No goalposts at Blundstone Arena may force North Melbourne into other Tasmanian venues

“The club has plenty of options to play AFL games in Tasmania,” a spokesman from North Melbourne said.

Apart from Hawthorn’s home ground, the UTAS Stadium in Launceston, there is also Kingston Twin Ovals, which is located just north of Hobart and is the home of the Kingsborough Football Club that hosted North Melbourne and Sydney in this year’s pre-season series.

A view of Blundstone Arena from last year’s AFL match there between North Melbourne and Melbourne.Credit:Getty Images

The issue has caused a furore in Hobart with the Clarence Football Club unable to train on the ground, although Cricket Tasmania said in a statement that they had offered the Tasmanian State League club alternative training options.

“There are currently infrastructure complications at Blundstone Arena that are a direct result of COVID-19, with one unfortunate impact being the inability to install Australian rules football goal posts for this season.

“Clarence District Football Club has access to the ground for training in the context of these impacts. Assurance has been provided by AFL Tasmania that, if they are able to fixture a 2020 season in the current climate, they are able to allocate Clarence District Football Club an alternate venue to host matches.”

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has shown a reluctance to host AFL matches in the state during 2020 as there will be no crowds, but Hawthorn and North Melbourne are keen to fulfil their contractual obligations to play games in the state this season.

The AFL is creating a rolling fixture this season and has not ruled out the prospect of attempting to have games played in Tasmania, but it is likely they would need to be played in Launceston.


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