BOTH the 2019 Victorian Football League (VFL) and VFL Women’s Grand Finals will take place at Ikon Park on Sunday September 22, after the AFL announced the decision to return to the venue in 2019. Previously the game had been held at Marvel Stadium (known as Etihad prior to this year), but a return to a community atmosphere at the Carlton North venue was a deciding factor in the change. The NAB League Boys decider will be played at the same venue the day before.
The men’s and women’s finales will be played at Carlton’s home base to welcome the VFL Grand Final for the first time since 2007. Marvel Stadium has hosted the last 11 VFL deciders, with the VFL/VFL Women’s double-header Grand Final day having been played at the Docklands stadium over the last two years.
AFL Head of Talent Pathways & State League Competitions Tristan Salter said the opportunity to play the final games of the VFL and VFL Women’s Love the Game Finals Series at Ikon Park will be part of a festival of football at the venue on the weekend of September 21-22.
“The return to Ikon Park provides us with an opportunity to hold the Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL and Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s Love the Game Grand Finals at a venue that gives a familiar community feeling and atmosphere to our home-and-away games and lead-up finals for both VFL competitions,” Mr Salter said. “We have the chance to make the weekend a celebration of state-league football, with the NAB League Boys decider to be played on the Saturday, followed by the VFL and VFL Women’s finales on the Sunday. “The VFL / VFL Women’s Grand Final double-header has averaged over 14,500 fans across the last two years, so we are hoping to attract an even bigger crowd this year as we create a festival atmosphere at Ikon Park and fill the venue full of football fans. “There will be no AFL games played in Melbourne on Sunday September 22, so we encourage all football supporters to come and enjoy a great day out, seeing a host of talented VFL and AFL players take to the field in both Grand Final games.”
Fans across Australia will have the opportunity to watch both VFL matches, with the grand finals to be broadcast on Channel 7 throughout Victoria and on 7Plus interstate. Three rounds remain in both competitions, with the top eight in the VFL and top six in the VFL Women’s yet to be finalised. Richmond and Essendon currently lead the race to host home finals in week one of the VFL Love the Game Finals Series, with Footscray and Williamstown still in the mix. Collingwood and Southern Saints are battling to host a home final in the expanded VFL Women’s top six this season, with the competition’s finals to be played over four weeks for the first time in 2019.
The VFL and VFL Women’s Love the Game Finals Series – supported by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation – begins on the weekend of Saturday August 31, with all lead-up finals – outside of the home finals in week one – to be played at Adcon Stadium (North Port Oval).
Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL / Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s
Love the Game Finals Series
Week 1: Saturday August 31 / Sunday September 1, Home Qualifying Finals (TBC) / Elimination Finals Adcon Stadium (Port Melbourne)
Qualifying Final 1: 1 vs 4
Qualifying Final 2: 2 vs 3
Elimination Final 1: 5 vs 8
Elimination Final 2: 6 vs 7
Qualifying Final: 1 vs 2
Elimination Final 1: 3 vs 4
Elimination Final 2: 5 vs 6
Week 2: Saturday September 7 / Sunday September 8, Adcon Stadium (Port Melbourne)
Semi Final 1: Loser Qualifying Final 1 vs Winner Elimination Final 1
Semi Final 2: Loser Qualifying Final 2 vs Winner Elimination Final 2
Semi Final 1: Winner Qualifying Final vs Winner Elimination Final 1
Semi Final 2: Loser Qualifying Final vs Winner Elimination Final 2
Week 3: Saturday September 14 / Sunday September 15, Adcon Stadium (Port Melbourne)
Preliminary Final 1: Winner Qualifying Final 1 vs Winner Semi Final 2
Preliminary Final 2: Winner Qualifying Final 2 vs Winner Semi Final 1
Preliminary Final: Loser Semi Final 1 vs Winner Semi Final 2
Week 4: Sunday September 22, Ikon Park (Carlton North)
Grand Final: Winner Preliminary Final 1 vs Winner Preliminary Final 2
Grand Final: Winner Semi Final 1 vs Winner Preliminary Final