The AFL's Brisbane Lions football club has lashed out at officials of The Gabba as the inaugural women's grand final has been forced to relocate following two Adele concerts at the venue earlier this month.
According to The Age, sections of the Brisbane venue's turf have had to be replaced after the shows, which attracted over 60,000 fans each night, meaning that the AFLW grand final between the Lions and Adelaide Crows will now be held at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.
"Stadiums Queensland needs to be held to account over this," Lions chief executive Greg Swan said.
"Why was new turf laid straight after the Adele concerts, knowing full well that there was AFL to be played in a matter of weeks?
"We now have the farcical situation where our women's team has been denied the chance to play their showpiece game, and there is doubt hanging over our men's team's opening home game on April 1.
"We believe every Queenslander with an interest in sport – and women's sport in particular – should be angry at this decision.
"Those responsible for managing the field of play should be held accountable for a decision that has denied our women's team the right to create history in front of our loyal supporters."
Gabba's manager, Blair Conaghan, hit back by claiming the venue was only approached about hosting the AFLW grand final "a few weeks before the Adele concerts" and that a turf recovery program was planned around the Lions' second round AFL match on 1 April.
"Our grounds team worked hard to bring field readiness forward so that it might be ready to host the AFLW final," Conaghan said.
"Despite their best efforts, independent testing has confirmed that while the field is in great shape, the centre wicket area will not be ready to host the final.
"While turf protection was used during the (Adele concerts), some areas of the wicket block were damaged and were re-turfed to return them to a safe, playable surface."
The news comes only weeks after cricket officials raised their own concerns about the Adele shows taking place at the Gabba, fearing that the turf may be damaged ahead of the First Test of the Ashes in November.
Adele addressed the controversy herself at the first Gabba performance, speaking openly on the subject on stage.
"I think they should shut up with their bloody moanin’, fuckin’ hell…I've come from fuckin' London."