Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Coronavirus fears sees AFL cancel Shanghai fixture

Coronavirus fears sees AFL cancel Shanghai fixture
March 4, 2020

Continued fears over the impact of Coronavirus have seen the AFL call off their planned round 11 clash between St Kilda and Port Adelaide, scheduled to have been played in the Chinese city of Shanghai on Sunday 31st May.

The continued worldwide spread of the Coronavirus that originated in China in December has forced the AFL to change its plans for its game at Shanghai's Jiangwan Stadium.

Set to have been the fourth staging of a regular season AFL fixture in China, this year's fixture - a St Kilda ‘home’ match - was set to be the club's second in a three-year deal, Gold Coast having previously played games in China in 2017 and 2018.

Announcing that the fixture will now be held at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium, AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan today announced “our team have monitored the situation in China closely (and) we have taken advice from the Australian Government, the World Health Organization and our Chief Medical Officer.

"It is evident that the coronavirus still poses a significant risk internationally and quite simply we will not compromise the health and safety of any of our clubs, supporters and AFL team members.”

The Saints-Power round 11 clash will now be played at Marvel Stadium in round 12 on Sunday 7th June as the venue was unavailable on Saturday and Sunday of round 11. Both teams will now play a week later and then switch their planned bye weekend from round 12 to 11.

With tickets already purchased for the Shanghai game to be refunded, St Kilda will now attempt to salvage as much income from the switch.

Travis Auld, the AFL's General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting, described the cancellation of the Shanghai match as a "small speed hump".

Advising that the league had a duty to protect the St Kilda and Port Adelaide players, as well as club officials and supporters who were set to travel to China for the encounter, Auld stated “this is an issue that is much broader than just a game of football.

"We're all impacted in some way by the current circumstances … the best we can do at the moment is give the game back to Melbourne.

Auld said the AFL would face "some financial impact" but that would not be measured for some time.

With both the Federal and Victorian Government’s having supported the match in an apparent move to improve trade links.

However, with the match attracted a reported crowd of 9,412 spectators last year and crowd figures of just above 10,000 in both the previous two years, the event has not been a success financially or in reaching Chinese fans – with most spectators being expatriate Australians.

Nonetheless, Port Adelaide Chief Executive Keith Thomas said the Power remained committed to playing in Shanghai in 2021.

Under current travel ban laws, those travelling from China to Australia must spend 14 days in another country before returning.

The Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix in Shanghai, scheduled for 17th to 19th April, is among a host of events that have been postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Click here to read the AFL’s full statement on the cancelation of the Shanghai fixture.

Image: Shanghai's Jiangwan Stadium courtesy of HG Sports Turf.

Related Articles

26th February 2020 - Top IOC member speculates Coronavirus threatens delivery of Tokyo Olympics

25th February 2020 - New research highlights impact of Coronavirus and bushfires on Australian business

13th February 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees postponement of F1 Chinese Grand Prix

12th February 2020 - Coronavirus continues to impact China’s sports events

13th February 2020 - A-League’s Perth Glory agrees new sponsorship as ownership change looms

26th February 2020 - Marvel Stadium delivers hospitality upgrades ahead of 2020 AFL season

14th February 2020 - AFL and Ticketmaster move to scrap ticket booking fees at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium

7th February 2020 - AFL’s Carlton on track to be debt free by 2022

4th June 2019 - Undeterred by declining numbers for Shanghai fixture, AFL looks to expand presence in China

1st April 2019 - Australian Government announces three-year backing for AFL’s annual fixture in China

22nd March 2019 - Trade mission launched to showcase Victorian Sports Industry

15th February 2019 - News report suggests few Chinese sports venues are profitable

29th October 2018 - AFL makes ongoing commitment to Shanghai fixture

19th May 2018 - Victorian Government wants Melbourne club in future AFL fixtures in China

16th May 2018 - AFL Shanghai fixture part of wider sporting diplomacy

13th March 2018 - Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett slams AFL’s international expansion plans

12th January 2018 - Shanghai Municipality to build eight new professional sports stadia by 2035

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks



Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Surfaces / Venues


Goplay Commercial Playground Equipment

Goplay designs and manufactures specialised playground equipment for indoor play centres, hotels, food chains, clubs and resorts. If our years of experience and dedication have taught us one thing,…

read more




As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Events / Sport / Ticketing


Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology


The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play


Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues


Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business