A general view during the match between Geelong and St Kilda at GMHBA Stadium in round one, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

THE AFL will persist with a Friday night double-header this weekend as it seeks to reduce the number of fixtures on Mother's Day.

Geelong will host Port Adelaide at the slightly earlier time of 7.10pm AEST on Friday evening to accommodate for a second match on the same night, with Fremantle to play Sydney at 6.30pm AWST.

It will be the third consecutive year the AFL has scheduled a Friday night double-header on Mother's Day weekend, reducing the Sunday slate to just two games.

Collingwood and Adelaide will again host Mother's Day fixtures for the second consecutive season, with the Pies to host West Coast at Marvel Stadium and the Crows to face Brisbane at the Adelaide Oval.

Last year Collingwood drew a crowd of 37,361 at the MCG when it hosted Greater Western Sydney on Mother's Day, while Adelaide's fixture with St Kilda in 2023 had an attendance of 33,805 spectators.

Mother's Day games have traditionally drawn lower attendance numbers due to the significance of the day, leading to the AFL experimenting with ways to reduce the fixture congestion on the Sunday when it falls.

The last time the League scheduled the traditional three games on Mother's Day was in 2021, with the average attendance for the Sunday fixtures (19,447) significantly less than the rest of the weekend (28,936).


The upcoming round nine fixture features all of the current top-eight playing each other, beginning with Carlton's clash against Melbourne on Thursday night and continuing with the blockbuster Friday evening double-header.

It's just the sixth time in the top-eight era that's occurred throughout a home-and-away season, and the second occasion in the last decade.

It also comes after the AFL announced on Monday that round eight had become the third-highest attended round ever, falling just behind round one and round seven of this year.


A total of 403,452 passed through the gates last weekend, the third time this season that more than 400,000 fans had attended games across a single round.

Round one drew a record 413,405 fans while round seven attracted 408,433 people. The only other time more than 400,000 spectators had come across a single weekend occurred back in 2017.