Hawks want 25,000 at MCG for Hawks v Bombers to stop Tassie move

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett says the Hawks would be happy to keep their match against Essendon at the MCG if they are allowed at least 25 per cent crowd capacity.

The Age reported on Saturday that the Hawks were interested in moving the game to Tasmania, their second home.

Hawthorn would prefer the game not be held in Tasmania, where they usually play four home games a season, but they also want fans in the stands.

Hawks president Jeff Kennett said on Sunday that the club was waiting to hear back from the state government on how many people they could have at the MCG for the clash with Essendon, as Victoria emerges from a two-week lockdown.

Jeff Kennett with Hawthorn players after their one point win over Essendon earlier in the season.Credit:Getty Images

“I reckon 25 per cent. It’s a big auditorium that place, if we can get 25 per cent then I think we owe that to our Melbourne [based] members and Essendon supporters to play the game here,” Kennett told 3AW radio.

“Those discussions are being had and we are waiting on a decision from the government.

“We’ve got about 10,000 members down there, there will be a number of people that support Essendon [too]. We’d like to give our members and Essendon supporters the opportunity to go to a game [in Launceston if 25 per cent crowd capacity isn’t possible at the MCG].”

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton said earlier on Sunday that it was too early to say what, if any, crowds would be allowed in Melbourne for round 14.

“I think it’s pretty early to say, in relation to that I haven’t received formal advice for next week in relation to major events, but it’s pretty early on to know,” Sutton said.

Geelong are fixtured to play the Western Bulldogs in Geelong on Friday, with regional Victoria under looser restrictions than metropolitan Melbourne.

Sutton said there was a possibility that could be reflected in any crowd caps, adding that each venue capacity would be assessed on its “individual merits”.

Sources said the AFL had made submissions to the Victorian government for 50 per cent capacity at the three games scheduled to be played in the state in round 14 – Hawks v Bombers, Cats v Bullogs and North Melbourne v Brisbane – but are still waiting for a decision after Melbourne had restrictions eased on Friday.

Hawthorn were unable to play a game in Tasmania in 2020 due to the pandemic, with most of the season played in Queensland.

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