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AFL Grand Final to be held in PERTH if Melbourne's worsening Covid outbreak isn't wiped out in time - a year after it was moved to Brisbane during Victoria's second wave

  • AFL Grand Final to be held in Perth if Melbourne's outbreak isn't under control 
  • CEO Gillon McLachlan said Optus Stadium would be an 'amazing venue' 
  • The Victorian government still needs to give permission for the move

By Brett Lackey For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 07:49 BST, 25 August 2021 | Updated: 23:28 BST, 25 August 2021

The AFL Grand Final will be held at Optus Stadium in Perth if Melbourne's Covid outbreak can't be brought under control in time, footy bosses have announced.

Chief executive Gillon McLachlan said the AFL was still in talks with the Victorian Government, which would need to give permission, but the alternative Perth venue would be 'amazing'.

McLachlan said his focus was to have as many people in the grandstand as possible and Optus Stadium has a larger capacity than other Covid-safe rivals such as the Adelaide Oval.

He added there have also been initial discussions with Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan about the move.

The 2020 Grand Final was held at Brisbane's Gabba stadium during Melbourne's second wave with 29,707 fans in attendance.  

Optus Stadium (pictured) in Perth hosting the 2021 Round 22 match between the Fremantle Dockers and West Coast Eagles on August 15

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Optus Stadium (pictured) in Perth hosting the 2021 Round 22 match between the Fremantle Dockers and West Coast Eagles on August 15

Dockers and Eagles fans at Optus stadium in Perth on August 15 (pictured)

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Dockers and Eagles fans at Optus stadium in Perth on August 15 (pictured) 

Melbourne and Geelong are set to travel to Perth after their finals in Adelaide and are preparing to stay there for a potential preliminary and Grand Final, reports The Age. 

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin said the minor premiers were off to Perth 'win or lose' in Adelaide. 

'The information we've got is that we're heading to Perth on Sunday, so that's the plan at the moment,' he said.

The MCG is contracted to host the biggest event on Victoria's sporting calendar until 2058 with the government needing to sign off on the move. 

A confirmation is expected early next week to give the teams enough time to get through WA's quarantine requirements. 

Optus Stadium has a 60,000 person capacity with 51,692 fans allowed in the stands to watch the August 15 Dockers and Eagles clash (pictured)

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Optus Stadium has a 60,000 person capacity with 51,692 fans allowed in the stands to watch the August 15 Dockers and Eagles clash (pictured)

Victoria's Health Minister said on Wednesday the state still had a 'lot of work to do' to bring the outbreak under control - making the AFL Grand Final's move to Perth almost a certainty. 

Victoria recorded 45 new locally acquired Covid cases, and the state government's vaccination website crashed as thousands of young people try to secure a booking.

Of the latest cases, 36 are linked to known outbreaks, the source of the remaining nine are under investigation and 28 people were out in the community while infectious. 

More than 830,000 vaccination bookings over the next four weeks opened from 7am on Wednesday for Victorians aged between 16 and 39, including 450,000 first-dose Pfizer appointments.

Within minutes of bookings opening, the website buckled due to high traffic.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan (pictured on Wednesday) said his focus was to have a large crowd in attendance for the AFL's Grand Final and Perth's Optus Stadium would be amazing

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AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan (pictured on Wednesday) said his focus was to have a large crowd in attendance for the AFL's Grand Final and Perth's Optus Stadium would be 'amazing'

Many people reported receiving a '500 internal server error' after waiting for up to an hour in the queue to schedule an appointment. Others made it through the queue, only to be told they were ineligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

The health department's Covid-19 response deputy secretary Naomi Bromley said the site received 50,000 hits per minute on Wednesday morning, while 1.3 million people had tried to call the coronavirus vaccination booking line.

She pleaded for people to be patient and kind to staff, with more appointments to be made available over the next week. 

Meanwhile WA with its position as one of the most isolated states in the world has remained largely free Covid in 2021. 

WA's Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the state's economy is projected to record its strongest annual growth in almost a decade despite the Covid pandemic.

The domestic economy is forecast to grow by 3.5 per cent in the last 12 months. 

And unemployment has fallen to 4.6 per cent - its lowest rate since December 2013. 

Melbourne is in the midst of their sixth lockdown (pictured) to control as outbreak which has spread into regional areas

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Melbourne is in the midst of their sixth lockdown (pictured) to control as outbreak which has spread into regional areas 

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Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9924939/AFL-Grand-Final-held-PERTH-Melbournes-worsening-Covid-outbreak-isnt-wiped-out.html