Grand plan for decider
HOSTING the 2020 WAFL grand final at Fremantle Oval will provide “a huge shot in the arm for the city”, the head of South Fremantle Football Club says.
Club chief executive Cameron Britt said the WA Football Commission’s decision last week was a “significant outcome for Fremantle” that would benefit the entire city.
“Fremantle has had a pretty torrid time throughout COVID, with restrictions and businesses feeling the pinch in terms of visitation and revenue,” he said.
“The Fremantle community has such a rich football pedigree and legacy, and this oval has access to the markets, eateries, small bars and parkland.
“I think a massive tick for Fremantle Oval was the fact that we’re looking at not just the game but a whole-ofevent focus, attracting young people and families into Fremantle.”
The Bulldogs worked with the City of Fremantle and the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce on a joint bid to host the game, with contenders Joondalup and Leederville losing out.
It will be the first time the venue has hosted a WAFL Grand Final in more than 100 years, with such events traditionally held at Subiaco Oval and later Optus Stadium.
And though he admitted Optus Stadium was “arguably the best sporting venue in the country”, Mr Britt said Fremantle Oval was a better choice.
“There is a significant expense to play there, to hire it, plus other limitations including that we could only play two games there on the day,” he said. “We have colts, reserves and league that we need to get through, so that was throwing up a pretty significant barrier.”
Given phase four COVID-19 restrictions will still be in place on game October 4, Mr Britt expected the number of spectators would be capped at 10,000.
But for anyone unable to snag a ticket, the game will be broadcast on a big screen at Esplanade Park following a fan march down Fremantle’s Cappuccino Strip.
“It was really important that we could provide an opportunity for those who aren’t able to physically come to the game to be a part of the overall experience,” Mr Britt said.
“If you can’t score a ticket, you can still come have some food, watch the game, and then everyone will spill out post game into Fremantle.”
A much bigger crowd is expected when Fremantle Oval hosts the WAFL grand final on October 4.