AFL pushing Magic Round concept for 2023

·2-min read

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has revealed "multiple states" are vying to host an entire round of games in 2023.

Based on the NRL's Magic Round, the AFL is exploring whether to stage all nine matches on the same weekend in one city next April.

If the proposal is ticked off then the season would increase from 23 rounds to 24, with one bye for each team.

Every club will still host 11 home matches.

Queensland, South Australia, NSW and Western Australia would all loom as viable options for the super round of matches.

McLachlan said clubs are open to scrapping official pre-season matches in favour of an extra round.

"This year they had one proper hit-out in venues and they just played it like a home-and-away game, belted into each other," McLachlan told SEN.

"People got suspended, people got injured, so we had CEOs and presidents on the back of that saying, 'If you're going to do it like that, why don't you play it as a home-and-away game?'.

"The (AFL executive) team have gone off and explored all of that and now we've got multiple states interested in doing it.

"We've got to the point where we've got three states saying, 'We'll do it, we'd love to have all nine games in this market'.

"We've briefed the clubs where we're at and what it would mean from a marketing, financial and logistical sense."

The NRL has staged its Magic Round at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium since 2019, although the event did not go ahead in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

McLachlan believes it would make sense to run the AFL's own version of Magic Round in the school holidays, after the first few rounds of the season.

"Maybe round five-ish, the second half of April when it's school holidays nationally," he said.

Meanwhile, McLachlan revealed there would not be music blasted after goals in Saturday's grand final between Geelong and the Sydney Swans at the MCG in the wake of fan and media criticism of the practice.