Crows, Power stuck in the hub
PORT Adelaide and Adelaide will have their stints inside the AFL's Gold Coast hub extended, after the league announced both teams will play their Round 6 games in Queensland.
On Wednesday night the AFL unveiled the next round of games, which will see the Crows play West Coast on Saturday, July 11 at the Gabba from 3.05pm, while the Power will play Greater Western Sydney - a new team to the Gold Coast hub - on Sunday, July 12 at Metricon Stadium from 12.35pm.
The AFL also ruled out Adelaide's request to play their Round 5 game against Fremantle on July 5 at Adelaide Oval.
A Crows spokesman said at this stage, the club would leave the Gold Coast hub after the Fremantle game and return to Adelaide, to then fly back to Queensland to face the Eagles the following weekend.
Crows chief executive Andrew Fagan said the club had expected the extra week in the hub.
"As we anticipated, we will round out our games against the teams currently based in Queensland," he said.
"However, our most pressing thought is wanting to know when we will play home games at Adelaide Oval in front of our members and supporters who are no doubt missing their footy.
"Hopefully that is not too far away."
Round 6 will kick off with St Kilda taking on Geelong at Marvel Stadium on Thursday, July 9 and conclude with North Melbourne taking on Richmond at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
This round will see the return of footy to the MCG with the Queensland teams flying to Melbourne: Collingwood will play Brisbane on the Friday night and Hawthorn will face the red hot Suns on Saturday.
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After Round 6, West Coast and Fremantle - who will have played five games in Queensland - will return to their home state, where they will be joined in a new Perth hub by Collingwood and Geelong.
The Cats and Pies will head west to where they are expected to play each other as well as games against the Eagles and Dockers in front of fans at Optus Stadium, with the Victorian clubs are tipped to head west on the same flight after their Round 6 games.
The AFL's general manager of clubs and broadcasting Travis Auld said the new round had been constructed with the primary aim of optimise viewership for all fans across the country, while respecting and working though the various State Government restrictions in place at the time.
Other objectives include seeking to minimise team travel and provide the clubs a more traditional block of timeslots that ensures clubs have a minimum five-day break between games.
"As we navigate through the season, we will continue to be adaptable with our scheduling, ensuring our fixtures align with the relevant State Government restrictions in place at the time," Mr Auld said.
"On behalf of the AFL, we thank the Adelaide Crows, Fremantle, Port Adelaide and the West Coast Eagles for their patience and support in the Queensland high performance centres over recent weeks, along with the Collingwood and Geelong football clubs for their support as we continue to work through the most unique period our game has faced.
"We will continue to work through the protocols with the WA Government."
ROUND 6 FIXTURES
St Kilda v Geelong - Thursday, July 9, 7.40pm, Marvel Stadium.
Collingwood v Brisbane Lions - Friday, July 10, 7.50pm, MCG.
Fremantle v Melbourne - Saturday, July 11, 1.05pm, Metricon Stadium
West Coast v Adelaide - Saturday, July 11, 3.35pm, The Gabba
Essendon v Western Bulldogs - Saturday, July 11, 7.40pm, Marvel Stadium
Hawthorn v Gold Coast - Saturday, July 11, 6.05pm, MCG
Port Adelaide v GWS Giants - Sunday, July 12, 1.05pm, Metricon Stadium
Carlton v Sydney - Sunday, July 12, 3.35pm, MCG
North Melbourne v Richmond - Sunday, July 12, 6.10pm, Marvel Stadium