The most noteworthy collision of the Australian Football season looks likely to come into play after the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. And it will be felt in sports vying for space since there are only so many suitable venues in a nation of supporters 25-million-strong.
The Melbourne Cricket Ground, able to seat 100 000, is the premier location for our national summer sport and the main winter tenant is the AFL. In terms of crowd attendance and television audience, this is the most popular sport Down Under, and The G has hosted the Grand Final in the A-1 Football competition in September since 1902, with only five years’ exception.
Chief Executive Officer for the AFL Gillon McLachlan and CEO of Cricket Australia Kevin Roberts have stated that they will work together to help both sports to synchronise if their seasons overlap. But with such high levels of uncertainty regarding how and when the winter sports league can start up again, something’s got to give.
McLachlan has said that a relaunched AFL season may well run into December 2020, three months later than usual. But the MCG is one of seven stadiums reserved for the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup which is set to unfold from October 18 to November 15 and it will then need preparation for the annual Boxing Day Test, usually the most heavily attended match of the year.
Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium is a regular ground for the AFL, too, but is also an important space for the Cricket Twenty20 Big Bash League over the summer.
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