This season turned out nothing like the AFL had planned, but the league is going to make the most of it with a grand final under lights at the Gabba — and perhaps Brisbane rockers Powderfinger providing the pre-match entertainment.
The AFL is set to officially announce the details of its showpiece event on Wednesday and confirm the season’s final game will be played outside Victoria for the first time in the competition’s 123-year history.
Queensland has become the game’s home away from home in 2020 because of the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Victoria and is currently housing more than 2000 players, families, officials and media as the season approaches its conclusion.
The Sunshine State’s reward will be revealed on Wednesday and is likely to also include both preliminary finals and a Brownlow Medal ceremony that will be held virtually.
South Australia and Western Australia will reportedly be able to host games earlier in the final series.
There won’t be any footy in Victoria, but according to an SEN report the state came closer than we knew.
“The MCG discovered it had fallen an agonising two weeks short of being able to let crowds back in, according to COVID modelling,” SEN reported.
“It’s understood the Victorian Racing Club are putting plans in place to allow limited crowds into races during the Spring Carnival — primarily in open areas at Flemington — should they be given the green light to do so.
“The MCC is confident on the Boxing Day Test going ahead with fans, there’s talk about crowds at NBL games and Tennis Australia is fully planning to run the Australian Open.”
Footy will have to wait until 2021, however.
POWDERFINGER PERFECT FOR PRE-MATCH
Attention is now turning to the pre-match entertainment and Powderfinger looms as a perfect option given the game is being played in their hometown.
They are also about to release a new album they’d be keen to promote and have shown they can handle the big stage by shining at the 2008 Grand Final between Hawthorn and Geelong.
Powderfinger played (Baby I’ve Got You) On My Mind and AC/DC’s It’s a Long Way to the Top accompanied by the City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band.
It’s also the 20th anniversary of their hugely successful album Odyssey Number Five — which prompted the new album.
“We were in putting together Odyssey Number Five’s 20th anniversary release and we went back and found like 50 songs that we had never released,” drummer Jon Coghill told the ABC. “And we’ve got the 10 best, we think. There’s gonna be a new album this year at some stage. New songs. No one’s heard any of them. And it sounds pretty good to us. It’s been put together really well.”
Now all we need is for the Lions to make the grand final and it’s a Banana bender’s dream event.
Originally published as Report: MCG Grand Final 14 days away