FINALLY the seemingly inevitable was confirmed this week - the AFL grand final locked in for Perth Stadium - and it is great news.
That One Day in September is truly iconically and traditionally entrenched to Melbourne as premiership favourite Melbourne Demons. But if pandemic conditions have taught us one good thing, it is to think bigger and more creatively.
The AFL did not implode last year when Richmond secured its third flag in four years by prevailing at the Gabba in Brisbane. Even if it did feel strange.
What has been so much better this season is a preparedness from AFL clubs and the league to become more ground inclusive in what is a national game.
History was made with AFL finals football played in Tasmania for the first time last weekend with two matches at Launceston's York Park.
Attempts to evade COVID's highly infectious Delta strain, Ballarat's Mars Stadium was able to pick up an extra AFL match, hosting Greater Western Sydney's home game against Gold Coast Suns in early July.
Had it not been for the virus' rampant spread, the Giants planned to bring their Battle of the Bridge derby with Sydney Swans back to Mars days later.
We are a boutique venue, but this season and that Giants' match proved not everything AFL need focus on the MCG and Docklands in Victoria.
This late call-up was an important nod not just for Ballarat but for all western Victoria in accessing the games' highest levels.
Pandemic aside, the AFL grand final is locked in to the MCG for years to come.
This is a chance for Perth to show what it can offer in its modern 60,000-seat sporting complex.
Australia may not have the depth of mammoth stadiums like in the United States where the National Football League is spoilt for Superbowl venue choice.
A roaring Perth Stadium should definitely prove its worth.
Breaking tradition and getting out of the comfort zone is not easy. It would be an understatement telling this to Dees' fans should their team reach the grand final, only to run out in Perth to vie for the club's first flag in almost 60 years.
Is this better than ruling out the grand final altogether like many grassroots Victorian competitions, including Ballarat Football Netball League this week, have been forced to do?
On an international scale, could we face shifting an event like the Australian Open interstate for one summer to prevent losing the event to another nation in the Asia-Pacific with no certainty of a return?
If it is possible go for it and see what opportunities arise.
A Perth-based grand final is an incredible reward and opportunity for a proud, parochially Aussie Rules state with its own rich football history.
Sporting traditions are important but it would be backward-thinking if we were all to merely revert to the pre-COVID status-quo once our nation starts to open up.
Ballarat might not be in the ball-park for an AFL grand final, but we can definitely be more than a sometimes Doggies' kennel.
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