Marvel an 'option' for AFL grand final

Oliver Caffrey
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan says Marvel Stadium could potentially host this year's AFL grand final

The AFL is not ruling out a Marvel Stadium grand final and a decider away from the MCG for the first time in 29 years.

When announcing the AFL's June 11 restart, league boss Gillon McLachlan declared he was aiming for a mid-to-late October finish to the coronavirus-affected season.

The MCG is contracted to host the grand final until 2057, but this year's Twenty20 World Cup could force a historic change.

Although the men's cricket tournament is in doubt because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the first match is scheduled for the MCG on October 25.

Melbourne Cricket Club chief Stuart Fox has previously said at least 14 days would be needed to prepare pitches at the ground.

McLachlan said on Friday the AFL's "default position" is for an MCG grand final, but conceded things could change.

However, he confirmed the finals series would be a top-eight format run over four weeks, as normal.

"There's uncertainty about our dates, so we will have to be flexible on that," McLachlan told reporters.

"If we need to compress the season, we have the ability with our players and our clubs later.

"If you take a linear view through it, the grand final plays out in mid-to-late October.

"Clearly if it goes later than that, then this venue (Docklands) is an option.

"We have got a commitment to play the grand final in this state, and at the moment, we haven't thought past that."

The last AFL grand final not at the MCG was in 1991 when Hawthorn defeated West Coast to claim the premiership at Waverley Park.

Before that, you have to go back to 1945 when the Junction Oval, in St Kilda, and Carlton's Princes Park hosted deciders during World War II.