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A final at Simonds Stadium?

Peter Ryan - AFL Media  August 11, 2017 10:03 AM

Simonds Stadium now has a capacity of 36,000

Simonds Stadium now has a capacity of 36,000

THE AFL is keen to open this year's finals series on a Thursday night but will wait until the final eight is settled before locking a game into the timeslot.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the preferred schedule for the opening week of the finals was for games to be played Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday and Saturday night.

The AFL is understood to be more enthusiastic about Thursday night finals in Adelaide or Perth than opening the finals series on a Thursday night in Melbourne or Sydney.

With the Crows a game clear in top spot of the ladder there is a significant possibility they will qualify for a home final, while Port Adelaide is also a chance to secure a home final in Adelaide.

Last year's finals series kicked off with a Thursday night game in Perth when the Western Bulldogs upset West Coast in Perth to start their September charge to a drought-breaking premiership.

McLachlan said the 2016 schedule worked well and repeating it was likely.

"It gave maximum exposure, [the] best opportunity for people to go and gave the best preparation going into week two of the finals series," McLachlan said.

He said it was impossible to determine whether Geelong would host a final at Simonds Stadium if it earned the right, however understands a match-up against Greater Western Sydney would be the most likely to be considered. 

The AFL has confirmed that the Giants will play their finals at Spotless Stadium if they qualified as the home side.