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AFL Women's grand final venue debate a distraction ahead of new competition's big game

Hosting a grand final is serious business, and the choice of where to stage a sport's biggest match of the season can prompt plenty of arguments.
The AFL Women's competition has had almost nothing but good press for its inaugural season, with feel-good story after feel-good story as the league has got off to a spectacular start.
The biggest question mark remains, however, over the grand final venue. It does not seem on the face of it to be a difficult decision.
Unlike the AFL, which has a contract in place with the MCG Trust to play their decider at the MCG every year until 2037, the AFLW is a blank slate, with no such agreement in place.
The push and pull between the Victorian traditional home of football and the more national game that the AFL represents has led to some interesting battles over the years.
One of the big wins for interstate clubs has been the ability for top sides to host a preliminary final — but not a grand final — away from the MCG.
This has given an advantage to the likes of West Coast, Fremantle, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Port Adelaide, who have all hosted the match that decides who will play in the grand final.

Lions and Crows the AFLW stand-outs

In the AFLW it has been clear since early on in the inaugural season that there were two stand-out sides, Adelaide and Brisbane.
While not set in stone, it was strongly suggested that the team that finished with the minor premiership after seven rounds would be rewarded by getting to host the grand final on Saturday, March 25.
The only question if the Lions topped the table seemed to be whether Brisbane should host a standalone grand final at the Gabba, or whether it should be held prior to the round one AFL match - the Q-Clash - between the Lions and the Gold Coast Suns at Carrara.


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