The AFL Grand Final has a new home in 2020
The Gabba has officially been announced as the host of the 2020 AFL Grand Final.
It will mark the first time a Grand Final will be played outside of Victoria in the VFL/AFL’s esteemed history.
This year’s event, shifted from the MCG in Melbourne, will take place in Brisbane on Saturday 24 October.
Every Grand Final winner since 1897 has been crowned at the MCG. Every Grand Final has been played there, other than during World War II when the ground was part of the war effort, and in 1991 when it was being upgraded. So this really is history-making news.
The announcement also locked in another historic first. The timing of the match is still yet to be confirmed, but the 2020 Grand Final will be held at night, ensuring this year’s Grand Final will be a truly unique event.
In a press conference from the Gold Coast’s AFL Hub, Gillon McLachlan, AFL Chief Executive confirmed the news. “It certainly isn’t any earlier than 5.30pm…and most likely later,” he said.
“Since the outset, we have said repeatedly that this season would be different…a season like no other in a year like no other…it is my pleasure to formally announce that the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final will be played in Queensland at The Gabba.”
Safety integrity, the fans, financial support, and the legacy and vision for the AFL were all paramount to the decision, with presentations from South Australia, Western Australia and New South Wales also considered.
McLachlan also confirmed a Festival of Footy around the State in the lead up to the Grand Final. “[The Queensland Government] want to ensure it’s not just an event for Brisbane but a Festival of Football for the state…Fans throughout the state will get the opportunity to participate in the Grand Final build-up.”
This “Festival of Footy” is set to include the Premiership Cup touring Regional Queensland centres and a series of activations for kids and footy fans across Queensland.
Brisbane and The Gabba have become the unofficial ‘home of footy’ in 2020, helping to rescue the AFL after the season was put on hold following Round 1.
After an almost three-month-long absence of footy, clubs were eventually forced to pack their bags, with the Sunshine State playing host as a major AFL ‘hub’.
Twenty-one matches have been played at The Gabba this season, with at least another six locked in. A far cry from a normal season – with a Brisbane Lions home game every other week – especially taking into account the shortened 18-round season.
The state of Queensland, and The Gabba itself, have saved the 2020 AFL season, and are incredibly deserving of the privilege to host one of this country’s biggest annual sporting events.
The game means much more to footy in Queensland than the 30,000 odd fans who will be able to pack into the venue. This season has become a platform to grow Queensland footy, from the grassroots level right up to the supporter base.
Currently third on the ladder, we could even see a Brisbane Lions Grand Final appearance on home soil. Port Adelaide, Geelong, West Coast and Richmond would seem their most likely competitors.
Whichever teams we are treated to on the big stage at the end of October, this year’s AFL Grand Final is going to be like no other before it, and we cannot wait! To keep up to date on the rest of the 2020 AFL season head to Ticketmaster.com.au.