AS MANY as six Victorian teams will rotate through the Western Australia quarantine hub experience as part of "sacrifices" each club will make this season.
AFL fixture boss Travis Auld raised that scenario ahead of the unveiling of the round seven fixture on Thursday.
>> Full round seven fixture to be revealed at 4pm
The AFL released the round six matches on Wednesday night, with Geelong and Collingwood to be the first Victorian teams to quarantine in WA at the completion of their Thursday and Friday games, respectively.
West Coast and Fremantle will also depart Queensland after their round six contests to enter the required 14-day quarantine period in WA.
That's why the AFL scheduled earlier start times for both clubs' Saturday games in round six, with the Dockers playing Melbourne at 12.35pm AEST and the Eagles at 3.05pm AEST.
"What's happened there is we need to get those teams home by midnight Saturday night, so they can start quarantining, so we need to have those games done," Auld told SEN radio.
"They'd normally be a 1.05pm and 3.35pm game. We brought them forward, so we can get the games completed, particularly the second game, get them to the airport and back into Perth before midnight, so the 14 days can commence."
ROUNDS 4-6 Check out the full fixture
Auld said the Magpies and Cats were set to meet in front of up to 30,000 Western Australians – the government limit until it doubles a day later – at the same venue on Friday night, July 17.
West Coast and Fremantle are likely to meet in the Western Derby on Sunday, July 19 in the first game with a full capacity, 60,000-strong crowd allowed at Optus Stadium.
The complicated nature of this COVID-19-impacted season means at least two more Victorian teams, and possibly more, could find themselves based out west in future rounds.
Those two other Victorian clubs would likely face off in round nine, while serving the quarantine period.
That is after the two WA clubs and two South Australian teams completed differing stints on the Gold Coast to help breathe new life into the season.
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"I think the broader principle would be that everyone shares the pain, so everyone has to make compromises and sacrifices, so you'll see that in various ways," Auld said.
"The WA and SA teams have done their bit. I think you'll have maybe up to six Victorian teams cycle through WA, so certainly they'll do their bit by being there for at least two or three weeks.
"The Queensland teams have been fortunate the hub's been in Queensland but they'll have a lot of away games back-to-back later in the year, simply because they've front-ended a lot of home games."
A rolling fixture has proven helpful this year with government border changes and restrictions lifting on almost a weekly basis but Auld said it may not work in a normal season.
"The upside of this is you can continue to review based on form and be more responsive to things that you wouldn't otherwise be able to do if you rolled out a fixture for a full season," he said.
"The downside really is fans. The one thing we prioritised in previous years is when we released the fixture at the end of October, fans can … plan ahead.
"You can't do that in this scenario, and that will be a problem as crowds come back."
Auld also said there was no rush to fit the postponed Melbourne-Essendon game into the fixture and there was no serious consideration to it being played mid-week.