Northern Territory Government Newsroom

AFL Premiership Action Returns to Darwin

AFL action returns to TIO Stadium this weekend, when Melbourne and Fremantle go head to head tomorrow night.

The AFL premiership game is part of the Territory Labor Government’s $1.6 million a year partnership with the AFL to secure premiership games in the Territory until 2023.

The Round 16 clash is the ninth consecutive season Melbourne has played a home game in Darwin.

“Territorians love their footy and seeing big games like this live is a real boost for Territory lifestyle and local jobs, which is so important in keeping people living in the NT,” Minister for Tourism and Culture Lauren Moss said.

“Our partnership with the AFL to bring premiership games to the Territory ensures Territorians can enjoy live footy in action right here in their own backyard without having to jump on a plane.

“It’s great to welcome back the Demons to Darwin, their home away from home.

“The AFL game is a highly anticipated event on the local calendar and for visitors from interstate. This is why Tourism NT are promoting travel deals to Darwin for the match using digital and social media targeting Melbourne fans with Flight Centre packages.”

CEO of AFLNT, Stu Totham, welcomed the Government’s partnership with the AFL, which also includes support for AFL women’s matches.

“This weekend’s AFL game is one of two that AFLNT delivers in partnership with the NT Government, AFL and Melbourne Football Club and along with the AFLW game in Darwin is one of three games that NTG has helped us bring to the NT this year,” he said.

“These AFL games in the Northern Territory shows we are committed to building strong links between local communities, grassroots football and the elite level.

“We are excited our female players will get the chance to shine on the big stage this Saturday when the NT Thunder plays Geelong Cats in the curtain raiser to the Demons and Dockers clash as part of the VFLW.”

This weekend’s clash will also be the first AFL premiership game under new lights at TIO Stadium, installed last year as part of the Territory Labor Government’s $4.1 million upgrades to the facility to ensure it can continue to host large-scale events.

“As part of our investment in our sporting facilities, the light upgrades and the installation of a fifth light tower means TIO Stadium now meets digital broadcasting requirements for evening sporting events,” said Ms Moss.

“We’ve also worked with AFLNT to install state of the art security cameras and upgrade change rooms and public amenities at the ground.”

Footy fans attending the game are encouraged to catch public transport with limited parking available due to construction in the area.

AFL in Darwin - Match Day Schedule:

3:00pm - Bonson Gate opens

3:00pm - Ah Mat Gate opens

4:00pm - NT Thunder vs Geelong Cats (VFLW)

5:00pm - Scoreboard Gate opens

7.10pm - Melbourne Demons vs Fremantle kick-off


Media Contact: Trish Grimshaw 0401 119 242