BRISBANE will host Fremantle at the Gabba this Sunday after the AFL approved a fixture swap amid ongoing uncertainty around the COVID-19 situation in Western Australia.
The match was originally scheduled as a Fremantle home game at Optus Stadium but the game will now be played at the Gabba, and the Dockers will now host the return fixture in round 21. Sunday's match will remain in the 4.40pm AEST (2.40pm AWST) timeslot.
The Dockers lost to West Coast in the Western Derby in front of no fans on Sunday after state premier Mark McGowan said the risk of a crowd was too great with live COVID-19 cases in the community.
Given the prospect of playing in front of no crowd again, as the Dockers did against North Melbourne at Optus Stadium in round six, plus the concern over the Lions flying in and out of WA, the AFL approved the fixture change just five days out from the game.
FULL STATEMENT AFL approves Dockers-Lions venue switch
The Dockers indicated they lost more than $1 million with fans shut out of the win over the Roos, while the Eagles said they expected to lose more than $2 million.
Tickets for Sunday's game will go on sale via Ticketmaster at 10am AEST on Wednesday.
It is be the second time this year the Lions have been involved in a fixture change.
The Lions had their round three Easter Thursday game with Collingwood shifted from the Gabba to Marvel Stadium due to an outbreak of COVID-19 in the Brisbane area.
The corresponding round 22 between the Lions and Pies – originally scheduled for Marvel Stadium – will now be played at the Gabba.
Meanwhile, West Coast will also brace for the potential of a longer stay interstate when it packs its bags for a trip to face Hawthorn at the MCG on Sunday.