The first preliminary final between Hawthorn and the winner of Adelaide-Fremantle will be played at 5.15pm on Saturday September 22, the AFL confirmed on Tuesday.
The timeslot has been chosen to 'maximise crowd and tv audience' and also enable the Crows or Dockers to return home that night.
Hawthorn have been forced to host the final on the Saturday because ANZ Stadium is being used by the NRL, which means Sydney will host the second preliminary final on Friday night.
Should the Hawks win through to the premiership decider then they will have a shorter break than their opponents despite finishing on top of the ladder.
With the AFL looking at staging a night or twilight grand final in the future this could serve as a possible dress rehearsal.
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