The AFL has written to each of the clubs, broadcasters and other significant league stakeholders seeking their 2019 fixture requests but will remain with the same structure as seen in recent years, according to foxfooty.com.au.
The League announced on Thursday that the 2019 season would once again involve:
- The JLT Community Series, from mid-February to early March
- A 23-round round home and away season, running from Thursday, March 21, to Sunday, August 25, which will include one bye for each team
- A pre-finals week bye
- A four-week finals series, with:
- The first week to be held from Thursday, September 5, to Sunday, September 8
- The Grand Final to be held on Saturday, September 28
The oft-spoken about Grand Final timeslot was not confirmed, with a twilight fixture to be considered once again.
The League will also seek to gradually phase Carlton out of prime-time Friday night games after receiving several fixtures this season, with the AFL general manager of clubs Travis Auld confirming the League will seek to reward on-field performance when completing the 2019 schedule.
Next year’s fixture will feature the current regular round structure of one Friday night match, two Saturday afternoon matches, one Saturday twilight matches, two Saturday night matches, one early Sunday, one Sunday mid-afternoon, and one Sunday twilight match.
The AFL will look to be remain inclusive of a irregular rounds, mostly based around key public holidays and bye weekends, with the growing Thursday night timeslot likely to gain further exposure.
The season will again commence on a Thursday night, while round five will run from Thursday April 18 to Monday April 22, in line with Easter, and round six will feature the ANZAC Day (Thursday) and ANZAC Day eve (Wednesday) games.
As is tradition, a game will be held on the Queen’s Birthday public holiday, which will fall on Monday, June 10 next year.
The AFL has proposed that all stakeholders file their fixture requests by Friday, August 10.
Auld said he expected the fixture would be completed by mid-to-late October.