AFL confirms South Australia will host extra round in 2023 but open to name suggestions


AFL and Gillon McLachlan have confirmed a 24th round will be played in South Australia on Friday.

The state will host all nine teams between Thursday, April 13 to Sunday, April 16 as the league is ready to unleash a four-day footy festival across multiple venues, coinciding with school holidays.

As announced by the soon-to-be-departed AFL head, Adelaide Oval will hold six matches across the weekend, with games on Thursday night, Friday night and double headers on both Saturday and Sunday.

Barossa Valley and Norwood venues have been flagged as potential settings to host the remaining three matches but has yet to be decided.

McLachlan is excited by this new initiative and its presence in South Australia, originally hailing from there.

“We are looking forward to not only bringing nine great matches for Premiership points to South Australia, but also a party-like atmosphere, filled with fan activations, family-friendly events, music, entertainment, community engagement, all designed to bring the city to life over the four days,” Mr McLachlan said.

“Over the pandemic-challenged years, South Australia played an important role in the survival of our game, and we are so pleased to be able to bring this major football event into the state.”

However, McLachlan didn’t rule out the potential of this extra round moving to other states in the future.

“A round of footy all in one state is a fantastic initiative for our competition, we have had great interest from many of our partners in other states and we are open to take this concept around the country giving other states the chance to experience it,” McLachlan said.

SA Premier Peter Malinauskas is ecstatic that his state won the bid for the AFL’s first version of the ‘Magic Round’.

“I am so excited South Australia has earned the right to bring together all 18 clubs to compete for Premiership points over four big days next season,” Malinauskas said.
“As Premier, I am determined to lure more major events to South Australia, which is why we fought so hard to secure an entire round of AFL in South Australia.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience footy like never before… rest assured, we are going to put on a show footy fans will never forget.”

Malinauskas also confirmed that the local SANFL competition will be having a bye that weekend to ensure the round will be celebrated in the right manner.

All club and AFL members will be granted free entry to games that feature their team.

This confirmation came shortly after a nod from AFL champion and Brisbane Legend Jason Akermanis.

The 2001 Brownlow Medalist was all for South Australia hosting the extra round, saying it would be ‘awesome’ for the game.

McLachlan and his team are still yet to confirm the name of the round and are open to suggestions.

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