Wagga’s Robertson Oval is in line to host five of the six Farrer League finals fixtures this year, including the season finale on Saturday September 15.
It will be the fourth year in succession that the central Wagga venue has hosted the competition’s showpiece event.
However, this year, Robertson Oval is also set to be the stage for the first two finals, one semi-final and the preliminary final, with just one game at Maher Oval.
“That’s the recommendation we’ve put out. It’s not set in stone but they’re quite likely to be the venues,” Farrer League president David Oehm said.
“We owe it to our players to play on the best grounds possible.”
Oehm said Maher Oval isn’t available for the first weekend of finals (on August 25-26) but will host the second semi-final on Saturday September 1.
Last year, the six games were spread evenly across the two venues, with Maher Oval the venue for three games in the first two weeks of finals.
In 2016, Robertson Oval hosted four finals, with the other two games at Gumly Oval, when wet weather left Maher Oval out of the picture.
Oehm said a recent delegates meeting did raise the question of games outside Wagga.
“We’ve set a minimum criteria to host a final and not all clubs meet that criteria,” he said.
“That’s one reason – these grounds fit all the criteria. As a league, we are sympathetic to having games (outside Wagga). But you’ve got to take into account the facilities, the playing surface and the financial side of it. They all go hand in hand.”
The Wagga venues are more likely to draw a bigger gate.
Oehm said the finals venues aren’t formally confirmed yet but conceded changes are unlikely.
The Farrer League’s shift to Robertson Oval began in 2015 when it hosted the competition’s showpiece event due to concerns about building works at the Rules Club. Until then, Maher Oval had been the traditional home, including hosting three other finals in 2014.
In 2015, Robertson Oval hosted a semi-final and the grand final, before going to four games in 2016 and three games in 2017.