Ballarat has scored another AFL game this weekend in a major coup for the city.
Greater Western Sydney will return to Mars Stadium on Saturday and this time they are bringing along their biggest rivals.
The 'Battle of the Bridge' will be fought out at Mars Stadium as the Giants play host to the Sydney Swans in what shapes as a crucial top-eight battle.
The match will be played at 1.45pm.
Borders will remain closed to people from New South Wales and the ACT after that state reported more than 100 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, which means there was no chance the game could be moved to Canberra, which was the club's first option.
The border closures mean both the Giants and the Swans are stuck in Victoria and with the MCG and Marvel Stadium booked out on Saturday, only Kardinia Park and Mars Stadium were available to host the game.
Given the Swans outstanding form at Geelong in recent seasons, it was expected the Giants would preference Ballarat for their home game, despite yesterday's one-point loss to Gold Coast.
The game is expected to be the first time that Lance Franklin will play in Ballarat with the Swans set to make their first visit to the venue.
Franklin is on track to kick his 1000th goal this season, needing just 23 more. He kicked one major against the Bulldogs in Sunday's win.
When the Swans hosted West Coast in Geelong just two weeks ago, nearly 10,000 fans were in attendance.
It would be anticipated a similar attendance would attend the 11,000 capacity Mars Stadium, provided health officials lift the 75,000 capacity limits. If not, a crowd of around 8000 would be capacity.
AFL Executive General Manager Clubs and Broadcasting Travis Auld said Mars Stadium was a great result for the clubs considering the new restrictions now in place between the two states.
"The COVID-19 situation in NSW and associated border restrictions has meant we are unable to play the match in NSW," Mr Auld said.
"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."
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