Brisbane captain Dayne Zorko says his teammates will relish playing in front of a sizeable crowd in their AFL qualifying final against Richmond.
Players have become accustomed to near-empty stands throughout a 2020 season dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on public gatherings.
But Queensland’s good record with the coronavirus means the state government will allow the AFL to entertain up to 25,000 fans at the Gabba on Friday night.
“Queensland’s done a fantastic job with COVID and helping the AFL resume this year,” Zorko said.
“The fact that we’ve been rewarded by having 25,000 people here and the fans can come and enjoy it, it’s going to be a fantastic spectacle.
“We’re really looking forward to that.”
Brisbane, who ranked second in the home-and-away season, will enjoy home ground advantage against Richmond and the bulk of the support will be in their favour.
But Tigers goal sneak Jason Castagna expects to see plenty of yellow and black in the stands, with the Victorian powerhouse boasting a strong Queensland membership base.
“We really enjoy playing up here in Queensland and the fact that we can get some crowds at the Gabba is great,” Castagna said.
“We’re excited to play there.
“The ‘Tiger Army’ has been awesome this year and we try to get around them after as many games as possible.
“They show up wherever we play and we’re very grateful for that.”
Last year’s Brisbane-Richmond qualifying final drew a crowd of 37,478 at the Gabba, with the Tigers running out comfortable 47-point winners.
The AFL remains hopeful about 30,000 fans will be allowed to attend the grand final at the same venue on October 24.