The AFL and Victorian Government have today announced a Footy Festival extravaganza in Victoria with 12 matches in 10 days across Round 10 of the NAB AFLW Season and Round One of the Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
The festival kicks off on Friday March 11, 2022, with ALL 14 AFLW clubs to play their Round 10 matches in Victoria – with times to be confirmed at a later date, followed by the opening round of the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season starting at the MCG on Wednesday March 16.
The MCG, Marvel Stadium, GMHBA Stadium in Geelong, Victoria Park in Collingwood, Arden Street North Melbourne, Casey Fields in Cranbourne, RSEA Park in Moorabbin, Swinburne Centre Punt Road Oval in Richmond, and Mars Stadium in Ballarat will all host matches across the 10 day period.
All 10 Victorian AFL teams will play in Melbourne in Round One with five blockbuster games over five days, the first time all 10 have played in the state during the same Round since Round 20, 2016.
A rematch of the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final will kick off the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership season as reigning Premiers Melbourne unfurl their flag and begin their premiership defence against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG in a Wednesday night showpiece.
Carlton and Richmond will then resume their traditional Thursday night Round One match up at the MCG followed by St Kilda vs Collingwood at Marvel Stadium on the Friday night.
Geelong will host Essendon, and their annual Country Game, at the MCG in a traditional Saturday afternoon timeslot of 2:10pm, with Hawthorn vs North Melbourne to round out the footy festival at the MCG on Sunday March 20 at 1:10pm.
“The footy festival will bring people together and to be able to give all Victorians and footy fans from regional Victoria and interstate an opportunity to come to a game and see their AFLW and AFL teams across a 10-day period is a significant step bouncing back from a challenging year,” AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan said.
“We want to get big crowds back to the footy, the weekly ritual of being able to go to a game and the sense of community it creates, connecting families and friends is something we have missed in the state.
“We look forward to seeing fans return to our venues in huge numbers as well as to all the surrounding business and venues that rely on footy and big events being staged across the city.
“To finish our NAB AFLW season in Victoria and have these matches possibly determine final placings is huge, and then launch the biggest start to an AFL season ever, including
a Wednesday night season opener is going to give us a lot of momentum for the season ahead.
“Footy can hopefully help bring the heartbeat of the city back to Melbourne and back to the state of Victoria.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula
“This festival will celebrate the best of the AFLW and AFL in the home of football, cementing our standing as the nation’s events and sporting capital.
“The anticipation for the return of football is growing even now and come March thousands of Victorians and visitors will be getting out to grounds around the state, supporting local businesses and jobs.”
Quote attributable to AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan
“We look forward to seeing fans return to our venues in huge numbers as well as to all the surrounding business and venues that rely on footy and big events being staged across the city.”
Community and local football initiatives will also be linked to the festival with various initiatives potentially to be announced closer to March.
Round 10 of the NAB AFL Women’s Competition
March 11 - March 13
Collingwood vs. Gold Coast SUNS at Victoria Park (VIC), TBC
Geelong Cats vs. GWS GIANTS at GMHBA Stadium (VIC), TBC
Melbourne vs. Carlton at Casey Fields (VIC), TBC
Kangaroos vs. West Coast Eagles at Arden Street (VIC), TBC
Richmond vs. Brisbane Lions at Swinburne Centre (VIC), TBC
St. Kilda vs. Adelaide Crows at RSEA Park (VIC), TBC
Western Bulldogs vs. Fremantle at Mars Stadium (VIC), TBC
Round One of the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season
Wednesday, March 16
Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs at the MCG (SEVEN), 7.10pm AEDT
Thursday, March 17
Carlton vs. Richmond at the MCG (SEVEN), 7.25pm AEDT
Friday, March 18
St Kilda vs. Collingwood at Marvel Stadium (SEVEN), 7.50pm AEDT
Saturday, March 19
Geelong Cats vs. Essendon at the MCG (FOX), 2.10pm AEDT
GWS GIANTS vs. Sydney Swans at Accor Stadium (FOX), 5.10pm AEDT
Brisbane Lions vs. Port Adelaide at the Gabba (SEVEN), 7.10pm AEST
Sunday, March 20
Hawthorn vs. North Melbourne at the MCG (FOX), 1.10pm AEDT
Adelaide Crows vs. Fremantle at Adelaide Oval (FOX), 3.40pm ACST
West Coast Eagles vs. Gold Coast SUNS (FOX), 4.40pm AWST