By OSCAR PERRI
The AFL game scheduled in Alice Springs this weekend will be moved, according to players, but tickets are still being sold with the AFL yet to make a statement on a location change for the game.
In a media conference on Monday Melbourne Football Club star Steven May confirmed to journalists that from the information he had received, the highly anticipated clash with the Brisbane Lions would not be going ahead in Alice.
The change is due to changes in the Northern Territory guidelines for Victorians crossing the border, the game looks likely to be relocated to Sydney.
The AFL are expected to make an round 12 fixture announcement at some point today, but nothing has been released as of 5pm. The writing has been on the wall for the match at Traeger Park, though through AFL ticketing partner ticketek, seats are confusingly still available.
Late last week Melbourne CEO Gary Pert told 3AW that the prospects of playing in Alice were “unlikely”, but the AFL have continued to delay any kind of announcement.
Last week’s scheduled game in Darwin between Hawthorn and the Gold Coast Suns was not relocated until two days ahead of the match, but since the situation in Victoria has continued to worsen, it has been widely assumed that the game would be moved.
Regardless of the location, Melbourne will be wearing their indigenous jumper designed by Alice Springs based Arrente artist Amunda Gorey.
More to come.
PHOTO: Melbourne Football Club
UPDATE June 2 at 9.45am
The AFL has officially announced that the venue for the Friday night game will be changed to Giants stadium in Sydney.
Anyone who bought tickets through Ticketek will be automatically refunded, though it may take up to 60 days, according to AFL Northern Territory.
“For fans in the Territory, we will continue to work the Government and the clubs to find a way to bring those two matches to Darwin and Alice Springs later in the season,” says AFL Executive General Manager Clubs and Broadcasting Travis Auld, who is in charge of fixturing.
“We will continue to work with each State Government on finding the appropriate solutions and behalf of the AFL I would like to thank each of them across the country for their guidance and clarity.”
Melbourne CEO Gary Pert said his club is committed to playing a game in Alice Springs this season.
“We love travelling to the Red Centre and engaging with the community,” Pert said.
“My team and the team at AFLNT have done a power work to ensure the game was going to be a huge success and it is a shame that the match has been postponed.”