THE GRAND Final could be set for an earlier date than initially anticipated, with fixture boss Travis Auld revealing that the League is now planning for an October 17 decider in the midst of a campaign heavily impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
As reported by AFL.com.au on Wednesday evening, 33 matches will be played across 19 consecutive days beginning later this month as part of the League's plan to condense the 2020 fixture to accommodate for the three-month suspension period earlier in the year.
The rapid series of matches will mean the AFL's initial plan for the Toyota AFL Grand Final on October 24 would be brought forward, ending suggestions that the campaign might not finish until early November.
"Probably about the 17th of October," Auld told Channel Nine when asked about the potential Grand Final date.
"I know that will throw everyone into a bit of a spin about what date it is and what else is on that date, but who knows? That will probably change again. It will probably change a couple of times between now and then."
An October 17 Grand Final would coincide with the Caulfield Cup, which is a key part of Melbourne's packed spring racing carnival.
Speaking on Wednesday, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said that no concrete plans had yet been made as to the venue of the Grand Final and reiterated that the MCG would continue to sit as the host of the showpiece event unless the League was told otherwise.
That is despite all Victorian clubs being forced interstate for the rest of the home and away season, made to relocate to hubs in both Queensland and Western Australia due to the state's increasing number of COVID-19 cases.
A definitive start time for the Grand Final is also unknown, with suggestions continuing to arise that the 2020 decider could be played in either the twilight or night time slot due to the unprecedented events of this season.