Night Grand Final could be back in 2021
Night Grand Final could be back in 2021

Night Grand Final could be back in 2021

The AFL has yet to form its position on whether the AFL Grand Final at the MCG will be played under lights in 2021.

The 2020 decider at night was a commercial and ratings success, but opinion remains firmly divided on whether or not it should be a one off.

AFL fixtures chief Travis Auld said the executive team would form a view in the new year.

"I think we haven't quite formed our position yet," he said.

"It's one of the things to get back on our agenda early in the new year.

"The season finished just under 60 days ago and there's been a lot going on the last few months with fixtures.

"I think it's something that when we come back from Christmas, it'll be on the agenda fairly quickly."

A detailed AFL review of the 2020 season is due to be completed next month.

It will then be passed onto the AFL Commission, which will help it determine whether it reverts to the traditional 2.30 timeslot or remains at night.

"We're preparing a bit of a post report across the entire season, which will pick up finals and the Grand Final," Auld said.


The AFL is yet to decide if the 2021 Grand Final will be played at night. Picture: Michael Klein
The AFL is yet to decide if the 2021 Grand Final will be played at night. Picture: Michael Klein


"It's something the Commission talks about in March or April and I'm sure they'll have that conversation again.

"We'll have a better data set than we've had before."

Public sentiment in Victoria remains strong that the Grand Final should revert to its traditional timeslot.

This was also echoed by Richmond triple premiership skipper Trent Cotchin, who after winning the 2020 flag under lights declared he preferred it in daylight.

Broadcaster Channel Seven have said they want the Grand Final played where the biggest audience is available.

The first night Grand Final attracted 3.81 million viewers, which was the biggest ratings figure in four years since when the Western Bulldogs defeated Sydney to end a 55-year premiership drought.

It was also up more than 30 per cent on the 2019 decider between Richmond and the GWS Giants.





The 2021 AFL fixture is out.

And in keeping with everything else about 2020, it's very different to what we are used to.

The league has locked in the opening six rounds - starting with a traditional Richmond v Carlton blockbuster at the MCG on Thursday, March 18 - and the match-ups for Round 7-23 but they don't yet have specific dates or timeslots.

Those details will be announced in blocks about 4-6 weeks in advance, giving the league and broadcasters more flexibility in scheduling the best games in the prime timeslots.




After a shortened season due to COVID-19, the 2021 season will return to 23 home-and-away rounds, with each team playing 22 matches with a bye.

Quarters will also revert to 20 minutes plus time-on after being shortened to 16 minutes in 2020.



Originally published as Night Grand Final could be back in 2021