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Whateley questions "narrow-minded" and "very Victorian" Grand Final hosting deal


Gerard Whateley has lamented the “narrow-minded” deal signed in 2018 to keep the Grand Final at the MCG until at least 2057.

As a result of Victoria’s COVID crisis, the MCG has lost hosting rights in the last two years, which has seen the game moved to the Gabba and Optus Stadium.

While the deal to keep the game in Melbourne has since been extended until at least 2059 as a result of the state losing the Grand Final for two consecutive years, Whateley wonders why the AFL hasn’t opted to rotate hosting rights around the country once every four years.

“(Perth) is going to give us a great experience of a Grand Final,” he said on SEN’s Crunch Time.

“I felt it at the time when the deal was done, it was short-sighted, narrow-minded and very Victorian. The idea of having a Grand Final (once every four years) in another city, it’s very powerful to observe in another city and the difference is we could travel for it.

“The problem with this one is because of COVID restrictions, you can’t go but imagine the pilgrimage across the country of the Melbourne and Western Bulldogs faithful.”

Justin Leppitsch concurred with Whateley’s sentiments, saying he’d welcome the chance to allow non-Victorian states to host football’s showpiece.

“It just shows that the 50-year deal we did, it would be great every few years to sell one off and make it big," he said.

“Whilst it’s quiet in Melbourne right now, it would be great to see it in different venues.”

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