AFL showpiece in Perth as Victoria Delta-hit



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AFL Grand Final to be hosted at Optus Stadium Image: Optus Stadium

Optus Stadium (Australia) has been confirmed as custodian of Australia’s ultimate sporting event – the 2021 Toyota Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final.

The 2021 Grand Final will be played in Perth for the first time in AFL history after the game’s spiritual home, the MCG, was ruled out of hosting the showpiece game due to the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria.

The ‘Optus Stadium’ stated that the AFL announced that Optus Stadium will play host to the Grand Final on September 25th, with bouncedown (Australian Rules football. An occasion of restarting play by the umpire bouncing the ball) to be advised.

Optus Stadium CEO Mike McKenna has welcomed the decision following extensive talks with the AFL.

The 65,000-capacity Perth Stadium, also known by naming rights sponsorship as Optus Stadium, is a multipurpose stadium in Perth, Western Australia, located in the suburb of Burswood. It was completed in late 2017 and officially opened on January 21st, 2018.

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the pre-eminent and only fully professional men’s competition of Australian Rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport’s governing body and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game. The AFL Grand Final is an Australian Rules football match to determine the premiers for the Australian Football League (AFL) season.

The 1,00,024-capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground, also known locally as ‘The G’, is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia). Founded and managed by the Melbourne Cricket Club, it is the largest stadium in the Southern Hemisphere, the 11th largest globally, and the second largest cricket ground by capacity.

The ‘Optus Stadium’ quoted McKenna as stating, “First and foremost, our thoughts are with the people of Victoria and New South Wales who remain in lockdown. We know and understand the significance of this event to the Australian public and we will ensure we respect footballing traditions whilst sharing Perth and Western Australia with the rest of the country. The Grand Final is the most important day of AFL players’ career and is one of the great days in world sport – both for the fans in attendance and those watching at home on Channel Seven will be part of the event experience.”

Added McKenna, “We are looking forward to being able to deliver the very best in-person AFL experience to local fans that have shown time and time again that they love footy and will attend major events of all types. Optus Stadium is very much a trusted partner for the AFL following the success of the Dreamtime match earlier this year and many other major events staged at the venue since opening and we are excited to have the responsibility of delivering this event.”
 

Advantages:

  • Optus Stadium can hold 61,266 fans for the Grand Final;
  • There will be work for at least 2,000 staff at the game, giving them the opportunity to work shifts in a year where many have lost opportunities due to games being moved or played behind closed doors;
  • With travelers coming from regional Western Australia, along with team and official accommodation, as many as 34,500 hotel room nights and expenditure of $10 million could be delivered to hotels, restaurants and bars in Perth; and
  • The Optus Stadium was named the ‘Most Beautiful Stadium in the World’ in 2019.

 
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