Footy fans will be able to attend games in Queensland from this weekend.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles says Queensland stadiums will be able to host up to 2000 fans for AFL and NRL games from Saturday as a “trial run”.
In the NRL, a limited number of supporters will be allowed in to Gold Coast Titans’ clash with St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.
It will mark the first time NRL supporters will attend a game in Queensland since Brisbane defeated North Queensland in their March 13 season-opener in Townsville.
In the AFL, Brisbane Lions host West Coast Eagles at the Gabba on Saturday night and the Gold Coast Suns take on Adelaide at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.
AFL fans have been locked out to date this season.
“Our fans are among the most passionate and loyal in the competition and this is a great result for them,” Lions CEO Greg Swann said.
“They stuck by us during tough times caused by this pandemic and to be able to repay that faith is very important to us – we can’t wait to see you there.”
He said 1250 of the 2000 fans allowed would be randomly selected via an on-line ballot from fans who became members during the lockdown with the remainder filled by corporate partners and sponsors with 100 tickets on sale to the public.
The news comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week announced plans to allow crowds of up to 10,000 at small stadiums from July.
The Queensland government made the announcement on Wednesday after initially planning to allow just 100 people into stadiums from July 10.
Miles, who is also the Health Minister, said the call had been made to increase fan access as a reward for their response to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said there had only been one new confirmed coronavirus case in the state overnight, bringing the total to 1,066.
“As of this Saturday, stadiums can host up to 2000 fans. Some of the codes have requested this number as a trial,” Miles said.
“That number might not be reached but it is an acknowledgement of how well the codes and the fans have done their part in controlling the spread of COVID-19.
“Queensland has earned this small step back to normal.”