AFL CHIEF executive Gillon McLachlan says there is "strong optimism" at League headquarters that crowd capacity limits for Victorian venues will be lifted in time for round two or three.
As it stands, crowds in Victoria are capped at 50 per cent of stadium's capacity.
The limit will allow up to 50,000 fans to attend matches at the MCG this week, including Thursday night's Richmond-Carlton season opener.
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Collingwood takes on the Western Bulldogs in another blockbuster the following night.
On Monday, outspoken Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett called on the state government to scrap the crowd cap as Victoria recorded a 17th consecutive day with no new COVID-19 cases in the community.
But McLachlan said the League would continue to work with the government rather than lobby for an immediate increase in crowd numbers.
"If community transmission stays the way it is, our information is that it (the crowd cap) will increase," McLachlan told reporters on Monday.
"It's more (a matter of) 'when'.
"But we're working to 50 per cent this weekend and we've got an optimism for rounds two or three it will go up, all things going well."
Tickets for the Richmond-Carlton showdown went on sale on Monday morning, with the League and venues planning for the 50,000 capacity to stay in place.
But they are on standby to act if the limit is increased before round one.
"We will be able to deal with it if it goes up," McLachlan said.
"We're in constant dialogue (with the state government) and we've got a COVID plan for every venue and every state.
"They're very aware that the public's health and safety, and the players', is (our) priority number one.
"But we'd like to have as big a (crowd) number as we can, as soon as we can."
McLachlan said positive coronavirus cases in Brisbane and Sydney had not yet forced a shuffle of the AFL fixture despite some concern in recent days around possible border closures.
"Clearly we were in discussions on the weekend, but at the moment it stays the same and we're looking forward to round one as scheduled," McLachlan said.
"We're looking forward to the men's season starting and pushing through to finals of the women's (competition)."