From the start, the grand final was going to be a little different than previous ones.
The first of four games was played on a Sunday and the first one, a tiebreaker, was decided on a Thursday night.
“There was a little bit of an outcry about the fact that we’d be doing a game on a Friday night,” said Mark Jones, the president of the Football Association.
“I think people were upset about that because it meant that we would have to play on a Saturday night and it would have been a Saturday morning game.”
“But the players have been quite happy that the game is on the same night.”
But the real challenge was how to get the game on time.
The game was played at the Colonial Forge High School, which is in the middle of the capital’s central business district, and there was a long line of people waiting to enter.
“It was a big deal, because there was no centralised point for people to go to to watch,” said Jones.
The match was played in front of a capacity crowd of about 20,000 people.
“We’re really pleased that we got that right,” he said.
“I’ve never been to a football match on such a massive scale,” said one spectator. “
The crowd, the atmosphere, it was fantastic.”
“I’ve never been to a football match on such a massive scale,” said one spectator.
“But this is fantastic and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to it.”
After the match, the AFL announced a further game to be played on Sunday night, which was moved to the city centre to accommodate more people.
But when the match finally started, there was much more crowd.
The AFL said it was concerned about “proper stewardship of the game”.
“The AFL would like to acknowledge the efforts of stewards who have made the job a little more difficult this week,” said the statement.
“A total of 18 stewards have been employed over the course of the week, including five stewards from the Football Federation of Australia and three from the Queensland Police Service.”
The match ended with both teams making their way back to the hotel.
“If we had been able to keep the crowd down, we would probably have had a much better result,” said a spokesman for the AFL.
“However, we’ve seen the crowd grow significantly since the first game, which has been good for both sides.”
“We want to thank the stewards for the hard work they’ve put in.”
In a statement, the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he was “very proud” of the effort the game’s organisers had put in to getting the match to the stadium on time, despite the crowds.
“In terms of the match itself, we’ll see what the next step is,” he added.
“At the moment, the stadium is in good shape and it’s the ideal place for a football game to go.”
The AFL has said it would review the decision on whether to move the match back to its original date.
“From my point of view, we’d like to see a review of the decision and a new date for the game,” Jones said.
The Victorian Government has been forced to postpone the Commonwealth Games for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic, and a decision on the date of the grand finals has been delayed.
The announcement has been welcomed by the AFL, which said it wanted to get “a game that is going to make people feel a bit more connected to the game of football”.
“It’s a really important time for the sport in Victoria and the Victorian Government is very keen to see this game played,” said AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou.
“And we’re keen to get this game moving to the capital.”