Cairns set to host first AFL game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cairns set to host first AFL game

19/04/2010 07:21:00 PM Comments (0)

AFL newcomers Gold Coast could play one of their first few home games in far north Queensland - more than 1,500km away from the glitter strip.

And Gold Coast CEO Travis Auld believes playing rivals the Brisbane Lions in their 2011 opener would "waste an opportunity".

The Gold Coast's home ground is Carrara Stadium - but it is being redeveloped and work it not expected to be completed until May next year.

AFL marketing and commercial operations chief Gillon McLachlan said there were a "number of options", including Cairns, to be considered as venues for the Gold Coast's first opening home game.

"We still have a bit of a way to go to work through that process," he told afl.com.au on Monday.

"The aim is to have the fixture ready, as always, by October.

"We'll try to have a lot of this work done by June or July to give us an idea of how Gold Coast's first season in the competition will begin."

Auld supported playing in Cairns - which has hosted NAB Cup games - early in the season.

"We need some (home) games early on to reward all those people in the community who have come and supported us - they need to be able to see their team," Auld told the website.

"What we need to determine is, if we want to play as many home games at Carrara Stadium in the second half of the year, how many away games can we play early on?

"It's a really interesting balance so if we can play a couple of games at the Gabba and maybe a game in Cairns and maybe one locally, it could work."

But Auld did not want to start their historic 2011 season against the Lions.

"In my view, in round one you would waste an opportunity if you played Brisbane," he said.

"We're going to create a really good rivalry with Brisbane and it's silly to have that in round one when you could generate some serious interest around the game if it was round three or five or seven.

"We'd rather reward the people who followed us from the start with the first game and then reward them again a couple of rounds later when we play Brisbane at the Gabba and hopefully fill the stadium."

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