The Australian Hotels Association (WA) has welcomed the AFL’s announcement that Optus Stadium is its preferred contingency venue should the MCG not be able to host the 2021 Grand Final.

The AFL said Optus Stadium in Perth was ultimately chosen as its preferred contingency based on the combination of five key criteria (safety, integrity, fans, financial and legacy) and the ability to accommodate the greatest number of supporters.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said: “On behalf of the AFL, I would like to thank the Victorian State Government for their support and understanding as we continue to plan our 2021 Toyota AFL Finals Series.

“The Western Australian Government and Premier Mark McGowan have provided the AFL with a great backup plan, with Optus Stadium giving fans a great opportunity to attend if the match needs to move.”

AHA WA CEO Bradley Woods welcomed the decision, saying that given the unfolding situation in Victoria, Perth looks very likely secure the Grand Final and with it, the substantial economic benefits that would flow to WA’s hotels, bars, restaurants, pubs and taverns.

“While WA has not yet been confirmed as the host, we are the equivalent of being five metres out, directly in front of the goals,” Woods said.

“Optus Stadium is the obvious choice for so many reasons, but above all we have substantial capacity in the best stadium in the southern hemisphere to do justice to the biggest game on Australia’s sporting calendar.

“WA’s ability to suppress and manage COVID-19 over the past 18 months has placed us in an excellent position to make the most out of the Grand Final, should the MCG be ruled out as an option.

“With no restrictions in place, hospitality venues across Perth and regional WA will be able to draw capacity crowds, while hotels in Perth’s CBD are primed to benefit from intrastate and interstate visitors.

“This would be a massive boon for WA’s hotel and hospitality industry and one that is well deserved after a challenging 18 months.

“Our hotels, restaurants, pubs, bars and taverns stand ready, willing and able to provide the best hospitality Australia has to offer and to show the world what Perth looks like in 2021 – a clean, safe and exciting world-class destination.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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