AFL grand final 2020: Gabba soaked just hours ahead of bouncedown for decider

Staff writersThe West Australian
VideoAFL: The emotion of Gary Ablett's final game won't cloud the Cats when they face Richmond in the 2020 grand final.

As Perth enjoys a warm, sunny day, Brisbane is copping a massive downpour just hours ahead of the grand final showpiece.

And the threat of lightning could force a delay to the Gabba clash as the AFL sweats on the weather clearing closer to bouncedown.

Ground staff had the ‘super sopper’ out to help dry the playing arena ahead of Richmond and Geelong taking to the turf.

The downpours could affect the quality of what will be the league’s first-ever grand final under lights, away from its traditional Victorian home.

A shot of the Gabba hours before bouncedown.
Camera IconA shot of the Gabba hours before bouncedown. Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Some West Aussies couldn’t help point out the situation would have been a lot different had the AFL chosen Perth to host the grand final.

The AFL’s National Extreme Weather policy states that if lightning strikes within 10km of the venue, play should be suspended and can only resume after 30 minutes of no electrical activity.

The policy states that the starting time of a game can be delayed by an hour if lightning is predicted to strike within 10km of the venue at the first bounce.

A shot of the Gabba hours before bouncedown.
Camera IconA shot of the Gabba hours before bouncedown. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

The league will be keeping a close eye on the radar to see how the rain impacts things, especially for logistics around the pre-match entertainment.

The scene outside the ground.
Camera IconThe scene outside the ground. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

The BOM’s latest advice for Brisbane states: "High (70%) chance of showers, most likely in the afternoon and evening. The chance of a thunderstorm in the afternoon and evening."

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It is rare but not without precedent for wild weather to interrupt AFL games. As recently as this pre-season, a match between West Coast and Essendon in WA was halted for about 20 minutes due to storm activity before the game resumed.

- with News Corp Australia

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