The AFL Player's Association (AFLPA) is reportedly keen on the league's single-city, Magic Round concept despite professing a desire for a second in-season bye in 2023.
According to previous reports, the footy festival concept would see the home-and-away seasons of every competing club expanded by a week - up from 22 fixtures in 2022 to 23 in 2023.
This scheduling spike is said to eliminate time from the pre-season period, eroding the amount of dead rubber scratch matches and league-organised community clashes previously required of all 18 clubs.
As stated by News Corp, the extra round of action is set to net the AFL's playing fraternity a cool $3.6 million, or $200,000 per club.
However, it is not yet known whether this windfall is set to be added onto each player's contract payments for the 2023 season or whether it will be tacked onto their respective retirement funds.
Although the player's union, led by premiership Cat Patrick Dangerfield, remains open to game-growing activities such as footy festivals and State of Origin carnivals, the collective also holds a bargaining chip in negotiations.
With Magic Round set to require an extra week of training, preparation and performing, the players are said to have requested an extra bye week during the upcoming regular season.
Still, as stated by The Herald Sun, it appears likely that the status quo will remain in 2023, with a solitary mid-season bye, as well as the pre-finals week off.
Outgoing AFL CEO Gillion McLachlan stated during the week that a final decision on the date and venue for the groundbreaking weekend of action will be made “in the next week or so”.