Storm happy to go behind AFL grand final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Storm happy to go behind AFL grand final

By Todd Balym 13/09/2009 07:11:24 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne chief executive Brian Waldron says he is excited by the prospect of selling a rugby league preliminary final to Victorians on the same day as the AFL grand final.

The Storm secured an NRL preliminary final after Parramatta upset minor premiers St George Illawarra on Sunday to gift Melbourne a free passage to host a grand final qualifier at Etihad Stadium.

But the Docklands venue is booked for the VFL grand final on Friday September 25, meaning the Storm must play their game on the Saturday evening - only hours after the AFL decider is completed at the MCG.

With a guaranteed all-Victorian AFL grand final in the making, the Storm will at least benefit by hosting one of the NRL's best supported teams with the winner of Brisbane and St George Illawarra to face Melbourne for a place in the decider.

"We are certainly surprised but we will take it," said Waldron of the Storm's home preliminary final.

"The AFL grand final is during the day, it is a fantastic opportunity for all those people who have come in from out of town to come straight across the bridge and watch ourselves and whoever it is put on what no doubt will be an epic final.

"I think it's a great thing to have an opportunity to attract a lot of visitors from out of town to a double header with the AFL grand final and a Melbourne Storm preliminary final against a very worthwhile opponent."

Waldron said he would approach the NRL about special promotions to help sell the game in what would no doubt be a difficult local market saturated with AFL coverage.

"Hopefully we can put in place in conjunction with the NRL a media program that provides enormous opportunity for people to come along and experience what should be a great contest no matter who we play," he said.

"The experience of both should be fantastic, who knows what we could do.

"We can attract a healthy audience and that is the most important thing."

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