$14m stadium snubbed for AFL fixture

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Football fans hoping for the return of an AFL pre-season match in Albany will have to wait at least another season after the AFL ruled out Centennial Stadium to host a West Coast or Fremantle fixture.

Fixtures for the 2018 JLT Community Series will be released on Thursday, with only one game heading to regional WA, but not Albany.

The AFL yesterday confirmed to the Albany Advertiser the new $14 million Centennial Stadium had been overlooked.

Mt Barker’s Sounness Park hosted the last match in the region in 2016, when Fremantle clashed with Adelaide.

An AFL spokesman yesterday said the venue for the sole WA regional fixture would be known later this week.

“Each year, the AFL aims to play its regional matches in different locations, to try and expose as many different communities to AFL within a period of several years,” he said. “The new facility at Centennial Stadium will hopefully be a fantastic venue for community football in the region and the AFL’s intention will again be to return to the area in the upcoming years, whether that is in 2019 or 2020, but our intention is to provide as much content across all parts of the State where possible.”

Centennial Stadium, which was opened in February, features a 442-seat grandstand and 250-lux WAFL-grade lighting.

It was used regularly throughout the 2017 Great Southern Football League season.

City of Albany acting executive manager community services Samantha Stevens said the City was eager to host another pre- season match in Albany.

“We’re very keen to attract an AFL pre-season game to Albany as we believe the new Centennial Stadium and Oval is the best facility for football in regional WA,” she said.

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