SYDNEY FC will host the FFA Cup final on November 21, after A-League bosses appeared to accept that a home game for the Sky Blues was the fairest outcome.
Though Football Federation Australia would almost certainly have made more revenue from allowing opponents Adelaide United to stage the game at Coopers Stadium, an intensive lobbying campaign by Sydney has borne fruit.
The scheduling of A-League games around the final was a key consideration, with Adelaide playing away to the Mariners the Thursday before. Sydney play 48 hours later, and would have had far less recovery time for the final the following Tuesday.
The Sky Blues also had to play last year's final away, losing 1-0 to Melbourne City, and this will be the first time the final is played in NSW.
As the Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday, FFA had looked at Leichhardt Oval as a possible venue, but that was stymied by resurfacing work on the pitch.
With Jubilee Oval at Kogarah believed to be booked out that night also, the only possible venues were Allianz Stadium or Coopers Stadium, the teams' respective A-League home grounds.
Given Coopers Stadium's smaller capacity and significantly lower running costs, there was a growing assumption that United would get to host the final
Instead, FFA decided Sydney FC should earn hosting rights.
"In 2017 the FFA Cup Final will be played in NSW for the first time, after South Australia (in 2014) and Victoria (in 2015 and 2016) hosted the first three editions of the competition's deciding fixture.," said FFA CEO David Gallop.
"FFA considered a range of factors in deciding between Adelaide and Sydney. It is important that, where possible, the FFA Cup Final is played in different locations around Australia to showcase the truly national nature of the competition. FFA is hoping to break the attendance record by beating last year's number achieved in Melbourne.
"After weighing it all up and particularly considering the A-League commitments and fixtures of both clubs around the Final date, we decided on this occasion that the game should be played in Sydney."