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Brisbane's Gabba to host AFL grand final

Only a significant COVID-19 outbreak can stop the AFL's first night grand final - and first held outside Victoria - from being played at Brisbane's Gabba ground.

Adelaide Oval is on standby for the October 24 showpiece, but Western Australia's hard border has effectively ruled out Optus Stadium as a viable option.

The biggest losers could be flag contenders West Coast, who also face the prospect of missing out on playing lead-up finals in Perth.

All going to plan, the 2020 premiership decider will be shifted from its usual afternoon time slot at the MCG and be played under the Gabba's lights, with a capped crowd of about 30,000 fans.

The exact time slot is yet to be confirmed but will avoid a clash with horse racing's Cox Plate and appeal to broadcasters, who expect a massive television audience in prime time on the east coast.

AFL chief executive Gillion McLachlan declared moving the grand final was the "biggest decision of all" in a season disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The AFL Commission ruled on key criteria including safety, integrity of the competition, fan engagement, financial support for the game and long-term legacy.

Queensland's assistance in hosting numerous clubs in hubs and the majority of home-and-away games this season - helping keeping the competition afloat - proved too much for the AFL to ignore.

"There was a view around the industry that given all the work they (Queensland) had done to help us, and we had so many teams based up here, that was probably the overriding factor," McLachlan told reporters on Wednesday.

The AFL's contingency planning includes an option for a smaller crowd at the Gabba or a late switch to Adelaide Oval, where about 25,000 could attend.

"It's not something that we're contemplating but I think it's incumbent upon us to have that back-up plan," McLachlan said.

The shift was forced by Victoria's COVID-19 breakout putting that state into lockdown, ruling out the grand final's traditional venue, the MCG.

The grand final has been played away from the MCG only once in the last 74 years, when Melbourne's Waverley Park hosted the 1991 game because of MCG construction works.

State governments of Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and NSW all bid to host the 2020 decider.

WA Premier Mark McGowan's game of "hard to get" backfired for the state's chances of winning the right.

West Coast could be allowed to play in Perth in week one of the finals series, after the bye week.

But McGowan's refusal to budge on a seven-day quarantine period for clubs entering WA will likely prevent further finals at Optus Stadium this year.

The ability for clubs to travel between Queensland and South Australia means some teams may yet be allowed to host 'home' finals at Adelaide Oval.

Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium is also a possible finals venue, with some clubs temporarily based in Queensland opposed to playing 'home' finals against Brisbane at the Gabba.

© AAP 2020