The 2017 grand final will take place on September 30. Photo: Paul RovereThe AFL grand final will return to its traditional timeslot of the last Saturday in September next season, after a two-year stint being played in October.
Last year’s Cricket World Cup ensured a later start date for the 2015 season while the newly-introduced bye weekend between round 23 and the finals pushed the premiership decider back a week again this year.
However, the AFL revealed on Tuesday that the 2017 grand final would take place on September 30.
Next year’s finals series will commence on the weekend of September 8-10.
The league is tentatively considering Thursday March 23 as a start date for the 2017 season proper and clubs have been told to start submitting requests for the 2017 fixture.
The AFL is still yet to confirm how many weekends will be used to complete the 22-round season or if the finals-eve bye weekend will be implemented again, although it appears likely that it will be.
It is also expected that the 2017 season will extend over 23 weekends again as has been the case in the past five fixtures.
AFL general manager of clubs and operations, Travis Auld, said that the standard round of football would once again feature one Friday night match, two Saturday afternoon matches, one Saturday twilight match, two Saturday night matches, one early Sunday match, one Sunday afternoon match and one Sunday twilight match.
For the fourth year in a row, the fixture will be constructed using the weighted system which splits the competition into three groups of six and ensures the higher-ranked teams theoretically face tougher fixtures than their lower-ranked counterparts.
The AFL will consult its broadcast partners, clubs, players, venues and other key stakeholders when putting together the 2017 fixture which is expected to be made public at the end of October.
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