The Adelaide Oval was unavailable this Saturday afternoon due to the Crows-Hawks men’s twilight match and with two men’s games on Saturday night there was no broadcast window available for the match to be held in the evening.
Then in order for both of the grand final teams to have a minimum seven-day break the AFL had to push the grand final back to Sunday.
The problem now is the AFL has three men’s games scheduled back-to-back on Sunday so if the league tries to schedule the game in any of the regular time slots it will be competing with a men’s match.
That clash raises the strong possibility that the showcase AFLW game of the season could be held on Sunday night. The venue for the grand final will be dependent on which team earns the right to host the game with a decision on venue and start time to be made after this weekend’s preliminary finals.
Whichever of the two grand final teams finished higher or won more games during their regular season would be the team to earn the right to host the grand final.
Thus if Adelaide and Carlton – who finished top of their conferences – were both to win their preliminary finals then the Crows would host the grand final because they won more games.
The scheduling is an embarrassment to the AFL as they had set aside Saturday afternoon for the grand final.
“With the teams that finished on top of each conference hosting preliminary finals, we considered many factors in determining the best schedule for the AFLW preliminary finals, including broadcast and attendance outcomes, venue availability and team travel,” AFL executive Travis Auld said.
“To allow at least seven days preparation for each team between the preliminary finals and the grand final, the NAB AFLW grand final will be played on Sunday, March 31.”