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AFL looks to relocate more clubs to Queensland
Aiming to reduce the worsening impact of COVID-19 in Victoria and NSW, the AFL is looking to relocate more clubs to Queensland.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk advised this morning that AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan had requested for more clubs to relocate to the stated, commenting “he is looking to book accommodation for hundreds of players and officials at Queensland hotels for two months.
“It means more Queenslanders here can go and see the games. It’s more fire in the belly for the Suns and the Lions. I stress none of these measures can happen without strict quarantine protocols and the COVID management plan that has allowed the AFL season to proceed.
“As everyone knows, AFL’s more than a sport to Victorians. We know how they feel. Given the choice between not having a season and having it based in Queensland I think I know what the fans would like to happen.”
Currently, six Melbourne-based clubs are in Queensland hubs - St Kilda, North Melbourne, Essendon, Western Bulldogs, Richmond and Carlton. The clubs were shifted from Melbourne early last week amid the Victorian capital’s escalating numbers of coronavirus cases.
Four other clubs - West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide - have returned to their home states after spending up to five weeks based in Queensland.
Two other Melbourne clubs, Hawthorn and Melbourne, are currently based in Sydney while Collingwood and Geelong have shifted to Perth hubs.
The AFL has announced a fixture for only the next two rounds, with Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium and Brisbane’s the Gabba set to be the heart of the League’s ongoing schedules given travel restrictions, most notably involving Victoria.
Premier Palaszczuk said Queensland’s pivotal role in ensuring the AFL season can continue should be rewarded with hosting rights for the grand final, advising that she told McLachlan “if the season (is) based here then the grand final should be played here too.”
McLachlan has said the AFL would decide a venue for the grand final in August.
The MCG holds a contract to host the showpiece game but given crowd bans, travel restrictions and coronavirus cases, there is a growing likelihood of the grand final being played outside Victoria for the first time.
13th July 2020 - Optus Stadium prepares for AFL fixtures this week
3rd July 2020 - AFL’s Victorian teams to move interstate
30th June 2020 - AFL faces fixture upheaval as Victorian Coronavirus cases rise
28th May 2020 - MCG ready to offer transformed turf for AFL return
18th May 2020 - AFL to proceed with upgrade plan for Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium
15th May 2020 - AFL announces that season will restart from 11th June
17th June 2020 - Queensland Government approves return of fans to stadiums
12th June 2020 - Work underway on upgrades at Brisbane’s Gabba
28th March 2019 - Metricon extends venue naming rights partnership with Gold Coast SUNS
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