SA great after securing AFL’s inaugural ‘magic round’

South Australia has secured the right to host the AFL’s inaugural ‘magic round’ next April which will see all nine matches from one series played in one state for the first time.

Nov 11, 2022, updated Nov 11, 2022
Adelaide Oval. Photo: AAP/Morgan Sette

Adelaide Oval. Photo: AAP/Morgan Sette

AFL CEO Gil McLachlan and Premier Peter Malinauskas will confirm details of the round at Adelaide Oval this morning after the State Government agreed to underwrite the round in a deal expected to cost taxpayers upwards of $14 million.

The round is likely to pay for itself by generating millions of tourism dollars for the state.

InDaily understands as many as six games will be played at Adelaide Oval with two matches scheduled for Norwood Oval while one will be held in the Barossa Valley.

South Australia secured the round after trumping the only other serious bid from New South Wales.

The AFL season will be extended to 23 matches for the first time and played over 24 rounds.

Norwood and the Barossa are expected to host some of the smaller drawing matches in the round.

The record attendance for Norwood Oval was 20,280 in 1971 but Norwood CEO James Fantasia said the capacity is now much smaller.

“We had an AFLW game in one of their first seasons, we had 12,500 and it was pretty tight,” Fantasia told ABC Radio Adelaide this morning.

“We can cater for about 4000 people under cover.”

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The draw for the magic round, which is likely to be played in April, is not expected to be known until the AFL fixture is released within the next few weeks but Adelaide and Port Adelaide will not be playing each other.

The concept of a magic round was born in England in 2007 when its Super League (rugby) played all six matches in Cardiff.

The NRL adopted the concept in 2019 with Brisbane hosting all three magic rounds since. 

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