AAP AFL

Giants await government call on AFL fans

By AAP Newswire

Greater Western Sydney expect to learn as soon as Friday whether they are allowed to become the first Australian sporting club to welcome supporters back to matches.

The Giants are hopeful up to 350 corporate partners could be let into their round-two meeting with North Melbourne on June 14 despite ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

But the plan hinges on whether a fresh New South Wales government ruling that allows up to 50 people in restaurants also applies to their corporate hospitality facilities at Giants Stadium.

The Royal Agricultural Society, which operates the venue, is awaiting government approval.

"We're really intent on trying to get it happening and we should know in the next 48 hours," GWS chief executive Dave Matthews told Fox Footy on Wednesday night.

If the plan is approved, Matthews said corporate supporters and sponsors would fill the available spots inside the stadium, rather than everyday members or fans.

"They're regular, passionate supporters who have a capacity to really invest significantly in the club," Matthews said.

GWS are also hopeful masses of fans will be allowed to return to AFL venues later in the season.

That possibility has prompted a request to the AFL from the Giants and cross-town rivals Sydney, who are seeking to play their 'Battle of the Bridge' towards the end of the revamped home-and-away season.

"If that opportunity presents itself we'd like to see the derby played later in the year," Matthews said.

The AFL is unveiling its fixture in four-week blocks this season to allow itself as much flexibility as possible around the various state governments' restrictions.