The AFL has confirmed the Brownlow Medal will be a virtual event this year, and held on a Sunday night.
The prestigious event to crown the game’s best and fairest will be broadcast on Channel 7 on Sunday, October 18 — six days before the Gabba makes history as host of the 2020 Grand Final.
The AFL confirmed the latest alteration to its traditional calendar today, citing difficulties around holding the event amid coronavirus concerns.
More than 1000 guests usually attend the black-tie Brownlow Medal count at Melbourne’s Crown Palladium, where the glamorous red carpet arrivals of players and their partners have become almost as big as the award itself.
Given Queensland has hosted the majority of games and will take on the Grand Final, there had been a push to host a smaller, socially-distanced event on the Gold Coast that would exclude the teams still competing.
But given the health requirements needed to host such an event, the decision was today made to conduct the Brownlow Medal count as a television event.
“While this year’s Brownlow Medal broadcast will be different, what won’t change is the drama of the count and the prestige of the game’s most coveted individual award,” Seven Melbourne’s managing director Lewis Martin said.
“It truly is a magical night and we are down the track on plans to bring all the tension, drama and emotion to the fans at home as this year’s fairest and best player is crowned.”
Ex-Docker, now Lion Lachie Neale is the overwhelming favourite to take home the Medal in 2020.
“While the glamour of the red carpet will be missed this year, we are looking forward to delivering a special format made specifically for the broadcast audience at home, so our fans can continue to celebrate their heroes and their achievements this year,” AFL commercial manager Kylie Rogers said.