he told Fox Sports’ AFL Tonight.
“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.”
Ralph wasn’t alone in his confidence, with veteran Channel Nine reporter Caroline Wilson also suggesting the Gabba was the clear favourite.
"They deserve 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." Why the Gabba in a powerhouse position to host the AFL Grand Final https://t.co/pyvS1QuJpW— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) August 31, 2020
“It will be under lights, wherever it is, and my very firm view is it’s going to be in Brisbane,” she said.
“If it’s not Brisbane, I’ll be shocked, and given they have 400 arriving from both Melbourne and Sydney tomorrow to quarantine in Queensland, that’d be an even bigger thumbs down if the AFL rejected them.”