Footy can welcome back crowds of 10,000
IT'S good news for footy fans as Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a further easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Venues that can hold up to 40,000 people will be able to operate at 25 per cent capacity in July as part of changes to stage three of Australia's re-opening.
The venues will be allowed to sell 10,000 ticketed seats per event, with social distancing measures in place around bars and food outlets.
"As part of step three, for events in stadia or other venues of that nature with a capacity of 40,000 or less to enable attendance at those events which are ticketed and are seated, and all the social distancing rules apply, for up to 25 per cent of the capacity of those venues to take patrons," Morrison said.
"Now, there will be further work done over the next fortnight. This is not something that's happening straight away."
This means the NRL could welcome crowds back at many of its stadiums, although Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium and ANZ Stadium at Homebush in Sydney both have capacities of greater than 40,000.
Morrison said larger stadiums, including major AFL grounds, were an entirely separate issue. He said bigger grounds presented unique challenges around access points and public transport crushes, which required much more significant work.
The PM also said it was up to state premiers to enforce the new measures.
The chief medical officer will consider reopening larger stadiums on a case-by-case basis.
CEO of the AFL's Gold Coast Suns, Mark Evans, said the club is working towards re-opening Metricon Stadium, which has a capacity of 25,000.
However, he acknowledged there are lots of things to consider, such as how patrons enter and leave the ground.
"It's very good news, I think we'll make some moves and progress towards that in the coming weeks," he said.
"There's a lot of things there to cover off and absolutely we're progressing quite quickly with these plans."
The rule relaxation around crowds will also apply to big arts and cultural venues along with ticketed and seated outdoor festivals.
It will not extend to music festivals where people roam from tent to tent.