Reigning premiers Geelong are expected to land a suite of home games in the backend of 2023 as development on its 40,000-seat stadium continues into the new year.
The Cats are in the fifth stage of a GMHBA Stadium development, with the Victorian state government committing $142 million to the project, which will see the stadium’s capacity tick over 40,000.
With the development potentially not being finished until June 2023, the Herald Sun reports the Cats are hoping for nine games at the stadium in the backhalf of the 2023 season along with two MCG home games against big Victorian clubs.
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Still, the Cats are unlikely to face Sydney in a Grand Final rematch to open the season, despite a brief trial by the league.
Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs faced off to open the 2022 season, with the then-reigning grand finalists usurping the traditional Carlton-Richmond game.
The Age reports the league’s view is that a Geelong-Sydney clash would not draw as big a crowd as Carlton and Richmond do in marquee matches.
Meanwhile, St Kilda is lobbying the AFL for a blockbuster home game at the MCG in round three to celebrate the club’s 150th anniversary.
The Age reports St Kilda is hoping to face off against a heavyweight Victorian club at the venue and make a notable start under new coach Ross Lyon.
St Kilda’s home venue is Marvel Stadium and the club helped draw 40,129 fans to the ground in the round one game against Collingwood, which proved the club’s biggest crowd of the year.
A potential fixture against Collingwood could again be on the cards, with St Kilda’s sole premiership coming with a win over the club in 1966.
Additionally, the club’s first game in the VFL (in 1897) was against the Pies, while they played off in a drawn grand final in 2010.