While most footy fans will be focused on the MCG tomorrow, around 2,000 AFL Masters participants will be suiting up in Adelaide for the largest mass participation football event in Australia.
A record number of players and teams have signed up for the weeklong tournament, with teams from each state being represented – with the youngest player at 35 and the oldest one aged 79.
The event – which is expected to inject an estimated $4 million into the South Australian economy – will include a record high 60 teams playing across 13 divisions.
Those converging on Adelaide include 1250 players, as well as team managers, coaches and umpires and travelling families.
In addition to match days, the participants are also taking part in a significant social program, which includes golf days, winery visits and tours to Hahndorf and Kangaroo Island.
At the official function dinner next week, four new AFL Masters will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, while two will be elevated to Legends Status and one bestowed with Life Membership.
Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said it was a chance to showcase how well South Australia puts on a show, and highlight tourism opportunities in the state.
“It is terrific to welcome back to Adelaide the AFL Masters players, officials and supporters for what will be a big week of sporting fun and friendship – a real festival of footy,” she said.
“While we know there is plenty of on-field action, we also know that there is a packed social calendar where visitors to our state get a chance to discover our great restaurants, cafes and bars, and head out into our regions to explore some great wineries, distilleries and iconic destinations like Hahndorf and Kangaroo Island.”
AFL Masters President Steve Eurell said there was genuine excitement about the tournament returning to Adelaide for the first time since 2014.
“Adelaide has a long history with this event – dating back to when it hosted the sixth ever carnival back in 1988,” he said.
“South Australia is a proud Aussie rules state, so I am also sure the local support will be huge, when the teams are out and playing around the city next week.”
The event is proudly supported by the South Australian Tourism Commission.
For all 2022 National Carnival information, see: carnival.masters.afl.