The AFL has revealed its road map to finalise the location of the 2022 AFLW grand final after a string of scheduling nightmares marred the finals series.
With three possible locations, the results of this weekend’s preliminary finals will now set the venue for the grand final, which has been locked in for next Sunday, November 27.
The announcement follows Richmond‘s controversial decision to keep its semi final at Punt Road despite the ground being limited to just 2500 fans and ticket demand exploding.
There were also concerns that Brisbane could have been locked out of its own state on grand final day with the decider unable to be played at Metricon Stadium because of a clash with the Festival X Gold Coast event.
As a result, three possible scenarios have been confirmed by the AFL:
- If the Brisbane Lions win, they will secure a home grand final to be played at Brighton Homes Arena in Ipswich, Queensland.
- If Melbourne win and the Brisbane Lions lose, they will secure a home grand final to be played at Marvel Stadium in Docklands, Melbourne.
- If the Adelaide Crows win and North Melbourne defeat Melbourne, they will secure a home grand final at Hisense Stadium in Richmond, South Australia.
Endeavouring to honour a Brisbane grand final should the Lions earn the hosting rights, the AFL reached out to the Gabba several weeks ago, but its request to use the venue was reportedly knocked back after cricket bosses pushed against it.
Under the stadium’s current agreement, the Gabba’s surface is being prepared for upcoming Sheffield Shield matches and the first Test against South Africa starting on December 17.
It was thought that the only other state-based alternative was the field at Bond University. However, with the venue only able to hold 3000 spectators – seating just 2000 of them, the ground would have been a disappointing choice for fans.
The AFL’s executive general manager of finance, clubs and broadcast, Travis Auld, recognised the Lions for making its brand-new base at Brighton Homes Arena available, despite the facility not properly opening to the public until December.
“On behalf of the AFL, I want to thank the Brisbane Lions and their staff for their remarkable effort in getting the turf at Brighton Homes Arena ready and thank the Queensland Government, Federal Government and Ipswich City Council for their support in developing the venue which will be an incredible asset for football in the state,” he said.
“After an independent turf inspection at the venue this week, the turf was deemed suitable to play, clearing the way for the Brisbane Lion’s state-of-the-art home base to host an AFLW Grand Final if Brisbane wins.
“The AFL is working with the Brisbane Lions and a government-led task force to address all that needs to be prepared at Brighton Homes Arena. All hands are on deck to prepare the venue in time for an AFLW Grand Final, should the Brisbane Lions win on Friday night.”
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Week three finals match-ups
Friday, November 18
First preliminary final: Brisbane Lions vs Adelaide Crows, 7:40pm AEDT/ 6:40pm local time at Metricon Stadium.
Saturday, November 19
Second preliminary final: Melbourne Demons vs North Melbourne Kangaroos, 3:10pm AEDT at IKON Park.
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