The venue for the 2017 AFLW Grand Final has been confirmed, with Metricon Stadium to play host to the big game between the Brisbane Lions and Adelaide Crows on Saturday at 1pm AEST (2pm AEDT).
The announcement comes just five days out from the Grand Final, and over a week after the Lions cemented their position at the top of the ladder.
Finding a venue has been a difficult task for the AFL, with Brisbane not expected to go through the AFLW season undefeated, throwing initial plans for an Ikon Park Grand Final up in the air.
Damage to the Gabba’s surface caused by Adele concerts two weeks ago meant the stadium could not be locked in until an independent assessment was made, with fears further damage could leave the ground in doubt for the upcoming Ashes series.
Queensland Cricket was not happy with the field’s condition, writing to Stadiums Queensland to request the AFLW Grand Final be played elsewhere, and for the Lions men find an alternate home ground for the first handful of home games.
After assessments found the ground to be unsafe to play on, the location of the Grand Final was discussed by the AFL Commission and a decision was made on Monday afternoon.
The delay in booking a venue threatened to bring the AFLW’s momentum to a screeching halt, and plans to schedule the monumental occasion as a curtain-raiser to either the Adelaide-GWS or Gold Coast-Brisbane round one AFL men’s games rubbished by passionate fans of the competition.
Unfortunately for those supporters, the game will be played prior to the Gold Coast match, a letdown after the success the women have had drawing crowds by themselves.
Some members of the AFLW commission reportedly suggested an Adelaide Grand Final, but AFL boss Gillon McLachlan held firm to keep the final game of the season in Queensland.
The disappointment of the scheduling will not take any shine off what is set to be a cracking Grand Final between two extremely determined teams.
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