AFL and premiership cup heading to the Red Centre this July!

Alice Springs

The countdown is on for AFL to return to the Territory, and fans can enjoy three games of professional footy right here this year, with the Melbourne Football Club confirmed to take on Port Adelaide at TIO Traeger Park in Alice Springs on Sunday, 17 July, 2022 at 2.50pm local / 3.20pm EST.

As last season’s premiership winners, Melbourne will be bringing the AFL premiership cup with them, so fans can see and touch it for themselves.

The Alice Springs game is in addition to the Gold Coast SUNS facing Hawthorn at Darwin’s TIO Stadium on Saturday, 28 May, during the Sir Doug Nicholls Round, followed by the SUNS v North Melbourne in Darwin on Saturday, 4 June.

The games are part of the Northern Territory Government’s partnership with AFL, which sees two games played in the Territory each year – one in Alice Springs and one in Darwin. There will be three games this year due to COVID affecting the number of games played last year. 

Tickets for the SUNS games are on sale now at Tickets for the Melbourne game will available to purchase on Friday, 10 June 2022, with Melbourne Club Members tickets available from 10am. Footy fans are encouraged to buy their tickets early to avoid missing out. 

Quotes from Sam Gibson, Head of AFLNT:

“With the Darwin AFL matches almost upon us, we are thrilled to also welcome back elite footy to the Red Centre in July after a year off due to COVID impacts. Ensuring Central Australians have the opportunity to watch AFL live in their backyard is a high priority for us.

“With reigning premiers the Melbourne Demons currently sitting on top of the ladder and with last year’s Brownlow Medallist Ollie Wines anticipated to play for the highly talented Port Adelaide side, it’s sure to be a must-watch match!

“We wish to thank the Northern Territory Government, Melbourne Demons and the AFL for working together to put this fixture together and we also extend our gratitude to Channel 7, who will showcase free-to-air another aspect of our incredible Territory to a national audience.”

Quotes from Gary Pert, Melbourne Football Club CEO:

“With such a rich history, Alice Springs is a unique backdrop for an AFL match, and we are proud to be able to showcase the game in the heart of the nation again in 2022. 

“Over an extended period of time, we have developed a really special connection with the Northern Territory and, in particular, the Alice Springs community, which is something we really value as a club.

“We are excited to reconnect with the local community following a COVID-interrupted season in 2021, where we weren’t able to visit. 

“As we have done throughout all our interstate matches this year with our national Cup tour, we are really looking forward to providing all our Melbourne supporters in the Northern Territory the opportunity to see and touch the AFL premiership cup, following the club’s success last year.”

Quotes from Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles:

“Territorians can enjoy a feast of footy over the next few months with three AFL games taking place here, including an exciting doubleheader that will see the Gold Coast SUNS team in Darwin for 10 days.

“It’s great to see the Melbourne Demons return to the Red Centre, where AFL is something of a religion. They’ll be playing in front of an excited crowd.

“As well as attracting interstate fans keen to follow their team, these games see the Territory displayed on TV screens across Australia. This is great exposure for the NT as a tourism destination.

“There are also the community engagement benefits for Territorians, with visiting teams taking part in a range of activities, such as school visits, NAB Auskick activities and player meet and greets. This is great for our future Territory AFL stars.”