UP TO 10,000 football fans will be able to attend matches at select stadiums from July, as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be eased.
This was the most significant AFL-related news from Prime Minister Scott Morrison's address on Friday, although the changes won't apply to stadiums with a capacity greater than 40,000.
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The crowd maximum is based on filling 25 per cent of a sports venue's capacity.
However, state premiers will have the final say on whether the new rules will apply to them and the potential of accommodating fans at larger stadiums.
The Prime Minister's announcement comes on the same day South Australian Premier Steven Marshall revealed his state's borders would reopen from July 20, in a major development for the AFL.
Under Morrison's guidelines, venues such as Geelong's GMHBA Stadium, Giants Stadium and Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium would be able to welcome thousands of supporters to games from July.
The timing couldn't be better for Cats champion Gary Ablett, who is due to play his 350th match at GMHBA Stadium on July 4 against his old side the Suns.
Ballarat's Mars Stadium could be an option, too, with Western Bulldogs chief executive Ameet Bains saying in May his club hoped to honour its commitment to play two home games there.
None of the MCG, Marvel Stadium, Optus Stadium, the Gabba, Adelaide Oval and the SCG would qualify because their capacity exceeds the limit.
There is still some hope for those stadiums, given Morrison indicated the chief medical officer in each state would have the power to make a case-by-case call on bigger venues.
"When you're up above 40,000, you've got more than 10,000 people going to a gathering," he said.
"That has implications for the egress and access off and to those premises, public transport crushes – all those sorts of things – and that will require much more significant work."
The Live Entertainment Industry Forum (LEIF) executive committee, headed by former Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland will work closely with state governments on the prospect of larger venues being used.
The committee includes AFL head of Clubs and Broadcasting Travis Auld and CEOs of bodies that represent the MCG, Adelaide Oval, Optus Stadium and SCG.
It's understood the AFL will, at this stage, not consider using Ikon Park for Melbourne-based AFL games.
Meanwhile, Adelaide chief executive Andrew Fagan welcomed the SA Government's decision to open the state's borders.
The Crows and Port Adelaide will both head to the Gold Coast in the week after playing in Saturday night's Showdown 48 at Adelaide Oval.
The SA Government already approved this week for more than 2000 fans to attend the Showdown.
"It's obviously welcome news and it gives some much-needed clarity to our players, coaches and staff, as to how long they have to spend in the Gold Coast hub," Fagan told AFL.com.au.
"The announcement around stadium access is significant, because it allows more of our members and fans the opportunity to possibly attend our games at Adelaide Oval.
"There is no more passionate and loyal group and it'd be great to see them part of our match day in 2020."
Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas said it was "another important step" towards normality for the AFL and the public in general.
"As a community, we should be very proud of the way we are handling the COVID-19 challenge," Thomas said.
"It means that the early games in July will either need to be played from a hub or, alternatively, we will need to find a fly-in, fly-out solution.
"We'll keep working with the SA Government and the AFL to find the right approach but with crowd restrictions lifting further by the end of June and border restrictions gone by July 20, real progress is being made."
The Crows and Power are scheduled to play three matches in Queensland in rounds three to five, with the fixture for rounds six and seven to be released following the completion of round three.
AFL.com.au understands both SA clubs are likely to request a travel exemption to fly in and out of their home state for round six and seven matches, before the borders reopen.
That would enable players and staff to be back with their families, among other benefits.