WA welcomes 'historic' AFL grand final

·2-min read

West Australians are set to celebrate a week of AFL grand final festivities including a parade through the city after Perth officially secured hosting rights.

AFL chief Gillon McLachlan on Tuesday confirmed the premiership decider would head west with the MCG unable to host crowds due to its coronavirus outbreak.

The marquee clash at Optus Stadium is scheduled for September 25 and is expected to have a twilight start.

Perth will also host a semi-final and preliminary final in coming weeks, along with the Brownlow Medal count which will kick off grand-final week.

Thousands of fans are likely to also line the streets of Perth for a grand final parade.

WA Premier Mark McGowan says it will be a historic event for the state.

"We've secured this event on our own terms and we've ensured that we've put in place the very strictest and strongest of protocols to protect West Australians," he told reporters.

"It will be a great spectacle, a great event and showcase what our state has to offer."

With WA having avoided any large-scale coronavirus outbreaks, Mr McGowan said only fans from virus-free states would be permitted entry and "very few" exemptions would be granted for AFL officials to enter from Victoria.

"We've run football over the course of the last two years during COVID in which teams come in in a COVID-safe way, it's managed in accordance with all of the protocols and we haven't had any problems," he said.

"We'll make sure we continue to do that over coming weeks."

Optus Stadium will have a capacity of 61,266 for the grand final.

The stadium estimates that tourism associated with hosting the game could deliver up to $10 million to Perth's hotels, restaurants and bars.

"The grand final is the most important day of an AFL players' career and is one of the great days in world sport," Optus Stadium chief Mike McKenna said.

"We are looking forward to being able to deliver the very best in-person AFL experience to local fans who have shown time and time again that they love footy and will attend major events of all types."

WA has a proud Australian Rules football history, having hosted games dating back to the 1880s and produced greats of the game including Indigenous champions Polly Farmer, Barry Cable, Peter Matera and Lance Franklin.

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