The AFL has today confirmed the start time for Saturday, September 25‘s grand final, taking place at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
Footy fans will be treated to a night grand final for the second year in a row, with the AFL confirming the game will commence at 5:15pm local time and 7:15pm in eastern states.
Last year’s grand final, held at The Gabba in Brisbane, was the first night grand final in history.
In a statement, the AFL’s general mananger of broadcasting, Travis Auld, said both the league and Channel Seven were “cognisant of finishing the match at a suitable time for younger footy fans.”
He pointed to the fact that the 7:15pm bounce is earlier than most Saturday night matches during the home-and-away season – which usually begin at 7:20pm or 7:40pm.
“Historically, a really special part of Grand Final day is the build-up and anticipation, and we want to ensure we can share the excitement and atmosphere with the millions watching across the nation and around the world.”
Moving the grand final to the evening means the game will now notionally clash with an NRL preliminary final, unless the NRL elects to move that game to the afternoon.
The game will also go head-to-head with a Rugby Championship double-header of New Zealand vs South Africa and the Wallabies versus Argentina.