Melbourne has been thrown a Covid curveball ahead of next week’s trip to Perth.
The Demons are preparing to face Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the AFL continues to negotiate the opening of a “sterile corridor” with the Queensland government only two days out from the game.
But it’s the trip to Perth for seven days quarantine immediately after the Suns match that has been the source of uncertainty for Simon Goodwin’s side.
The spacious Joondalup Resort, which has quarantined travelling clubs for the past 12 months, is booked.
While the Dees are still working through the logistics and remain hopeful they can sneak into the resort for at least a few days, there isn’t enough room to host the side for the entire week.
Instead, players and staff are more likely to be confined to a Perth CBD hotel room for the week.
While that is far from ideal, Optus Stadium and a Melbourne sponsor have come to the rescue.
Melbourne players and staff will have use of a significant corporate suite space along with the ground and changerooms, allowing them to relax - as well as train - for most of the day as opposed to being stuck in their rooms.
And to make their stay even more comfortable, club sponsor Red Bull have already come to the party.
The energy drink giant is arranging the installation of a golf simulator, table tennis tables, video game consoles and even a basketball ring in the corporate spaces inside Optus Stadium.
The Suns-Eagles road trip might come at a good time for the Demons, who are looking to regain the sharp edge that carried them to the top of the ladder.
Brownlow medal contender Christian Petracca is in no danger of sitting out, despite some knee grumbles that require ongoing vigilance during the week.