The AFL will decide as early as Tuesday if Brisbane will be granted their wish to hold the AFL Women’s grand final at the Gabba.
The unbeaten Lions won the right to host the inaugural premiership decider when they defeated the Western Bulldogs at the weekend and second-placed Adelaide were beaten by Melbourne.
The AFL have known of the Lions’ desire to play the grand final as a stand alone marquee match for some time but there are logistical issues to overcome.
In a bid to boost grand final attendance and the television audience, the AFL has set aside an afternoon timeslot on Saturday, March 25, when no men’s matches are scheduled.
However, the men’s game between Gold Coast and Brisbane bounces down at Metricon Stadium at 6.25pm Queensland time on the same day.
But organisers are hopeful an early grand final start time wouldn’t force Lions fans to choose between the men’s and women’s games.
“There will be Brisbane fans heading down to the Gold Coast, but with a one-o’clock grand final start we’d be hopeful they could do both,” the AFL’s Simon Lethlean told AAP.
“The Gabba is the Lions’ preference and we’ll work on that basis to try and get a good result for everyone.”
The Gabba option would also come at considerable expense given admission will remain free.
Further muddying the waters is Gold Coast’s audacious bid to host the game as a curtain-raiser to the men’s match at Metricon.
Former AFL football operations boss Mark Evans is the newly-installed chief executive at the Suns and still holds considerable influence at AFL House.
Brisbane won the AFLW minor premiership and the right to host the grand final with one round to spare.
Just a fortnight ago the Lions and the Crows were both unbeaten, with the South Australian side keen to play a potential home grand final at Adelaide Oval.
But the Crows have lost their past two games and are in danger of slipping out of the top two all together.
The third-placed Demons can leapfrog Adelaide if they beat Fremantle at Casey Fields and the Crows lose to Collingwood at Olympic Park.