AFLW Grand Final: Reading the change of venue

Almanacker Kate O’Halloran has a piece in The Guardian today:

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. My take on all of this? It was probably always going to happen from a commercial sense. The Gabba trust (or Stadiums Queensland) I’m sure would have taken a major revenue hit if they played the game at the Gabba. With no admission charge they wouldn’t have had any revenue (given the food and beverage operators would take a major cut of anything sold) and with the crowd probably expected to be over 10K they would have also had to fork out for public transportation (the reason for this can be traced to one man, Clive Palmer. Remember Gold Coast United, the A-League club he basically “Ran”? It was Palmer who tried to restrict crowds to less than 5000 so he wouldn’t have to fork out to provide public transport to the masses).

    It made sense to hold it at Carrara given the media facilities would have already been set up. With the lack of HD vans in the SE QLD corner to set one unit up at one ground, then to hurriedly move them to another venue (I think the Roar have a home game this Saturday as well on the back of the Broncos on Friday Night, and setting up OB vans isn’t like plugging something into a power outlet). It still provides some sort of home ground advantage, given the conditions on the coast would largely replicate Brisbane (slightly cooler perhaps if anything), they actually are playing on one of their spiritual homes (Carrara WAS the first home ground of what became part of the Lions brand as we know it, not that anyone under 20 would realise that, plus if they wanted to play at a spiritual home, then the game should have been played at Brunswick Street). The fact that they moved the start time of the men’s game back by 30 minutes, which isn’t easy given the stranglehold TV has on scheduling at this time should have been the big clue that the game would be moved here.

    In terms of the match being relegated to second string status, playing the game on this weekend would have done it regardless of teams involved or where it was played. There are 2 games being played in the opening round of the men’s comp almost immediately after the presentation of the cup (not to mention a NEAFL practice match at the ground an hour later between a hyrbrid of the reserves and academy sides for both the Suns and Lions). If Adelaide had it as their home game, the coverage would have been bigger but perhaps hidden given Port are involved in one of the 2 games immediately after. (If GWS somehow hosted the final, it would have got less coverage than a pre-season Shute Shield match but that’s another story again).

    As for the surface tension, I guess the big issue to me is that the Gabba isn’t normally a concert venue. Almost every concert in SE QLD held in recent years where the attendance has been 20000 or more would usually be held at Lang Park (crowds below would fit Boondall where the Bullets sometimes play). They wouldn’t have known how badly the turf would have reacted to a show of this magnitude, especially as a centre stage performance is reasonably unusual (many outdoor concerts have a stage set up at an end). I’m sure there’s similar problems at the Olympic Stadium and at Docklands, but given their surfaces are ordinary anyway nobody’s complaining much……

Leave a Comment