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Grand Final eve a public holiday in Victoria?

Matt Thompson  November 30, 2014 7:30 PM

AFL 2014 Media - Toyota AFL Grand Final Parade

The Grand Final Parade could be on a public holiday in the future

GRAND Final eve appears set to become a public holiday in Victoria, following Labor's state election victory.
 
It's just one of a number of AFL-related commitments made by premier-elect Daniel Andrews in the lead-up to Saturday's poll.
 
"Making the Friday before the Grand Final a public holiday would benefit families and tourism, and would help capitalise on a major event in our state," Andrews declared in August.
 
Labor has also committed funding to upgrades of Ballarat's Eureka Stadium and the next stage of Geelong's Simonds Stadium.
 
The $25million Ballarat pledge could see the Western Bulldogs playing home games in the regional city as early as 2016, although club chairman Peter Gordon said on Monday it was more likely to be 2018.
 
The commitment to stage four of the Simonds Stadium redevelopment amounts to a whopping $70million.
 
Labor has also committed $25million in funds to establishing a Cricket Victoria base at Junction Oval in Albert Park, which will pave the way for earlier AFL access to the MCG.
 
The Andrews victory does create a hurdle for St Kilda though because the Seaford-based club had publicly sided with outgoing Liberal premier Denis Napthine.
 
Napthine had committed to combining the Junction Oval project with moving the Saints back into the area.
 
However, AFL.com.au understands Labor has left the door open for further discussions, and that St Kilda and the AFL itself will be seek to engage with them further to get the move across the line.
 
The annual, but relatively unlikely, prospect of Victoria hosting a Sheffield Shield cricket final has been a source of constant frustration for AFL schedulers, rendering the MCG unavailable for the start of the football season.
 
Regardless of what happens with St Kilda, the Junction Oval upgrade will allow low-drawing state level cricket matches to played on a high quality surface at a boutique venue, making way for footy at the 100,000 capacity MCG.