DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 01: A general view during the round 11 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Adelaide Crows at TIO Stadium on June 01, 2019 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Gold Coast side will play two matches in Darwin over the course of a fortnight in 2022 in big news for the Northern Territory.

Darwin has featured in every single season of the past 17 seasons, with clubs across the nation electing to play one-off encounters in Australia's northern-most capital city.

As season 2021 once again was marred by the pandemic, there were obvious limitations on where and when teams could travel to play games.

With 2022 looking like a season in which the AFL will finally be able to operate with greater freedoms, Gold Coast have revealed they will play two mid-season games at TIO Stadium.

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The club will travel to the Northern Territory for Sir Doug Nicholls Round where they will play Hawthorn, however will stay there for the following round where they will contest another game in Darwin.

Suns Chief Executive Matt Evans exclaimed his delight at finally being able to bring the top tier of football back to the footy-hungry town of Darwin.

“It’s great that as a football club we’ll be able to get back to the Northern Territory in 2022 and play not one but two fixtures at TIO Stadium after Territorians missed out last year,” the CEO said to the club's website.

“The partnership with Darwin is a really significant one for the football club from a talent development pathway point of view, but also commercially and unfortunately we were unable to host a game at TIO Stadium in 2021."

Teams all over the country have come to Darwin, with the likes of Melbourne, Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide and Richmond amongst others battling it out in tropical conditions.

In 2020, the Marrara Oval was chosen to host the annual Dreamtime at the 'G match, seeing as the fixture could not take place in Melbourne, with the occasion being an incredibly powerful event for all involved.

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Northern Territory Minister for Major Events Natasha Fyles says that the match will also boost tourism in the region after another year of the industry being hit so hard by the pandemic.

“The Territory loves footy and, with three Premiership games on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to catch elite football right here in the NT,” Minister Fyles exclaimed.

“The games are also the perfect excuse for interstate fans to head to the Territory, where they can not only support their team but also enjoy all the unique tourism experiences we have to offer.

“Two Darwin games in quick succession for the SUNS also means the players will be in town for much longer than usual and gives their travelling fans more reasons to prolong their Territory holiday in order to catch both games.”

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: (L-R) Oleg Markov, Brayden Fiorini and Brandon Ellis of the Suns celebrate during the 2021 AFL Round 16 match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Richmond Tigers at Marvel Stadium on July 01, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The trip to Darwin could come at a pivotal point in the year for Stuart Dew's Suns, with the club now seriously under pressure to deliver their first finals appearance in their decade-long existence.

With exciting tall prospect Mac Andrew joining the club in November's National Draft, the club is gearing up to hopefully finally get the duck off their back and taste September action for the first time ever.

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