PORT ADELAIDE's 2024 AFL fixture dropped on Thursday, offering plenty of highlights for members, fans and commercial partners in the year to come.
Highlights include a Friday night Anzac Round clash, five Thursday and Friday night primetime games, and six of the club’s first eight games to be played at Adelaide Oval.
Port Adelaide chief executive Matthew Richardson spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon, following the fixture release.
Richardson on the fixture overall
“The 2024 fixture is out today and from Port Adelaide's perspective, we're really pleased. It's a balanced draw, it provides great access for our members, we play six of our first eight games at Adelaide Oval. We're got seven games on free-to-air television, on Channel 7, which is terrific. We've got a really good mix of blockbuster games, opening the season with West Coast at home, Melbourne Round 3 on a Saturday night, the Gather Round game on a Friday night. A great privilege as always to host the Anzac Round game on the LIV Golf weekend.”
Richardson on Anzac Round
“Anzac Round is a really important round for our club. A rich history and legacy around Anzac legends like Bob Quinn and what it actually means to our club but then in a more contemporary way, the partnerships that we have with the RSL and defence organisations, if you think about what's happening just down the road here at Port Adelaide, is really important. We'll play the curtain-raiser which is always terrific, the ADF versus the defence forces and for that to be on a Friday night as I said on LIV Golf weekend, it will be a terrific event. Sir Doug Nicholls Round, the great thing about that is we always combine that with the Santos Aboriginal Power Cup so there will be 600 or 700 students in Adelaide leading into that game, and they all get to be part of that day so that's always a really special day for our club and the community.”
Richardson on the Thursday night Showdown
“In South Australia we don't need to tell people about that rivalry. It's a fantastic rivalry, always terrific games so to be standalone on a Thursday night is really significant so we're really pleased. I think the way that it works usually we share them around, Thursday night will be a big game with a national audience and we look forward to having our turn in Round 23.”
Richardson on accessibility for fans around the country
“We play in every state around the country so that provides our members all around the country a greater opportunity to see the team across the year. From our perspective it's really balanced (but) we try not to overthink it too much. It's a great reflection of where our team is at, at the moment. We're pleased for our members, our partners and from a footy perspective.”
Richardson on Friday night games
“It's really important for our partners and our audience. We've got five Thursday/Friday night games, a couple at Adelaide Oval, a couple around the country so commercially that's great and also means our people get to watch their team in primetime.”
Richardson on the difficulty of the draw
“At the end of the day, you've got to play who you've got to play in the fixture. It works itself out, we try not to overthink that too much. This time of year, how do you know who's going to be hot and who's not? A couple of years ago, Collingwood finished 17th so you would be looking at that going ‘wow that would be great to play them twice’ but the way the competition is structured these days, the AFL have done a fantastic job with equalisation. It's incredibly even and competitive and I'm sure 2024 will be no different.”