AFLW Opener Between Collingwood And Carlton Changes Venue

BREAKING

AFLW Opener Between Collingwood And Carlton Changes Venue

(Image: Collingwood)

UPDATE

The AFL have officially announced that the fixture will be played at Ikon Park.

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EARLIER

Growing interest in the AFL women's competition may force the league to move next month's season opener between Carlton and Collingwood to a bigger venue.

The traditional AFL club rivals had been scheduled to face off under lights at Melbourne's 7000-capacity Olympic Park on Friday, February 3.

But AFL game development manager Simon Lethlean has confirmed the league will consider moving the prime-time clash to nearby Princes Park, which should be able to hold between 17,000 and 20,000 fans.

About 2000 people turned up to watch a barely publicised women's practice match between Carlton and Melbourne at Princes Park on Saturday, raising the prospect of fans being turned away from the season-opener.

"I think there needs to be a level of flexibility in everything with the AFLW as it starts," Lethlean told AAP on Sunday.

"We're starting with a clean slate and we encourage the clubs and the players to be flexible.

"It's a great problem to have. We sense that there's really strong interest in the community."

The majority of AFL women's games, as well as a number of men's pre-season clashes, will be played at community venues including North Melbourne's historic Arden St base.

But Lethlean said Collingwood's former home ground, Victoria Park, required improvements to the grandstand and fencing before it could be considered to host games.

He is confident there won't need to be further venue changes with the AFL women's season due to get underway in less than two weeks.

"I dont think we think there's going to be capacity issues throughout the season," Lethlean said.

"The two biggest teams in Victoria starting the competition on a Friday night with some good promotion around it is the reason why we think there might be some capacity issues first up."

Lethlean also denied there were concerns about the Olympic Park surface after Carlton chief Steven Trigg reportedly questioned the ground's suitability.

"That's not part of the decision," he said.

"Collingwood train there every day and they wouldn't have their athletes use it if there were issues. It's not pristine like the MCG or Etihad but it's certainly fine."

-AAP

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