Three times AFL fun for Territory this year

NT Government

8 December 2022

In exciting news for footy fans, three AFL matches will take place in the Northern Territory next year, with Darwin set to host a doubleheader of Gold Coast SUNS action in the Top End, and Alice Springs welcoming the Melbourne Football Club to the Red Centre.

The Gold Coast SUNS will play the Western Bulldogs at TIO Stadium on Saturday, May 27 at 6.55pm as part of Round 11, followed by a match against the Adelaide Crows the following weekend on Saturday, June 3 at 7pm in Round 12.

The Melbourne Demons will take on GWS Giants at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs in Round 16, on the first weekend of July, with final details to be determined at a later date.

The games are part of the Northern Territory Government’s partnership with the AFL, which sees regular matches played in the Top End and the Red Centre each year.

Last year Top End footy fans enjoyed two consecutive weekends of Gold Coast SUNS action for the first time, and can enjoy the same again in 2023.

Tickets will go on sale in the new year. To find out when, follow Northern Territory Major Events Company or AFL NT on Facebook, or visit [] or []

Quotes from Minister for Major Events, Paul Kirby:

“Territorians love their football and, with three Premiership games now on the horizon, there’s never been a better time to catch elite football right here in the Territory.

“As well as giving Territorians the chance to watch first-class sport in their own backyard, and attracting interstate fans, these games see the Territory displayed on TV screens across Australia and play a huge role in attracting tourists, supporting local businesses and providing community engagement benefits for both the Top End and Central Australia.”

Quotes from Gold Coast SUNS Chief Executive Office, Mark Evans:

“It’s great for our club to once again be returning to the Northern Territory in 2022 to play two fixtures at TIO Stadium. It was a fantastic experience getting back to Darwin in 2022 for the first time in two years and I know our players, coaches and staff will be circling these matches in the calendar again in 2023.

“The partnership between the Gold Coast SUNS and Darwin is a significant one for the club from player development and community engagement perspectives.

“With seven players with links to the Northern Territory now on our AFL list and an ever-growing number of players from the region coming through our development pathways, two matches at TIO Stadium provides the opportunity for young Territorians to aspire to follow in their footsteps.

“With our playing squad to remain in Darwin in-between fixtures, we’re looking forward to the opportunity to engage with the local community away from the football field as well.”

Quotes from Melbourne Demons CEO, Gary Pert:

“I know all our players and staff look forward to this game and experiencing everything that the Northern Territory and Alice Springs has to offer.

“We see TIO Traeger Park as a home ground away from home, while it also provides us with a great opportunity to connect with the local community and bring the AFL competition to the heart of the nation.

“We are extremely proud of the community work we have conducted in Alice Springs and surrounding communities over a long period of time.”

Quotes from Head of AFL NT, Sam Gibson:

“We are excited to welcome back the Gold Coast SUNS and Melbourne Demons in 2023 to ensure Territory footy fans have the opportunity to watch first-class games live in their backyard.

“The Territory has built a strong connection with both the Gold Coast SUNS and Melbourne Demons over recent years, so to continue this in 2023 is great for footy and the NT more broadly.

“The long-term commitment by the Northern Territory Government and AFL has been important in ensuring that the community gets to engage with elite football and that local talent can see what it takes to play at the highest level.”

Northern Territory Government

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