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Whateley rubbishes prospect of Grand Final at “footy’s most despised ground”


Gerard Whateley cannot believe ANZ Stadium in Sydney is being seriously considered as a potential Grand Final venue.

With the latest COVID-19 spike in Victoria placing major doubt on the Grand Final being played at the MCG in 2020, alternatives are already being discussed.

Some reports are suggesting that Sydney is the front-running city to host the showpiece event this year with ANZ Stadium’s 83,000-capacity the most likely option in New South Wales.

But Whateley has rubbished that idea, labelling the venue in question as “awful”.

“Just to confirm how abnormal these times are, the talk of ANZ Stadium - footy’s most despised ground - as the front runner as the Grand Final alternative should the MCG be out of the question,” he said on SEN.

“It’s not even listed in the Bible, the season guide, as an AFL venue. How could it possibly be considered as a possibility for the biggest game of all when it’s not even listed as an AFL venue?

“It’s a ghastly idea. Not because it’s Sydney but because it’s an awful venue.

“It’s got nothing on Optus Stadium and Adelaide Oval. If there needs to be a rallying, we need to rally for Perth and Adelaide.

“ANZ Stadium, spare me.”

Discussing the notion with footy great Malcolm Blight, Whateley pointed to key venues in traditional AFL cities Adelaide and Perth as those that should be most strongly considered.

“Adelaide Oval, I adore the way that’s been redeveloped,” he added.

“Perth’s Optus Stadium has a sense of grandeur to it. Both would be tremendous venues for the biggest game of the year.”

Blight responded: “Absolutely.

“I think either Perth or Adelaide if it’s not going to be the MCG. It’s got to be Perth or Adelaide.

“I think we have to look after our own. In the dire straits of need, you look after yourself and I reckon we look after the AFL states first.”

The SCG is unlikely to be considered due to its capacity of just 48,000 while Brisbane’s Gabba is in the same boat with a capacity of 42,000.

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