Queanbeyan is in line to host a festival of football as AFL Canberra hunt for ways to launch their season after five positive coronavirus cases were confirmed in the ACT in three days.
Margaret Donoghoe Oval, the Queanbeyan Tigers' home ground, and Googong's Rockley Oval are set to to host all six senior clubs in round one amid fears the return of contact sports in the ACT could be delayed.
ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman will make a decision on Thursday about whether competitions for community contact sports will need to be postponed again.
AFL Canberra officials are targeting a July 18 start date but five new coronavirus cases in the ACT this week have forced the ACT government to pump the brakes on plans to ease restrictions.
However a shift across the border will allow the men's and women's first grade competitions, as well as the men's second grade league, to proceed in round one. Nine games will be played across the two venues.
"It was to make sure we could get away and get started in the senior space. The clubs have been brilliant. Their ability to work with us and get games out there has been fantastic," AFL NSW/ACT game development manager Luke Martin said.
"Across round one the senior grades will be playing at Queanbeyan and Googong. It will be split on Saturday and Sunday.
"On Saturday we will have some games at [Margaret Donoghoe Oval] in Queanbeyan, and on Sunday we will have some games at Rockley Oval in Googong just to spread the load and utilise the facilities out there."
The Rising Stars competition will now begin on July 25 alongside junior competitions.
AFL Canberra's community competitions - men's third and fourth grade, as well as women's second grade - will also shift games across the border in a revised fixture for round one.
Regional clubs will host home games in the opening round, with games set to be played at venues in Googong, Cootamundra, Cooma, Murrumbateman and Batemans Bay.
Both inter and intra-club contact matches are not allowed to take place in the ACT until the chief health officer reassesses the conditions next week.
"For us in sport but just everyone, we've seen what a challenge this has been for the whole community," Martin said.
"It's important we all do our bit and if we're getting good news next Thursday, that's fantastic. We'll have to continue to play within the protocols which we're happy to do.
"A lot of our community grade clubs are NSW-based so it just provided us with that flexibility. The fixture remains the same for the senior grades but we've had some changes for the community grades. It all has been accepted really well by all the clubs.
"Our junior competitions will start on July 25 at this stage and the clubs have all been accommodating of that, understanding we have to play our part."