Originally, the AFL had planned for the Brisbane v Richmond game to be on Saturday night, meaning St Kilda wouldn’t be able to play at the Gabba that day.
The Saints’ second preference behind playing at the Gabba was to take the game to the Adelaide Oval.
St Kilda would have preferred to play in Adelaide than to have faced the Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium, where Luke Beveridge’s team has played eight of their past 11 games.
In most seasons, the AFL fixturing department would try to keep games involving first versus fourth and fifth versus eighth as close together as possible, so the teams playing each other the next week had a similar break.
But given how chaotic the breaks have been for teams this year, the AFL prioritised giving St Kilda their preferred venue rather than worry about rest days.
It means that the winner of West Coast’s clash with Collingwood will have to travel to play the loser of Port Adelaide and Geelong with two days fewer rest.
The Magpies will stay in south-east Queensland until Friday before flying to Perth, where it is believed they will once again base themselves at Joondalup.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1
First qualifying final
Port Adelaide v Geelong at Adelaide Oval, 7.10pm CST / 7.40pm EST
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2
Second qualifying final
Brisbane Lions v Richmond at the Gabba, 7.50pm EST
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3
Second elimination final
St Kilda v Western Bulldogs at the Gabba, 4.40pm EST
First elimination final
West Coast v Collingwood at Optus Stadium, 6.10pm WST / 8.10pm EST