A general view of the MCG during the 2019 Grand Final on September 28, 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

THE 2022 Toyota AFL Grand Final will be staying in its traditional afternoon slot – 2.30pm, on Saturday September 24 at the MCG.

In what is clearly an acknowledgment to fan sentiment, the AFL Commission on Wednesday determined the game would stay in its usual place and on Friday morning relayed that decision to the 18 clubs in a videoconference.

COVID-19 interruptions to the past two seasons had seen the Grand Final moved from the MCG, to a night fixture at the Gabba in 2020 and a twilight start at Perth’s Optus Stadium last year. Clubs had been conditioned to expect an MCG twilight start in 2022.

The pre-match entertainment ahead of the 2020 Grand Final at the Gabba. Picture: AFL Photos

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said despite the success of the Perth twilight event, tradition overrode a desire for change.

"Prior to the start of this season, we emphasised that after two really challenging years, we all yearned to return to the footy rituals and routines that set the rhythms of our lives, to continue to focus on getting back to football and going to football as we know it," McLachlan said. 

"That return-to-rituals principle underpinned our decision making in ratifying a traditional start time - the prestige, nostalgia and atmosphere of the day Grand Final is something we all know and love. 

"Our role is to deliver fans the best possible game experience, whether that be at the match or the millions watching the broadcast, and together with our broadcast partner the Seven Network, we remain committed to creating an amazing event, and seeing 100,000 fans return to the MCG on that last Saturday in September.

"The 2022 Toyota AFL Grand Final is sure to be a fantastic spectacle for both the fans in the stadium and the millions watching around the country and overseas."

What time does the Grand Final start?

AEST 2:30pm – ACT, NSW, QLD, TAS, VIC 
AWST 12:30pm – WA 
ACST 2:00pm – NT, SA

A general view of Optus Stadium during the 2021 AFL Grand Final match between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs. Picture: AFL Photos