Brisbane Lions lose home womens' AFL grand final after Adele concerts damage field
The first AFL Women's grand final will be played on the Gold Coast after Brisbane's Gabba was ruled unsafe after two concerts by pop star Adele.
Turf experts ruled that the Gabba surface was unsafe for football after it was damaged during a concert by pop superstar Adele on March 4.
The Brisbane Lions were due to host Adelaide on Saturday after finishing on top of the AFLW ladder.
The issues in Brisbane have angered the Lions, with Lions chief executive Greg Swann dumbfounded that new grass had been sewn on the centre-wicket area for next summer's opening Ashes Test.
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Queensland cricket officials had wanted football off the Gabba for up to six weeks to allow new grass to set to avoid potentially damaging the pitch.
"Maybe the person that cuts the grass wasn't too conscious of what might happen for AFL football," he said.
"We were dumbfounded at the time that someone would re-sow a wicket that isn't needed until the middle of November (for cricket).
"Our question is why was that done, knowing there's games coming? Why that's been allowed to happen is beyond us."
When asked if he was angry at Gabba staff, Swann said "probably more at one person than anybody else, to be honest".
In the lead-up to the first of Adele's two shows, both Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and deputy Adrian Schrinner spoke of their opposition to the concert being held at the Gabba because of the logistics of moving 60,000 people by bus.
Schrinner warned in February that the back-to-back Adele concerts would prove a logistical challenge for the city. Concert-goers were told to arrive as much as three hours early to avoid traffic chaos.
"I know there was a bit of controversy about me playing the Gabba," Adele said. "I think they should shut up with their bloody moaning, f.....g hell. Shut up! I come from f...ing London. I'm happy to be in Brisbane."
It's understood that while some AFL commissioners voted for the women's game to be played at Adelaide Oval, where women's games have pulled big crowds, AFL chief Gillon McLachlan ruled it had to be in Queensland.
On Twitter, the Brisbane Lions said it had been "robbed" of a home grand final.
The grand final will now be played at Metricon before the Gold Coast Suns v Brisbane Lions AFL season opener.
While the AFLW grand final has been shifted, Etihad Stadium management insist the playing surface at the venue will be up to standard for the AFL's opening round, a week after hosting two Adele concerts.
- Brisbane Times