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Victorian Government tells AFL not to host Grand Final in NSW


THE Victorian Government has told the AFL it doesn’t want the Grand Final played in New South Wales.

The AFL will next week announce that the Grand Final will be played outside Victoria for the first time in the history of the game due to Melbourne’s COVID-19 second wave.

While talks between the Daniel Andrews Government, the Melbourne Cricket Club and the league have been cordial, Spring Street has been particularly sensitive over where the biggest game of the year is staged.

While Queensland is the raging favourite to host this year’s decider, NSW has emerged as Victoria’s chief major events rival and the Victorian Government has made it clear it doesn’t want Sydney getting a look-in.

Perth’s Optus Stadium and the Adelaide Oval are also campaigning to host the biggest game of the year, with the AFL keen to create a bidding market.

It comes as the Western Bulldogs emerge as a key figure in Grand Final compensation talks between the Victorian government and the AFL.

After some uncertainty over what they would ask for in return, the government and the Melbourne Cricket Club are very close to securing a deal with the league over how they can be compensated for the loss.

Despite the government pushing hard to add multiple years to the MCG’s Grand Final deal, which doesn’t expire until 2057, a one-year contract extension to keep the game in Melbourne is by far the most likely outcome.

But the government also wants the game to maintain its presence in regional Victoria. It’s understood they have sought assurances that Dogs’ five-year deal to play games in Ballarat, which expires in 2021, will be extended.

The Bulldogs have an agreement to play two games a year at the town’s Mars Stadium.

Where the Brownlow medal count is staged has not been raised in conversations, but the national draft could be tied to Victoria for a period of time as another layer of compensation.

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