The Brisbane Lions have expressed their “extreme disappointment and frustration” at the decision to deny the Club hosting the AFLW Grand Final at the Gabba.
Brisbane Lions CEO Greg Swann said it was "totally unfair and totally ridiculous" to not play the historic game at the Club's home ground – with “safety concerns” over small patches of turf forcing Saturday’s game to be moved to Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.
Swann called on Brisbane Lions supporters to channel their energy into getting behind the Club’s undefeated Women’s team and help get them over the line against Adelaide at Metricon Stadium.
"Our women's team have earned the right to play this game at the Gabba and we are all flabbergasted that they have now been denied that right," said Swann.
“We share the disappointment of our fans who have turned out in their thousands to support the team – we believe a Gabba Grand Final would have drawn a massive crowd and been a real spectacle.
"We have fought the good fight with the assistance of the AFL and the Queensland Government but this is the decision that has been made, and now we have to make sure our fantastic women’s team has all the support it needs to win the Grand Final.
“We call on Brisbane Lions fans and every Queenslander to get right behind them on this once-in-a-lifetime occasion, and help cheer them to victory on Saturday.”
Swann said while the Club respected safety issues were involved, there were still major questions hanging over Stadiums Queensland’s handling of the issue.
“Stadiums Queensland needs to be held to account over this,” said Swann.
“Why was new turf laid straight after the Adele concerts knowing full well that there was AFL to be played in a matter of weeks?
“We now have the farcical situation where our women’s team has been denied the chance to play their showpiece game, and there is doubt hanging over our men’s team’s opening home game on April 1.
"We believe every Queenslander with an interest in sport – and women's sport in particular – should be angry at this decision.
“Those responsible for managing the field of play should be held accountable for a decision that has denied our women’s team the right to create history in front of our loyal supporters.”
In negotiations over recent days, the AFL has gone as far as offering to cover an indemnity for the AFLW Grand Final on Saturday but Stadiums Queensland has refused to budge on its position.
"The AFL has been really supportive in all this, and they have offered to cover the risk in playing the AFLW Grand Final at the ground," said Swann.
Swann said planning for the AFLW Grand Final at Metricon was now in full swing and Brisbane Lions members would be updated as soon as details were finalised.
Any members who have pre-registered for the QClash buses will be communicated to directly.