Aurora late start due to ‘AFL fixturing’

AURORA Stadium and Inveresk Precinct manager Robert Groenewegen said yesterday that the late start to last Sunday’s AFL game between Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs at Aurora Stadium was all down to AFL fixturing.

A crowd of 14,187 attended the match but some have questioned why the match started at 3.20pm on a Sunday afternoon, suggesting the late finish might have deterred some fans from attending from interstate or other areas of the state – who faced a long way home after the game.

‘‘All fixturing is AFL fixturing and no matter what time, it is around TV schedules,’’ Groenewegen said.

‘‘All through the season, this game has been the Channel 7 game on a Sunday and because it leads straight into the news at 6pm.

‘‘Every year we are asked what our preferences are and we submit those but the AFL has to juggle thousands of requests and this was the timeslot we got.

‘‘At the end of the day I don’t think it affected people too much and I don’t think our crowd was necessarily down. From a corporate perspective, it was really well attended.’’

Groenewegen said he did not think it was an ideal time but did not believe it impacted on the game too much.

‘‘There were flights available after the game and both teams went straight out,’’ he said.

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