Melbourne A-League grand final locked in

Melbourne City will host the A-League grand final against Sydney FC at AAMI Park.
Melbourne City will host the A-League grand final against Sydney FC at AAMI Park.

The A-League grand final will be played in front of 15,000 fans at Melbourne's AAMI Park after the Victorian government eased coronavirus restrictions.

Premiers Melbourne City had last week's home semi-final against Macarthur FC moved to Sydney's Jubilee Stadium, as crowds weren't permitted in Melbourne last weekend.

But City will host their first home grand final, against Sydney FC, in front of a 50 per cent capacity crowd, with the game kicking off at 5.05pm on Sunday.

The easing restrictions in Victoria are also a boost to Melbourne United, who are on the verge of clinching the NBL title after winning both of their two away games in their best-of-five grand final series against the Perth Wildcats.

United are due to host the Wildcats at John Cain Arena on Friday, where they can seal the deal in front of up to 5,000 fans.

"From 11.59pm tomorrow night, outdoor stadiums can have 50 per cent of the venue capacity up to 25,000 people," Acting Premier James Merlino said on Wednesday.

"This means that the A-League grand Final can proceed with 15,000 people and the MCG can host 25,000 people.

"Indoor stadiums like John Cain Arena can have 50 per cent of the venue capacity up to 5,000 people. I know that's been welcomed by the NBL, welcomed by the A-League."

APL commissioner Greg O'Rourke said the A-League grand final was moved from Saturday to Sunday to give fans the maximum time possible to plan any travel.

Sydney FC will fly to Melbourne on Wednesday evening to avoid being potentially locked out of the city amid Sydney's coronavirus outbreak.

The Sky Blues moved nine players and staff into alternative accommodation on Tuesday to ensure they were out of particular regions before the Victorian government classified them as 'red zones'.

Victorian authorities declared seven NSW local government areas - the City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, the Inner West, and Randwick - 'red zones' under the state's travel permit system from 1am Wednesday.

Milos Ninkovic, Anthony Caceres, Luke Brattan, Paulo Retre, Kosta Barbarouses, Alex Baumjohann and Jordi Swibel were all relocated into 'green zones', along with football manager Michael Swibel and head of sports science Chris Pappas.

"It was important to make a proactive decision and fly early as well as move our players and staff into areas where we wouldn't be risking their travel to Melbourne," chief executive Danny Townsend said.

"Our players, staff and their families have adapted to the situation brilliantly and their full focus is now making sure they are ready to play and win on Sunday."

Australian Associated Press