COLLINGWOOD captain Scott Pendlebury has thrown his support behind a night or twilight Grand Final after being inspired by the NFL Super Bowl.
The 26-year-old recently travelled to the United States with Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett to attend the Super Bowl between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.
AFL preliminary finals are played under lights, which Pendlebury said were usually of a high standard and not troubled by dew.
While AFL deputy CEO Gillon McLachlan said as recently as September last year he was opposed to a night decider, Pendlebury said the NFL timeslot and half-time entertainment "created a great buzz," and he was open to a move away from the traditional afternoon showpiece.
"After seeing it, I spoke to 'Gaz' over there and said it would be pretty cool if we did this back in Australia," Pendlebury said at the Magpies' Australia Post Community Camp in Kinglake on Tuesday.
"Even a 4.40pm timeslot where the entertainment at half-time was under lights (would be good).
"It created a great buzz and certainly something that opened my eyes over there is how well they did it, although they did mention the hardest tickets to get in the world are the AFL Grand Final tickets so our code's doing well.
"I'm open to (a change). It doesn't faze me – as long as I'm playing in the Grand Final, I don't care what time they play."
Pendlebury captained the Pies for the first time in their narrow NAB Challenge loss to Geelong last Wednesday night.
He said he had been encouraged so far by how the players had approached the new-look Collingwood era after a number of long-term Pies moved on at the end of last season.
"It's not just me that's going to change the place, or has to change the place," he said.
"It's the whole leadership group and I think from the summer we've had, everyone's moved in the right direction and it's exciting times."
Pendlebury said he felt the Pies had run Wednesday's two-point loss out strongly after a decent pre-season, and had been good defensively in patches while looking sharp in offence.
He was happy with what they produced despite the result and said the revamped pre-season format of two full games plus a practice match was an improvement on that of previous years.
"Credit to both sides for going out there and having a crack," he said.
"I think the format that we've got allows sides to do that; you're not playing two sides in a night and having 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off.
"I think the format suits some more serious hit-outs. It felt like a real game - four full length quarters and it was a great opportunity for us to get down there and play Geelong, who are a great side and I think all the boys from both sides would be happy with how it turned out."
Collingwood travels to Wangaratta to face Richmond this Saturday, following the Tigers' loss to Melbourne on Friday night.
Pendlebury said Ben Reid and Dane Swan were keen to play, while he expected to be there too, but he might reluctantly start as the substitute player again as he did against the Cats.
As for the expectations placed on the Pies this year and speculation from some critics they'll drop off following a significant turnover of experienced players, the skipper said he wasn't too concerned.
"It's water off a duck's back," he said.
"To be honest, it doesn't really register. I don't really care what other people think or say.
"We've got our own expectations we'll stick to."