- 22 matches across 23 rounds
- Rounds One to Nine Fixture released today
- 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final re-match to open the season
- Sydney Derby to be played in Round One
- WA Derby to be played in Round Three
- Five Thursday night matches in the first five rounds
- For the first time, the AFL has scheduled two matches in the Friday night timeslot in Round Three and Round Eight
- SA Showdown (Round Three) to be played on a Friday night for the first time
- Men’s footy returns to Victoria and NSW after an impacted 2021 season due to the pandemic
- Rivalries aplenty across the first six rounds
- ANZAC Appeal Round to be held in Round Six, featuring GWS GIANTS in Canberra, the Q Clash, two matches in Tasmania and traditional ANZAC Eve and ANZAC Day matches.
- Toyota AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Round to be held across Rounds 10 and 11 with a match in Darwin (Gold Coast SUNS vs. Hawthorn), Dreamtime match returns to the G, Marn Grook match.
- 15 of the 18 clubs will feature in marquee Thursday and / or Friday timeslots across the opening six weeks.
- Match ups and venues released for Round 10 to 23, dates and times to be announced throughout the season.
The AFL has today released the full fixture for Rounds One to Nine of the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season which will see men’s football return to Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory following an interrupted 2021 season as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
Matchups and venues for Round 10 to 23 were also released today with dates and times for those matches to be released following the commencement of the premiership season.
The opening rounds of the season will see big match-ups with five Thursday night matches kicking off the first five rounds and 15 of the 18 clubs will feature in marquee Thursday and / or Friday timeslots across the opening six weeks.
A focus on rivalries, both traditional and new, will feature heavily across the first nine rounds, with reigning Premiers Melbourne unveiling their 2021 Premiership flag at the MCG in the season-opener against the Western Bulldogs.
Carlton vs. Richmond (Round One), Geelong Cats vs. Essendon (Round One), GWS GIANTS vs. Sydney Swans (Round One), Adelaide Crows vs. Port Adelaide (Round Three), West Coast Eagles vs Fremantle (Round Three) and Essendon vs. Collingwood (Round Six) are some of the matches featured in the early parts of the season.
Round Five will be played over the Easter weekend, with the Brisbane Lions and Collingwood at the Gabba playing on the now traditional Easter Thursday timeslot. A double header on Good Friday will once again be a feature of the Easter round as North Melbourne host the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium in a match that supports the Royal Children’s Hospital Appeal, followed by the West Coast Eagles vs. Sydney Swans at Optus Stadium. The Geelong Cats and Hawthorn will once again do battle at the MCG on Easter Monday.
Tasmania will host its first matches of the season during the Round Six Anzac Appeal Round with North Melbourne vs. Geelong Cats to be played at Blundstone Arena on Sunday April 24, before Hawthorn and the Sydney Swans meet on ANZAC Day at UTAS Stadium.
Canberra’s Manuka Oval and Ballarat’s Mars Stadium will also host their first games of the season during the ANZAC Appeal Round with the GWS GIANTS hosting St Kilda and Western Bulldogs hosting Adelaide Crows at each respective venue.
The Q Clash will take place in Round Six when the Gold Coast SUNS host the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium on Sunday, April 24.
Cairns will host a game in Round Seven when St Kilda and Port Adelaide meet at Cazalys Stadium on Saturday, April 30.
For the first time since 2020, AFL football returns to the Northern Territory for three matches during the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season with the Gold Coast SUNS to host back-to-back matches at TIO Stadium in Darwin against Hawthorn and North Melbourne during Round 11 and 12, respectively, before Melbourne host Port Adelaide at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs during Round 18.
AFL Executive General Manager of Clubs and Broadcasting Travis Auld said the initial block of the fixture was constructed with the primary aim to achieve a strong start to the season with a series of key Thursday and Friday night matches to build momentum into the early part of the season.
"We begin season 2022 with a renewed level of confidence – taking the learnings of the previous year and focusing on delivering fans another blockbuster schedule of matches," Mr Auld said.
"For supporters it is a chance to get back to doing what we all love, going to the footy with our family and friends.
"On the field, it feels like we are in for another unpredictable season.
"The competitiveness and the ability for any team to win on any day gave us great confidence in the spread of marquee timeslots to begin the season."
Mr Auld said that while everyone involved in the game was looking forward to the return of the AFL season the league would continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic.
"We will continue to remain diligent and will always be led by respective Governments and health authorities on the right advice, ensuring the health and wellbeing of everyone remains the key priority," Mr Auld said.
"The success of the last two seasons has shown us is that if we are disciplined with our protocols and willing to be flexible where required, we will keep footy going.
"Football is more than a game, it is about bringing people together and reconnecting families, friends and fans – whether that is at a match, at someone’s home or at a venue to watch and cheer on their clubs."
The AFL thanks its broadcast partners, the Seven Network and Foxtel, all 18 AFL Clubs, venues, governments and the AFLPA for their collaboration as it finalised the fixture for the 2022 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
Other highlights in the fixture beyond Rounds One – Nine include the Toyota AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Round to occur over Rounds 10-11 with the Dreamtime at the G match to return to the MCG and the Sydney Swans to host the Marn Grook game against Richmond in Round 11.
Matches will be broadcast live by the Seven Network, Foxtel and via Kayo.
The AFL would like to acknowledge the support of all industry stakeholders throughout this process as well as Optimal Planning for their assistance in the construction of the draw.
*All matches across Round 10 - 23 are listed in alphabetical order with timeslots to be determined at a later date