Cook said the club had made its home in Queensland and the Cats’ view was if they qualified for a home final, “we should have the privilege of being able to choose out of those two stadium (the Gabba and Metricon Stadium).”
Richmond CEO Brendon Gale said he he expected the Tigers would choose to remain in Queensland if they won the right to a home final with the club having 4000 members in the Sunshine State.
Although the Tigers have won 11 consecutive matches at the Gabba, including last year’s qualifying final against the Brisbane Lions, Gale, emphasising the club had not reached an official position, said they would likely choose to meet Brisbane at Metricon Stadium if they earned the right to host a final against the Lions.
The AFL is still to finalise the finals system but is considering giving teams a limited choice of “home” field from the Gabba, Metricon, the Adelaide Oval and – for West Coast in the first week of finals – Perth’s Optus Stadium, in a format that would apply up to and including preliminary finals.
Collingwood, placed sixth prior to round 16, have been happy playing at the Gabba – where they have played all of their Queensland games – but would not give a position on preferred home until the Magpies had qualified for the finals.
West Coast said that in the event that they qualified for a home final against the Lions, they would choose to ‘host’ the game at Adelaide Oval – clearly a smaller trip for the Eagles and a trip out of Queensland for Brisbane.
West Coast can only play a home final in Perth in the first week of the finals, due to the AFL’s position on quarantine (the bye before the finals allowing that Perth final to happen, if the Eagles earn it).
But West Coast football boss Craig Vozzo said their position on hosting home finals in the event they couldn’t play in Perth would depend on their opposition.
St Kilda said they’re happy to remain in Queensland – the Saints, seventh but with a tough run home, are camped in Noosa – but football boss Simon Lethlean said their first focus was on qualifying for finals.
Greater Western Sydney, fighting for a lower eight spot, said the Giants also would prefer to play in Queensland, where they are also based.
Top side Port Adelaide will play at the Adelaide Oval, while the Brisbane Lions – who have five games remaining and are a strong chance to finish in the top two – will obviously host any home final at the Gabba.
Melbourne, who entered the top eight last Saturday and had five games left including Thursday night’s clash with Sydney (in Cairns), said the club had not reached a position.
The Western Bulldogs Carlton and Essendon remain in the hunt for a finals spot, but are longshots to win enough games to host a final.
The Tigers have won their past seven matches at Metricon Stadium, including all five games this year and have won 13 consecutive games in Queensland.
By contrast their record at Adelaide Oval is relatively poor with just one win in their past five games at the venue.
Jake Niall is a Walkley award-winning sports journalist and chief AFL writer for The Age.
Peter Ryan is a sports reporter with The Age covering AFL, horse racing and other sports.