The inaugural Australian Football League Women (AFLW) game between Essendon and Hawthorn has been moved to Marvel Stadium after tickets for the original venue sold out within 24 hours.
The game was originally set to be held at the 12,000-capacity ETU Stadium but will now take place at Marvel Stadium, which seats 53,000.
Essendon and Hawthorn are new teams joining the women’s league, alongside Sydney and Port Adelaide, to bump the competition up to 18 teams, after starting in 2017 with just eight.
The match is set to take place on August 27 and was subject to a ‘Move it to Marvel’ campaign which paid off after tickets were quickly snapped up by fans. The demand for tickets prompted the AFL to make the switch yesterday (Sunday).
AFL administrator Travis Auld told the Guardian: “Quite simply the fans of both clubs, and supporters of women’s footy in general, showed why we needed to move to a bigger venue by selling out the game so quickly.”
The women’s league has also seen a record number of memberships sold and high attendance rates following the end of last season.
Nicole Livingstone, AFL general manager of women’s football, added: “We know the appetite for AFLW is huge, but the strength of sales across all nine round one matches and having an inaugural game sell out in a day is amazing.
“To see two teams – and traditionally arch rivals, no less – debut to a packed Marvel Stadium is the stuff dreams are made of.”
The AFL has also said that it will monitor future ticket sales for games at ETU Stadium with potential stadium changes if sales warranted a larger stadium.