ANZ Stadium in Sydney launches left-field attempt to steal AFL grand final
Sydney believe they have emerged as a ‘genuine’ contender to snatch the 2020 AFL grand final from the MCG despite Perth cementing their position as the clear frontrunner.
The push comes as doubts grow over Victoria’s ability to host a capacity crowd, while Optus Stadium looms as the perfect replacement with the venue able to host 60,000 fans from July 18.
Perth loom as the clear favourites should a back-up venue be required, following yesterday’s announcement of a WA hub to be hosted in rounds seven onwards.
SIGN OUR PETITION HERE TO BRING THE GRAND FINAL TO PERTH
Sydney’s bid comes despite no football being played at ANZ Stadium for over five years, with it firming to host the NRL grand final the same weekend.
The venue is currently under construction and barely able to host fans as is.
“I expect the AFL Grand Final to be at the MCG as usual but if that’s not possible I’m sure we could help them out and have it here in Sydney,” NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said.
But outspoken Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett isn’t sold on Perth’s case.
“We’d rather have the grand final on the beach than go to a state that doesn’t want people from the east over there,” he told 7NEWS.
Meanwhile Victorian Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said the grand final is ‘not going anywhere’ despite the state’s clear COVID-19 relapse.
SYDNEY A CONTENDER TO HOST AFL & NRL GF ON SAME WEEKEND
With its fully retractable seats, ANZ Stadium is the largest stadium in the country as back-up for the 100,000 seat MCG, but currently can’t host fans due to work being done.
The Olympic stadium is looming as the most likely venue to host the NRL grand final on October 25, casting severe doubt over their ability to host two marquee matches in as many days.
Collingwood premiership great Tony Shaw yesterday said it was a no brainer to look at other venues if they could offer greater crowd capacity than the MCG.
“I think it’s quite logical that we look to other venues,” he said.
“I’m a traditionalist at heart. I’m a day Grand Final, MCG every time of the week. But I think it’s logical that we do look elsewhere.
“The capabilities of letting 60,000 people – whether they are West Australians, or South Australians or whatever – watching our Grand Final live, I think we have got to go with it.
“I have got no worries at all (about moving it). I think it’s quite logical and it could be only a once offer, but if it was to be successful you never know what is going to happen down the track.
“I hope that doesn’t happen, but for this year I think you have got to investigate it.
“We’ve got to get over that parochial situation as Victorians.”