AFL grand final likely to be outside Vic

The MCG may not host the AFL grand final for the first time since 1991 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MCG may not host the AFL grand final for the first time since 1991 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan expects at least four states to put their hands up to host this year's grand final as the prospect of a MCG decider fades by the day.

McLachlan hasn't ruled a line through Victoria, but the likelihood of the grand final being played in Melbourne appears unlikely with the city currently grappling with another COVID-19 lockdown.

Victoria's coronavirus situation has forced the state's 10 AFL clubs to relocate to Queensland for the rest of the home-and-away season.

Teams will be based in Queensland quarantine hubs for up to 10 weeks, meaning the Sunshine State will be home to 12 of the league's 18 clubs alongside Brisbane and Gold Coast.

Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk thinks "it's only fair we also host the grand final" after offering the AFL a temporary base to keep the season alive.

McLachlan says other cities would relish hosting the first AFL decider outside of Victoria, but he is not about to give up on the grand final remaining at the MCG for the 29th straight season.

Not since 1991, when the MCG was undergoing a major redevelopment, has an AFL grand final been played anywhere else.

"There is no decision on the grand final," McLachlan told reporters.

"Clearly people will draw bows, but my clearest position is to say the grand final is at the MCG until there are circumstances and reasons that it can't be.

"The (Queensland) premier has said they would love the grand final.

"Western Australians are pretty clear they would; I know the South Australians would, and I'm pretty comfortable saying the New South Wales government and people of NSW would like the grand final as well."

Queensland (the Gabba and Metricon Stadium) and NSW (SCG and ANZ Stadium) have two stadiums capable of hosting, while Perth's Optus Stadium, which opened in 2018, has been floated as an early frontrunner with a capacity of 60,000.

Adelaide Oval is regarded as one of the best venues for sport in the country and the ground's reputation has only improved since Adelaide and Port Adelaide started playing home games there in 2014.

In 2018, the Victorian government signed a contract to host the grand final at the MCG until at least 2057, but the coronavirus situation has just about made it impossible this year.

A VFL/AFL grand final has never been played outside Victoria, but Melbourne grounds Waverley Park, Princes Park, Junction Oval and Lake Oval hosted deciders last century.

Australian Associated Press