The pertinent dates for Gather Round 2024 in South Australia have been announced by the AFL, with next year's matches set for Round 4, running from Thursday, April 4 through Sunday, April 7, with the fixture to be announced later in the year.
After this year's Gather Round in South Australia was a colossal success, in April, the AFL and SA government announced that the state would host Gather Round for at least the next three seasons.
On Monday, the AFL confirmed the dates for next season, adding that Round 4 was elected to offer fans more flexibility with South Australian, West Australian, and Victorian school holidays set for that early period of next year.
Adelaide Oval is poised to be the pinnacle of the weekend once again, with regional venues slated to be confirmed at some stage later in the calendar year.
Acting AFL CEO Andrew Dillon praised South Australia's handling of this year's Gather Round responsibilities, expressing confidence that next year's festivities will undoubtedly build on the foundations laid in 2023.
"Gather Round 2023 created a small slice of football history – all 18 clubs in the one state at the one time for a full round of nine matches and a celebration of footy," Dillon said in an AFL statement.
"South Australia really turned it on. All the activity across the state, the nine matches, the footy festival and the community football engagement were some of the best days and events the AFL has ever delivered.
"It was said to me so many times that the city itself felt like a Grand Final week, 18 times over, because every club in the competition was part of the build-up, the energy and the delivery, and every supporter base had their moment in the sun for their particular game.
"The opportunity ahead is to build on this, and by locking it in to South Australia and today announcing the dates for 2024, we are giving everyone a longer runway to put together a bigger and even better event, and our fans certainty around booking travel and accommodation.
"On behalf of the AFL I want to thank the SA government, led by Premier Malinauskas, who committed whole-heartedly to the success of the concept are aligned with our vision to drive support for key grassroots outcomes at regional venues in SA."
Echoing Dillon's sentiment, South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas commended the inaugural Gather Round, outlining the numerous benefits netted by the event.
"The inaugural Gather Round was a success beyond anyone's expectations," Malinauskas said in the statement.
"The event contributed tens of millions of dollars into the state's economy and helped fill hotels, bars and restaurants.
"The atmosphere was simply incredible and the only way to truly experience it is by being here.
"My message to footy fans across Australia is book your flights, book your accommodation and start planning your trip to South Australia because Gather Round 2024 promises to be even bigger than this year."
268,000 fans attended the nine Gather Round games in 2023, with the AFL certainly hoping to eclipse that total figure next season via a number of scheduling and operational tweaks.