Geelong chief executive Brian Cook says the Cats should be playing AFL home finals at Simonds Stadium from 2017 onwards.
Cook has described the league’s decision to hold the September 24 preliminary final between Greater Western Sydney and either Hawthorn or the Western Bulldogs at the 24,000-capacity Spotless Stadium as a game-changer.
Once the ongoing redevelopment of Simonds Stadium is completed, the venue’s capacity will increase to 36,000.
The Cats will host the other preliminary final against either Sydney or Adelaide at the MCG.
Cook said Geelong’s push to host more playoff matches at their home ground – as they did against Fremantle back in 2013 – had been strengthened.
“We think if it’s good enough for GWS down at Spotless, it’s good enough for us down at Simonds,” he told SEN Radio.
The 2013 semi-final against the Dockers was only scheduled at Simonds Stadium because the MCG was unavailable and it was against a non-Victorian team.
Cook said the redeveloped Simonds Stadium would be suitable for finals against any opposition except for big-drawing Melbourne clubs such as Hawthorn and Collingwood.
“I think we would still probably need to play them in Melbourne,” he said.
“But that’s not an easy question to answer because there are a lot of our members who would say `play it in Geelong’s because it gives us the best chance of making a grand final’.
“We don’t think there’s any excuse for us not to host a final if we deserve one and earn it.”
Former Western Bulldogs captain Brad Johnson pointed out what he believed were inconsistencies in the AFL’s decision on Monday, referring to his club having to host Adelaide at the MCG in the first week of last year’s finals.
“Dogs didn’t get Etihad against Adelaide last year for crowd, we had to go to MCG because it’s the best venue in the state,” he told RSN927.