UPDATE @ 1.45 PM | Queensland has officially nabbed the 2020 AFL grand final from Victoria and will host the showdown for the first time ever this year.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan confirmed the news at a press conference from Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast on Wednesday.
The historic match will be played under lights at the Gabba in Brisbane on October 24, with an exact time yet to be confirmed.
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It’s the first time in the sport’s 123 year history that the grand final will be held outside of Melbourne, due to Victoria’s ongoing struggle with COVID-19.
More than 30,000 lucky fans will be able to get their hands on tickets to the highly anticipated clash.
The 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final will be played at The Gabba in Brisbane, Queensland on Saturday October 24 🏆#AFLGF
— AFL (@AFL) September 2, 2020
Speaking from the Gabba, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today’s announcement was a huge win for Queensland.
“I am very honoured… We know how important this game is, we have a strong COVID industry plan in place with the AFL.
“This is a once–in-a-lifetime opportunity and we are not going to let anyone down.”
The Premier said the decision is recognition of the hard work Queenslanders have done to slow the spread of the global pandemic.
“Rather than marking the end of a very difficult year I hope it marks the beginning of a whole new era.”
Adelaide Oval remains on standby to host the grand final, should a significant outbreak of COVID-19 in Queensland threaten the game.
A decision on where the Brownlow Medal awards will be held is expected to be announced in the new few days, with the Gold Coast in line to host the event.
EARLIER @ 6.50AM | The Gabba is expected to be confirmed at the venue for the AFL Grand Final today, for the first time in history.
The big event will be held on October 24, in either a night or twilight time-slot.
It’s the first time in history that the grand final will be held outside of Melbourne, due to Victoria’s struggles with the coronavirus.
The decision to move it is tipped to help the league recoup as much as $12 million in ticket sales.
It’s understood the Gabba would be able to host around 30,000 fans for the event.
While Queensland officials are excited to have the main event here, hoping it will do great things for the league’s following in the Sunshine State.
Lions Assistant Coach Simon Black has told The Today Show they’re all stoked.
“It’ll be huge, the AFL has obviously invested a lot up here over recent years to grow the game.
“I guess we get a little bit undersold, the support the AFL has up here – the game is loved, the participation numbers are growing all the time.
“And what’s happened this year, with the state being able to save the season, I think it makes sense to hold the real showpiece of the year up here in Queensland, and it’s only going to help the game grow further.
“It’s going to be enormous and we’ve all got to get around it, the next few weeks the build up is going to be quite incredible.
“We know Victoria put on a good event, but we’ll make sure Queensland do as well,” Mr Black said.