Victoria is set to keep its annual public holiday on the Friday before the AFL Grand Final, even if the match does not go ahead.
Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Saturday after being asked whether the day off would remain if the game was played interstate.
‘No matter where the Grand Final is played we will have the public holiday, and if some in the business community want to have a crack at me today, if that makes them feel better then fine,’ he said, 7 News reported.
‘But it is about working to live, not living to work. I think I have made that point a few times, it is a special day and we should try as best we can in this year of challenges to make it the most special day possible.’
The AFL is yet to lock in a Grand Final date or venue – but Queensland is currently the favourite.
Adelaide, Perth and Sydney are also options.
The match being hosted elsewhere is an unusual turn of events for Victoria, which has a contract with the AFL every year until 2057.
With this in mind, Mr Andrews said conversations to add a year at the end of the contract were underway to make up for 2020 being missed.
‘We’re doing everything we can to make sure that it does but it is a long way off,’ he said, 7 News reported.
On Friday, the AFL announced the fixture for Rounds 14 to 17 of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
It will deliver matches played in 18 out of the 19 days of the fixture block.
In a statement online, it said a compressed fixture block would feature matches across Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland, including three in Cairns.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said the Grand Final would likely be played on the October 24 weekend to allow for a pre-finals bye.
However, Travis Auld said this could actually be dropped in 2020 to fixture a grand final on the October 17 weekend.
The fixtures boss said it was also tempting to play through the coronavirus crisis, in case of a virus related setback.
‘They’re the two things we’re marrying. You’ve got momentum and certainty in getting things done while things are in your control,’ McLachlan said, ABC reported.
‘But we know the upside of a bye is that we get players fit and at 100 per cent and more people back from injury or getting rid of niggles.
‘We think the football’s better and it has been in the finals over the last couple of years after a bye, so we are weighing those up at the moment.