Sydney ready to be AFL home away from home

·2-min read

The SCG and Giants Stadium are ready to answer any AFL SOS calls if further games are uprooted because of COVID-19 and associated border closures.

Sydney is hosting three of six matches in round 12, while it could easily have been four if the league needed to invoke its back-up plan for Saturday's Adelaide-Collingwood clash.

The exacting and protracted nature of the AFL's talks with South Australia's government - and resultant strict protocols - are in sharp contrast to the relative recent ease at which Victorian clubs have trained and played in the NSW capital.

Wednesday's extension of Melbourne's lockdown means the AFL has some tough calls to make, headlined by the marquee Queen's Birthday contest.

SCG Trust chairman Tony Shepherd is at pains to point out he wants matches returning to Melbourne as soon as possible.

But Shepherd, who also chairs the board of GWS Giants, says the SCG will be "available for any games the AFL wants to move".

"Venues NSW, which owns the SCG, and the Giants will do everything we can to help any club that is relocated for a game," Shepherd told AAP.

"We'll provide whatever support we can. Whatever they need, we'll give them a hand.

"We'll make facilities available.

"Other states tend to be more conservative (regarding border closures and exemptions) ... it's a sensible government here.

"You don't want to commit to go somewhere then find you suddenly can't get in for whatever reason."

The challenge for both the SCG and Giants Stadium will be ensuring that any additional traffic does not affect the turf.

The vast majority of Sydney Swans' training sessions are already across the road at Lakeside Oval.

Giants Stadium, which is hosting Friday night's clash between ladder leaders Melbourne and premiership contenders Brisbane, has knocked back a request to host A-League training sessions for exiled Victorians.

Reigning AFL premiers Richmond also unsuccessfully asked to train at the ground while preparing for Saturday's clash with Essendon in Perth.

However, the Olympic Park venue's chief operating officer Darryl Jeffrey echoed Shepherd's message when it came to matches.

"We've told the AFL we will continue to support them," Jeffrey told AAP.

"We're available for as many games as they'd like."

The SCG, having been notably busier during Allianz Stadium's ongoing redevelopment, is free of NRL and rugby fixtures throughout June.

"We'll do everything we can to keep the turf going. We've got a high-class curator and a whole turf farm full of replacement turf in the north west of Sydney," Shepherd said.

"As a contingency, last year we bought a whole oval of spare grass. It's waiting there if there is any excessive wear and tear.

"Any damage can be repaired and replaced very quickly."