Sydney AFL derby to be held in Ballarat
The Sydney AFL derby will be played in Ballarat with GWS and Swans facing an extended stay in Victoria, due to NSW's coronavirus crisis.
The two Sydney clubs might have to remain based in Melbourne for the remainder of the season with NSW's COVID-19 outbreak continuing to worsen. AFL Fixture Administer, Travis Auld, said:
“The COVID-19 situation in NSW and associated border restrictions has meant we are unable to play the match in NSW.
“The upside of the unfortunate situation in NSW is that we can take what is a quality match-up to regional Victoria, with Mars Stadium in Ballarat once again being a great venue to accommodate the two clubs.
“We encourage footy fans from across the region to attend the match and thank the Victorian State Government for their continued support of the AFL season and their assistance in enabling a great match and spectacle for the city of Ballarat.”
The state recorded 112 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, with the NRL on Sunday, following the AFL's lead, and relocating its NSW based teams interstate.
Sydney smashed West Coast by 92 points in Geelong in round 16, and boast the best recent record by a team other than the Cats at the ground, having played four of their last five matches there.
GWS got a taste of Ballarat's Mars Stadium on Sunday, but lost to Gold Coast by a point in a thriller. It will be Lance Franklin’s 15th stadium he has played at in his career.