The AFL have denied Brisbane the right to a home grand final.
Despite finishing the NAB Cup unbeaten at number one, the Brisbane Lions have been denied the right to host the grand final match against Carlton.
With the Gabba unavailable due to cricket matches already scheduled, the AFL decided to relocate the grand final to Etihad stadium in Melbourne rather than at the Gold Coast Suns’ Metricon Stadium.
Fans were disappointed at the decision which has been blamed on the AFL chasing a higher attendance number and for broadcast reasons.
The Gold Coast stadium would have pulled a smaller crowd of fans than the Etihad stadium will, but the opportunity to promote AFL to the Queensland arena has been very much overlooked.
In a week with no NRL games scheduled, the AFL had a unique chance to encourage Queensland fans with a marquee match up of the Brisbane Lions and one of the top Melbourne clubs in Carlton.
Brisbane will be feeling as much a victim as their fans as after performing well enough to secure top place, it is Carlton that have the home advantage – something which could prove the difference between the two teams.
With the winner taking home $200,000 and the loser $120,000 the move could cost the Lions $80,000 in prize money, let alone the revenue a home match would have brought in for the club.
Brisbane will do their best to keep their unbeaten record intact announcing they will field their strongest team yet for the NAB Final.