A greyhound track surrounded the Gabba surface when Nathan Buckley arrived in Brisbane for his one and only AFL season in Queensland.
Nicknamed the Bears, Brisbane were a basket-case and still eight years away from winning the first of three-straight premierships.
But 27 years later and the dog racing track long gone, the Gabba will host the first AFL grand final played outside of Victoria, and the first to be played under lights.
The AFL's showpiece event ever being played in Brisbane was unthinkable only a few months ago, let alone in 1993 when Buckley started his illustrious hall-of-fame playing career.
But the Collingwood coach says a number of events had resulted in the AFL slowly making a mark in rugby league heartland.
"The seven months I had here 27 years ago, there wasn't a lot of expectation from Queensland supporters about the Brisbane Bears," Buckley said.
"I think that changed when all of a sudden people wanted to connect with the AFL team in Brisbane that kept winning titles (from 2001 to 2003).
"There's a lot of expat Victorians up here and over generations that breeds a little bit more support.
"There'd be a lot of hope from Queenslanders that a team from their state is up and about."
Despite his almost forgotten links to Brisbane, Buckley is determined as ever to lead his Magpies to their first premiership since 2010.
The Gabba has been a happy hunting ground for Collingwood, as they enter Friday night's clash with the Brisbane Lions having won nine of their last 10 games at the venue.
"We evacuated from Victoria, moved to WA, then across to Sydney, and then up to Queensland pretty quickly, so we were able to settle," Buckley said.
"The Gabba is our home ground; we have played the last four games there and we play an away game against Brisbane, but we are pretty comfortable at the venue."