Cats want home venue choice 'for integrity'
Sunday, July 16, 2017 - 10:51 PM

 - from afl.com.au

GEELONG would like to choose where it plays its 11 home games as it beefs up its campaign to eventually play 11 home games at Simonds Stadium.

After hosting Hawthorn in front of 70,000 people at the MCG, Cats coach Chris Scott said the integrity of the competition would be better served if each club chose where its home games were played.

The Cats play seven home games at Simonds Stadium this season and have played two home games at the MCG and Etihad Stadium as stage four of the stadium redevelopment is completed.

They play Richmond at Simonds Stadium in round 21 in what is shaping as a vital clash for both team's finals chances.

"Leave Geelong out of it. For the integrity of the game, every team in the competition should be able to decide where they play their 11 home games," Scott said.

"Thatís pretty simple, isnít it, when it comes to integrity?"

Geelong often faces the argument it has an advantage because it plays home games at Simonds Stadium but it claims that is misleading.

The Cats argue all non-Victorian teams play 11 home games a season with West Australian and South Australian teams also playing an away game at their home venue.

They also have been forced to play home games at Etihad Stadium to help the AFL fulfil its contractual obligations in recent seasons because clubs such as Melbourne sell their home games to play in the Northern Territory.

With the AFL now owning Etihad Stadium those contractual obligations are seen as less as an impediment to flexibility.

Hawthorn also play games in Launceston and the MCG and North Melbourne in Hobart and Etihad Stadium, however Geelong has played seven games a season at its home venue in six of the past eight seasons and a final in 2013.  

Scott said the Cats were better off commercially playing in Geelong regardless of their opposition.

"Commercially, the club would like to play in Geelong," Scott said.

"If thereís been any confusion about that letís nip it in the bud."

The Cats play Sydney, Richmond and Greater Western Sydney at Simonds Stadium, which now has a capacity of 36,000, in the final six rounds.

They are also expected to lobby for a final to be played at Simonds Stadium if they qualify.


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