THE AFL Commission has today announced the start time for the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final will return to the traditional afternoon slot of 2.30pm AEST.
In a COVID-19 affected season of firsts, the 2020 Toyota AFL Grand Final in Brisbane was both the first AFL Grand Final held outside of Victoria, and the first time a night match had been scheduled.
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said the AFL Commission had made the decision to return to the afternoon timeslot after seeking the views of players, clubs and supporters, along with commercial and broadcast partners.
He said the night Grand Final in Brisbane was a great success but after weighing up all factors, the best decision was to return to a day Grand Final.
"We know that Season 2020 was a unique season, and by necessity, we had to make some exceptional decisions surrounding the competition including moving most teams to Queensland and moving the Grand Final and the start time for the first time in its history. The build-up and event in Queensland was a huge success," Mr McLachlan said.
"Our members and supporters were incredible in continuing to support their teams last year and they are wanting a season where they can return to some of the traditions and rituals around footy.
"Ultimately, the AFL Commission decided that while we will keep some of the unique components of the 2020 season, the prestige, nostalgia and atmosphere of the day Grand Final is something that people can look forward to.
"Wherever they are located around Australia, we want to give footy fans that familiar feeling back on Grand Final Day – a Saturday afternoon start-time, the build-up, the anticipation, friends, family and the BBQ in the backyard, all combining to make it the best event on the Australian sporting calendar.
"We still have a lot of work as a league and a community to get the finish line, but I would love nothing more to see 100,000 back at the MCG on the last Saturday in September."
The date of 2021 AFL Grand Final is Saturday September 25, 2021 and will be broadcast exclusively on the Seven Network.