WA’s pitch to host entire AFL finals series
The West Australian government has formally applied to host this year's entire AFL series - including the grand final.
The West Australian reports the state government has lodged a submission to the league for every finals match in 2020 to be played at Perth's Optus Stadium.
The move comes as it looks increasingly unlikely footy will be played in Victoria again this season. The state is dealing with a worrying surge in COVID-19 cases and Greater Melbourne has been forced into an extreme lockdown, with a curfew preventing people from leaving their homes between 8pm-5am.
On Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced 450 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths in Victoria. All Victorian AFL teams have been moved into interstate hubs in Queensland and Perth.
Western Australia has seen a total of 642 confirmed coronavirus cases and has no recorded cases in the past 24 hours.
The West Australian reports a "working group" has submitted a blueprint to the AFL outlining how the finals would look in Perth, including what biosecurity measures would be taken to protect against the spread of COVID-19.
The last time the MCG didn't host the AFL grand final was in 1991 when the stadium was being redeveloped, but AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan wasn't looking too far ahead when asked about this year's decider on 3AW radio today.
"I don't want to sound too sort of structured about this but we have got a contract to play the grand final at the MCG and until that changes that's where the grand final will be," McLachlan said.
"I don't want to sound naive or silly but clearly then there are people making assessments about where things are at in Victoria and if we are unable to play it here or that changes then clearly we've got a lot of great alternatives in Western Australia, which have made it clear they are keen. And Queensland are keen, as are others.
"We're lucky we have got great interest, but I don't feel right now it is appropriate to be looking beyond that when we have got an existing agreement, challenged as that might look in the current environment."
Last month when Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk agreed to host more AFL teams in hubs, she pushed her state's case to host the 2020 grand final.
"As I told Gil (McLachlan), if the season is based here then the grand final should be played here too," she said.
Originally published as WA's pitch to host entire AFL finals series