PERTH'S Optus Stadium will host the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final if Victoria's COVID-19 outbreak prevents the showpiece game being held at the MCG for the second successive year.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan revealed on Wednesday Perth had been chosen as the back-up over Adelaide based on the 100 per cent crowd capacity (60,000) available in the west.

However, the Grand Final's move to Western Australia cannot be finalised until the Victorian Government decides that it can no longer safely hold the event in front of a suitable crowd.

McLachlan indicated a decision would be confirmed by early next week.

08:43 Mins
Published on

MUST WATCH: Gill reveals a grand 'Plan B' without the MCG

AFL chief Gillon McLachlan on the finals, and what will happen if Melbourne can't have crowds

Published on

Melbourne has been in lockdown since July 15 and will remain so until at least September 2. The state recorded another 45 locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

"If we're unable to play at the MCG, the Grand Final will be at Optus Stadium. Our priority clearly will be the health and safety of the West Australian community. We'll work through the quarantine facilities and restrictions for our playing groups and it will be an amazing venue in the event the MCG is unavailable," McLachlan said.

McLachlan said he had held conversations with WA Premier Mark McGowan and also informed the South Australian government of the League's call.

"They've (Perth and Adelaide) both got their merits but the capacity available at Optus Stadium is 100 per cent and that's pretty compelling to have as many people as we can see the biggest and best sporting event in the country," he said. 

Should the Grand Final move to Perth, McLachlan said an afternoon or twilight timeslot would be viable options.

FINALS FREEZE AFL locks in ticket prices for first two weeks

The Grand Final is currently scheduled for Saturday, September 25, with a bye likely to be held ahead of the preliminary finals or the decider.

A wide shot of the crowd at the Western Derby at Optus Stadium in round 22, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

With both Victoria and NSW still affected by COVID-19 lockdowns and the AFL committed to playing the finals series in front of crowds, the first weekend of the finals will be played in Adelaide and Tasmania.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin and Geelong counterpart Chris Scott have both indicated they will depart for Perth after their respective qualifying finals at Adelaide Oval this weekend.

Matches in Adelaide this weekend will be played in front of a crowd capped at 15,000, while 10,000 fans will be able to attend each of the two elimination finals at Launceston's UTAS Stadium