THE AFL is poised to stage a Wednesday night final for the first time in history to kick off the 2020 Toyota AFL Finals Series.
Clubs spoken to by AFL.com.au believe this year's series is slated to begin on Wednesday, September 30 and likely to follow with finals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
It comes after the AFL this week locked in the Toyota AFL Grand Final in Brisbane on Saturday, October 24, to be played for the first time under lights and outside of Victoria.
With a bye to fall on the weekend of September 26-27 after round 18, a Wednesday night start to this year's finals series would help to bridge the gap to the end of the season.
It would also allow for greater flexibility for extra day's breaks when scheduling semi-finals and preliminary finals in subsequent weeks.
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Thursday night finals were first introduced in 2016, while regular Friday night finals were played for the first time in 1995.
A Wednesday night final would provide greater scope for big TV ratings, which have risen this year through COVID-19.
Port Adelaide has been given the green light to host finals at Adelaide Oval in the opening three weeks, should it earn the right, while Brisbane will have the same opportunity at the Gabba.
Given the stricter border and quarantine laws in Western Australia, West Coast has only been guaranteed a home final in week one if it qualifies as the 'home' side.
Victorian clubs are awaiting confirmation that they will be able to choose where they host their 'home' finals between the Gabba, Metricon Stadium and Adelaide Oval.
The Brownlow Medal is set for a 'hybrid' event to be held on the Gold Coast with players having completed their season and living outside the hubs able to attend, and those still inside hubs to be join the event remotely via video streaming.
It is firming that the event will be held on Sunday, October 18, six days before the Grand Final.
The latest finals developments come as Australian rock band Powderfinger announced on Saturday it had knocked back the AFL's request to perform at the decider.
The band took to Twitter saying it would "rather make way for active Queensland artists," nominating a list of acts including Amy Shark, Ball Park Music, Dune Rats! and Violent Soho.
Hey Everyone, just to put the rumour mill out of business.— Powderfinger (@powderfinger_au) September 5, 2020
We were extremely flattered to have been asked to perform at the Gabba @AFL GF.
A very generous and enticing proposal made by Mr Gudinski and the AFL board (thanks ladies & gents) but it is not to be this time folks.