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MCG still in play for AFLW Grand Final: Lethlean

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 3: Lauren Arnell of the Blues thanks fans during the 2017 AFLW Round 01 match between the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies at Ikon Park on February 3, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
After Friday night's huge AFLW crowd, the League is considering moving the Grand Final venue
We'll weigh it all up and see what's best
Simon Lethlean

THE AFLW Grand Final could yet be played at the MCG, with the game's marquee stadium one of several venues the AFL is considering for the inaugural women's premiership decider.

AFL game and market development manager Simon Lethlean told SEN the League had yet to make a decision on the AFLW Grand Final venue, but had a number of possible options.

"We deliberately haven't made a decision on the Grand Final. We made the call to leave Saturday afternoon (in round one of the AFL) free of any other football, so it gets its own exposure and coverage," Lethlean said.

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"Now we've got to work out where is best, whether that's Whitten Oval or Ikon Park, (we'll) have a look at Punt Rd, the MCG is available and (there's) plenty of time to move the game there.

"We'll weigh it all up and see what's best."

The AFLW Grand Final will be played on Saturday, March 25, two days after the AFL season opens with the regular Thursday night Richmond-Carlton blockbuster.

The MCG hosts Essendon and Hawthorn on the Saturday night of round one, but is free that afternoon.

The AFL will consider on Monday whether to move Saturday's women's match between Collingwood and Melbourne from Olympic Park to a bigger venue in light of the extraordinary crowd of more than 22,000 that attended last Friday night's inaugural AFLW clash between the Magpies and Carlton. 

"We expect there might be more than 5000 or 7000 which is the capacity (of Olympic Park) so if we're sure of that we'll have a look at the options," Lethlean said. 

"I think Ikon Park is probably the most obvious (new venue). It does mean having to move the Carlton-Giants game that's on there at 5pm to a bit earlier in the day, so we've got time to change over and move crowds in and out. 

"There's a bit of work to do but we're certainly looking at that now."

In the opening four AFLW games, the four losing teams each scored just one goal while the highest score recorded was 48 points by Adelaide against Greater Western Sydney. 

Lethlean said the AFL had been aware low scoring might be a feature of the new women's competition and would continue to monitor the issue.

"We tried to address that situation a little bit by tinkering with some of the rules, especially 16 a side to reduce congestion, the smaller ball and generally these girls have only played one or two games as a group together and that takes a while to get used to," Lethlean said.

"It's not a massive concern but it's certainly a watch out and we'll do what we can to help with scoring being improved as best we can."