The 2018 Magners Sydney Irish Festival takes over the Showgrounds later this year.
Tickets for the 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership Season are officially on sale, including matches at Etihad Stadium, Hawthorn at UTAS Stadium, Western Bulldogs at Mars Stadium, Geelong at GMHBA Stadium and the Giants at Spotless Stadium.
Tickets for Fremantle at Optus Stadium and Brisbane Lions at the Gabba are also already on sale.
Geelong will play nine matches at GMHBA Stadium this season, scattered between Friday, Saturday and Sunday matches. Gary Ablett will make his return to his spiritual home in Geelong in Round 4, with the Cats first match at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday 15 April against St Kilda.
They will also play fellow flag contenders Sydney and GWS in Geelong in the early rounds, as well as the Blues, North Melbourne, Melbourne, Brisbane, Fremantle and Gold Coast.
Tickets to see the Cats are sure to go quickly this season, after building arguable the competition’s greatest midfield, adding cult hero Gary Ablett to the already-formidable names of Dangerfield, Selwood, Duncan and Menegola.
The Western Bulldogs will this year bring two fixtures to Mars Stadium. They will take on both the Gold Coast Suns and Port Adelaide in Ballarat. After a whirlwind 2016 in which they won the Premiership, the Dogs disappointed many last year, finishing tenth and missing the finals completely. Adding several off-season recruits, they will be looking to shake the Premiership hangover tag and again force their way to the big dance in 2018.
Hawthorn’s Tasmanian fans will also be happy to hear that the club will be bringing another four matches to the University of Tasmania Stadium for the 2018 season. They will be looking to climb back up the ladder after a slow start last year left them in 12th spot, missing the finals for the first time in eight years.
There will be 45 matches played at Etihad Stadium this home and away season, with Essendon, St Kilda, North Melbourne, Carlton, Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, Hawthorn and Richmond all enjoying home fixtures at the ground.
Essendon will be looking to get off to a flying start in the opening Friday night fixture of the year, at Etihad Stadium on 23 March, against last year’s Grand Finalists Adelaide. There has been significant hype around the Bombers after bringing in high profile recruits Jake Stringer, Devon Smith and Adam Saad in the off-season, who will all be eager to impress come Round 1.
St Kilda will then take on Brisbane the following day on 24 March, again at Etihad Stadium, with the first bounce at 3:35pm.
Heading to Sydney, the GWS Giants will also play eight matches at Spotless Stadium this season, with the first against Brisbane in Round 6. As they head into their seventh year in the AFL, the Giants will be looking for their first flag after bowing out at the last hurdle to eventual premiers Richmond, in the 2017 Preliminary Final.
Early signs for this year’s AFL season already look extremely promising, with several sides shaping up to be genuine flag contenders. It is time for fans to get excited, with the season opener only TWO weeks away.
Head over to Ticketmaster.com.au for all 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership Season fixtures.