Tasmania will host two AFL games on the same weekend for the first time in round 14 after the league moved more fixtures away from Melbourne amid ongoing COVID-19 issues.
- North Melbourne will host Brisbane at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval
- Hawthorn will play Essendon at Launceston’s York Park
- The switch means Melbourne will not host an AFL match for a third straight week
North Melbourne will host Brisbane at Hobart’s Bellerive Oval on Saturday, with Hawthorn to play Essendon at Launceston’s York Park on Sunday.
Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein described the decision as “a win for Tassie football fans”.
The switch means Melbourne will not host an AFL match for a third straight week.
It comes after the Victorian government ruled matches could go ahead in the state without crowds this week.
Friday night’s blockbuster clash between premiership contenders Geelong and the Western Bulldogs will be played in front of empty stands at GMHBA Stadium.
“While it is disappointing we are unable to host games in front of crowds in Victoria during round 14, we hope the situation continues to trend favourably so we can welcome back members and supporters as soon as possible,” AFL fixtures boss Travis Auld said.
“The decision to relocate two games to Hobart and Launceston was made in close consultation with each respective home team and the Tasmanian Government, having regard to the broader connection each home club has in Tasmania and to allow for members and supporters in Tasmania to attend the games.”
Mr Auld said Geelong made the call not to move the Western Bulldogs clash away from their home ground.
“The decision to continue to play this match at GMHBA Stadium was made in consultation with the home team and was in line with their preference not to move the game,” Mr Auld said.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation in Victoria and work with the Victorian Government and other state and territory governments, with the fixture remaining a week-to-week proposition for now.”