AFL final replay chaos for rival sports - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL final replay chaos for rival sports

By Guy Hand 27/09/2010 07:32:19 AM Comments (0)

The drawn AFL grand final has caused chaos for other sports, with horse racing's spring carnival and soccer's A-League moving showpiece events to avoid burial by Saturday's replay.

With all eyes set to be on AFL for another week as Collingwood and St Kilda prepare for battle again at the MCG, racing, soccer, cricket and the world road cycling championships scheduled for this week face huge upheaval.

The official start of the Melbourne spring carnival - the Turnbull Stakes meeting at Flemington - has been moved from Saturday to Sunday to dodge the AFL.

The A-League, already struggling badly for traction after scheduling its season start at the business end of the AFL and NRL seasons, decided to avoid another hit by moving the inaugural derby between Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory back a week.

This week's world road cycling titles in Geelong and Melbourne will go ahead.

But the women's road race scheduled for the same time as Saturday's grand final will be run in a public interest vacuum, while the previous few days are set to be overshadowed by the AFL grand final build-up.

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) chief executive Dale Monteith said his organisation had no choice but to shift the Turnbull Stakes meeting.

"The AFL grand final replay will have a significant financial impact on the VRC and the Victorian racing industry, as well as other organisations and major events," he said.

"As a result, the VRC has been left with no choice but to move the race day to Sunday."

A-League chief executive Lyall Gorman said the Heart-Victory match originally slated for Saturday night would be pushed back until October 8 - a Friday night.

"This is one of our marquee games," Gorman said of the match to be held at AAMI Park, across the road from the MCG.

"The rescheduling makes sense on a lot of levels and will give us clear space in the lead-up and a clear precinct on the night so we can maximise exposure and attendance."

There were no A-League games originally scheduled for the October 8-10 weekend because of an international fixture break for the Socceroos-Paraguay friendly in Sydney on October 9.

World road cycling championships chief executive Michael Palmer said he "felt sick" when the grand final ended in a draw.

While the AFL does not affect the world titles logistically, the replay and build-up are set to rob the event of invaluable local publicity.

"The funny thing is, the world championships were moved back a week to avoid the AFL grand final," Palmer said.

"But now the grand final has chased us.

"I felt sick, I did - I thought 'this is going to be a draw' from four or five minutes to go.

"It's just more about the publicity. Our media partners have been very good, but of course the replay is going to be the biggest game, media-wise, in history, probably."

Also delayed will be the opening week of the Victorian Premier Cricket season, while the drop-in cricket pitch usually slotted into the MCG straight after the grand final must be held back at least another week.

The Commonwealth Games in Delhi which starts on Sunday is also likely to be starved of pre-event publicity in the AFL-playing states.

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