The AFL is confident Spotless Stadium’s small capacity won’t see opposition fans locked out of Greater Western Sydney’s home preliminary final to be played at the ground.
A crowd of 60,222 supporters watched the Giants’ upset qualifying final win over Sydney at nearby ANZ Stadium on Saturday, with GWS to host either Hawthorn or the Western Bulldogs on Saturday, September 24, at the ground that holds 24,000 fans.
The Bulldogs have approximately 40,000 members and the Hawks have the biggest membership base in the league with just over 75,000 paid-up supporters this year.
But historical evidence suggests fans wishing to make the trip north won’t be squeezed out by the venue’s small capacity.
“The Giants have 16,000 members and historically for a preliminary final between 4,000 and 6,000 members of the visiting club will travel,” AFL spokesman Patrick Keane told AAP.
“At ANZ Stadium for the match between Sydney and GWS, Sydney’s supporters and members supplied, in our estimation, around 65 to 70 per cent of the ticket sales.
“So our view is that Spotless will be able to accommodate the likely crowd.”
Both teams have played the Giants at Spotless this season; the round six clash with Hawthorn attracting a crowd of 13,766 and 9,612 fans watching GWS beat the Bulldogs in round nine.
“I think we’ve played some really good footy there,” GWS co-captain Phil David told the Seven Network’s Game Day.
“We’ve only lost two games there this year and obviously whenever you get to play on your home ground it’s a great advantage.
“But as we said going into the ANZ Stadium game – it’s just grass with eight posts at each end.”
Hawthorn and the Dogs will face off in a semi-final at the MCG on Friday night, while Adelaide will play the Swans at the SCG on Saturday night, with the winner to advance to a preliminary final against Geelong at the MCG.