Eddie McGuire's solution in AFL's clash with cricket

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has suggested playing games at suburban grounds in Melbourne could help the AFL avoid clashes with cricket should the season need to run into summer in 2020. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has backed a growing push for AFL matches to return to Melbourne's suburban grounds when the competition shutdown is over.

Fixtures are likely to be played behind closed doors, at least initially, if and when the AFL is given the green light to resume the 2020 season amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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That won't happen until at least June, and quite possibly a lot later.

The AFL season could end up running as late as December, putting it on a direct collision course with cricket over premier venues such as the MCG and Marvel Stadium.

Cricket will have exclusive use of those venues from October for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, the home Test series against India and the Big Bash League.

It means the AFL will need to make alternative ground arrangements while the grand final could be played outside Victoria for the first time.

Whitten Oval, Moorabbin in the mix to host AFL fixtures

Western Bulldogs this week flagged the possibility of hosting premiership season fixtures at Whitten Oval for the first time in more than two decades.

St Kilda's Moorabbin base, now known as RSEA Park, and Carlton's Ikon Park would also be obvious candidates to host matches.

The three venues all hosted AFLW matches this year and their surfaces and facilities are up to the standard required for AFL fixtures.

Historic former AFL venues Victoria Park and Windy Hill could also be in the mix.

"There's a real opportunity to do that and that could be something that comes up again with the dramas that have been going on about whether Marvel Stadium would be available because of cricket," McGuire said on Triple M on Tuesday.

"But there's plenty of opportunity (with that).

"I think that these venues are going to play a far bigger role with the women's football and whatever the second-tier VFL competition looks like eventually once we get things going."