The Gold Coast Suns are expected to be given the tick of approval on Friday to make Wollongong their temporary home, as part of the AFL's plan for a Covid-19 enforced NSW hub.
AFL officials were locked in negotiations with NSW Government and Wollongong Council over the Covid-19 protocol details, but all parties were supportive of the competition's surprise packets arriving in the Illawarra on Sunday afternoon.
The Suns tackle Geelong in Victoria on Saturday afternoon, before flying back to NSW to setup camp at their North Wollongong hotel accommodation and train at North Dalton Park at Towradgi - the home of AFL South Coast premiers Wollongong Lions - and the University of Wollongong.
It is the easiest path back to Queensland, after shutting the borders to Victorian residents amid Melbourne's Covid-19 outbreaks this week, which also led to the NSW Government implement severe penalties and even jail for anyone caught coming from postcode virus hot spots.
It means the Gold Coast, currently second on the AFL ladder, will spend at least two weeks in a quarantine situation in Wollongong, where they will play games in Sydney, before a likely return to Queensland.
The Mercury understands Wollongong could yet also host a second AFL team, likely to come from Victoria, by the end of next week, however, other hub options including Homebush, Coogee, Manly and Canberra remained on the table.
Almost all of the Melbourne AFL clubs have players living in the Covid hotspots, which forced a major change to fixture plans when the travel crackdown within Victoria and interstate was implemented.
The AFL competition is expected to continue with hubs in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia amid the Victorian Covid-19 fears.
The Suns played the first four rounds at home, then after the Geelong game were to play the Hawks at the MCG.
In a bid to even out the amount of home games across the 18 clubs, they will make the move to Wollongong instead.
Before the shift, Gold Coast football boss Jon Haines last week said they will not be complaining about any lengthy away schedule and will embrace the challenge.
"We'll relish the opportunity to go on the road," Haines told reporters.