“That certainly would have been nice,” Swans chief executive Tom Harley said. “We would have been the first AFL club to have a crowd of that size [this year].”
The fixture change comes after the Queensland government issued an ultimatum on Monday, requiring all Queensland-based sporting teams to quarantine for 14 days if they play a match in Melbourne or against a Melbourne-based team in a different state.
As a result, Carlton will play St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Thursday night and Richmond will instead play Melbourne on Sunday at the MCG.
“It’s probably a good reminder that, as a society, we are nowhere near over this pandemic,” Harley said.
The Swans board were given a heads up on the change on Sunday night and were informed officially on Monday morning.
“Luckily for us, we played last Thursday, so we’ve had a lot of time to recover,” Harley said. “But it will have a ripple effect.”
The AFL is working through changes to round six and round seven.
The fixture changes come after Essendon’s Conor McKenna recorded a negative test last week for COVID-19, two days after recording a positive.
Meanwhile, in the NRL, the Melbourne Storm are set to remain at their Queensland base for at least a month, with fears the team may be unable to return to Melbourne for the rest of the season.
As a result, the NRL is confident its competition will proceed without change, unlike the AFL schedule.
The Victorian Health Department revealed there were 75 cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, the fourth-highest daily increase in the state since the start of the pandemic.
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.