The biggest and most anticipated AFL pre-season match featuring last season’s grand finalists GWS Giants and Richmond will be played in Wagga Wagga next year.
Wagga Wagga City Council secured a sporting coup this afternoon when it confirmed the reigning premier Richmond will play the Giants in a grand final rematch at Robertson Oval on Sunday 8 March 2020.
“This is a huge announcement for Wagga Wagga,” Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey said.
“This is the game everyone could only hope for … and I’m glad to say our city has secured the biggest game of the AFL 2020 pre-season.
“Riverina sports fans of all codes will recognise how big this game is and the importance of being able to host it in a regional city.”
Cr Conkey said the support for both AFL teams is strong and will ensure a large crowd gathers in Wagga for the Marsh Community Series fixture.
“There is a strong connection between the Giants and the Riverina,” Cr Conkey said.
“A number of players learnt the game in the Riverina and have strong family connections.
“The membership of Richmond is more than 100,000 – their following and popularity has exploded in recent years alongside their premiership success. I’m sure we will see members of the Tiger Army right here in Wagga.”
Council agreed at its 23 September Ordinary Meeting to negotiate with AFL NSW/ACT around a two-year community partnership which also includes the NSW AFL Hall of Fame dinner being hosted in the city in 2021, facility development, multicultural programs and talent carnivals.
The inaugural NSW Australian Football Hall of Fame event will be held in Sydney in 2020. As part of this community partnership agreement, it is proposed the dinner will be hosted in Wagga in 2021.
The last AFL match played in Wagga was a pre-season fixture between Collingwood and North Melbourne at Robertson Oval in March 2016.
Talks around Wagga hosting an AFLW competition match next year continue.
CAPTION: Wagga Wagga Mayor Cr Greg Conkey OAM (left) and AFL NSW/ACT Game Development Manager-Southern NSW, Marc Geppert, after announcing the AFL grand final re-match will be played in the city next year.