Lions take aim at critics of AFLW grand final venue

AFLW Lions player Bre Koenen at the new ground.

AFLW Lions player Bre Koenen at the new ground. Photo: AAP

Brisbane Lions boss Greg Swann has hit back at critics of the club’s new AFLW ground, declaring it the perfect venue for the sold-out grand final against Melbourne.

Brighton Homes Arena has never previously hosted a competitive fixture and there is still work to be done to bring facilities up to scratch before Sunday’s season decider.

The stadium still needs a digital scoreboard, interchange benches, signage and marquees.

But league officials have ticked off the playing surface, which was laid just six weeks ago, giving it the green light to hold the showpiece event.

AFL women’s football boss Nicole Livingstone said capacity would be about 6500 for the grand final at a venue Lions CEO Swann said was the “best in Australia” for AFLW matches.

It is part of the club’s new $80 million base at Springfield.

“I’m a bit peeved at the [criticism], mainly coming out of Melbourne, that this is just a training ground,” Swann said on Monday.

“It’s actually a purpose-built AFLW ground.

“It’s a stadium, it’s got grandstands, we’ve got open air here because of the weather.

“I’ve been lucky enough to go around the world and look at other facilities, and this is world-class.

“It’s our home for a long, long time and hopefully we’re playing plenty of grand finals here over the next few years.”

Swann also rejected calls for the AFL to lock in a permanent venue for the women’s grand final.

The Lions won hosting rights by finishing minor premiers ahead of Melbourne, which is unfazed about where the premiership decider is being played.

“We can’t wait,” Demons captain Daisy Pearce said.

“[It’s a] brand new venue and, from what Brisbane have put out, it looks like a beautiful facility.

“We can’t control where we’re playing but we’re just very grateful to have the opportunity to play in a grand final.

“If it’s been ticked off by the AFL … we don’t mind.”

AFLW grand final tickets sold out within hours of going on sale on Monday afternoon after the AFL froze the entry price at $10.


Topics: AFLW
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