CONFIRMED | Qld to host AFL grand final for the first time ever!

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.


“It is my pleasure to formally announce that the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final will be played in Queensland at the Gabba,” McLachlan said.

“In another historic first, the Grand Final will be scheduled for the night of Saturday, October 24… The first-ever time we play a Grand Final at night, giving us the opportunity to make it a truly unique event.”

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.

McLachlan said the decision to hold the game in Queensland continues a partnership between the AFL and the Queensland Government.

“That partnership has been strengthened again this year as we sought and received support to set up high-performance centres to keep our season going,” he told reporters from the AFL hub on the Gold Coast.

“We also thank the government and chief health officer for allowing hundreds of family members to undertake a strict quarantine before joining players, staff and officials in Queensland to keep the season going.

As a code, we are and always will be very grateful. Specifically I want to thank Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Queensland government for their ongoing support, not only for this year but for helping to ensure that they will leave a lasting legacy for our game in this state.”

More than 30,000 lucky fans will be able to get their hands on tickets to the highly anticipated clash.

“Under the arrangement with the Queensland government, the Grand Final will be played before a crowd of at least 30,000 people,” McLachlan confirmed.

“Fans throughout the state will enjoy the chance to participate in the buildup to the Grand Final… This will see the premiership cup travel to regional centres and a series of activations for children, for fans and the football community held across Queensland so as many people as possible in this state can enjoy the game.

“More details will follow but I am excited that we can build a Grand Final environment in Queensland and we will do so with the same focus on health and well- being of our players, staff and the wider community.”

Speaking from the Gabba, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said today’s announcement was a huge win for Queensland.

“This is a very historic day for the AFL and a historic day for Queensland as well,” she said.

“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 oncein-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.

I want to pay a special shout out to all Queenslanders as well who have done a great job, especially as we have battled COVID… if it was not for that strong health response and the fact that every Queenslander has been part of that, this would not have happened.

“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.

“In case there are COVID outbreaks that threaten the viability of safely hosting a crowd at the Gabba, we can reduce numbers or move the Grand Final to Adelaide Oval,” McLachlan said.

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.