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Metricon Stadium to host AFLW Grand Final

By Michael Whiting, AFL.com.au  March 20, 2017 5:41 PM

Swann on Grand Final venue Greg Swann fronted the media today after announcing the AFLW Grand Final will be played at Metricon on the Gold Coast.

METRICON Stadium will host Saturday's NAB AFL Women's decider between the Brisbane Lions and Adelaide after the Gabba was deemed unsafe to play on.

The AFL confirmed the venue on Monday afternoon after hours of negotiations with the Gabba's owners, Stadiums Queensland, failed to come to an agreement to make the Lions' regular home ground available.

The game will begin at 12:55pm AEST, ahead of the QClash between Gold Coast and the Brisbane Lions at 7.05pm AEST.

The Lions are fuming at the Gabba's ground staff – mainly head curator Kevin Mitchell – for re-sowing turf near the centre-wicket area following Adele concerts on March 4 and 5.

"Maybe the person that cuts the grass wasn't too conscious of what might happen for AFL football," Lions CEO Greg Swann said.

"We were dumbfounded at the time that someone would re-sow a wicket that isn't needed until the middle of November (for cricket).

"Our question is why was that done, knowing there's games coming? Why that's been allowed to happen is beyond us."

When asked if he was angry at Gabba staff, Swann said "probably more at one person than anybody else, to be honest".

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the League was "profoundly disappointed" the Gabba could not be used for the game.

"The Brisbane Lions have earned the right to host the inaugural NAB AFLW Grand Final in their home state and it is extremely disappointing that the first-ever Women's Grand Final cannot be at the home of AFL football in Brisbane," he said.

The round two match between the Lions and Essendon is now also in doubt, with another inspection of the Gabba due next week.

Swann said his club had been "absolutely let down" by the Gabba ground staff's decision to sow new grass on the surface.

The situation exemplified the need for Brisbane to have a boutique stadium to host women's matches, Swann said.

"We've spoken to the (Queensland) government about not having to be in this situation again," Swann said.

"We need a stadium that can cope with good crowds on a consistent basis."

McLachlan thanked the Suns for making their Metricon Stadium home available for the game and encouraged Lions fans to make the trip to the Gold Coast to continue supporting their undefeated women's team. 

"The AFL is profoundly disappointed the Gabba surface is not able to be presented for the AFLW showpiece match but we hope that as many Lions fans as possible, and travelling fans of the Adelaide Crows, can support the match at Metricon Stadium," he said.

McLachlan confirmed fans could attend the AFLW Grand Final for free, and said the AFL would work with the Queensland Government to maximise transport options. 

Any members who have pre-registered for the QClash buses will be communicated to directly.

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