The AFL has asked whether Perth’s Optus Stadium could accommodate a capacity grand final crowd as a decision looms on the hosting rights.
An announcement on where the flagship event will be played is expected to be made within days, with several venues in the mix to replace the MCG.
Melbourne’s traditional home of football is all but certain to be ruled out given continued high numbers of coronavirus cases.
The Gabba is considered favourite among the contenders but a cluster of cases at a Brisbane youth detention facility has potentially clouded its selection.
West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has confirmed the AFL has asked how many people could be hosted at the 60,000-capacity Optus Stadium.
This year’s decider is expected to be played on October 24, the same date tentatively listed for WA to remove its last remaining restrictions on gatherings.
“That’s one of the queries they’ve put to us,” Mr McGowan said on Monday.
“We’re getting health advice around that and we’ll get back to them with that health advice shortly. But clearly we’re not going to compromise our safety and security requirements.”
Optus Stadium, which opened to the public in 2018, is regarded as one of the best venues in Australia.
It hosted its biggest crowd of the year on Sunday when more than 27,000 people watched West Coast’s victory over Greater Western Sydney.
But under current arrangements – and in contrast to the more accommodating approach from Queensland’s government – visiting teams would still need to quarantine for 14 days in order to play any finals fixtures in Perth.
“If they want to go to the healthiest, safest place and they want to comply with the quarantine requirements, then Perth is the obvious solution,” Mr McGowan said.
“I just think with the grand final, the AFL should do what’s in the interest of football and safety. They shouldn’t be guided by other factors.”
The premier noted WA had gone 135 days without any confirmed community transmission under its strict hard border closures.
One new case was recorded on Monday with a man in his 50s in hotel quarantine testing positive after returning from overseas.
Nine cases remain active.