The AFL released its 2024 schedule on Thursday, 16th November, although some details were revealed in the days prior. A new feature is a four-game Opening Round in early March to promote Aussie Rules in NSW and Queensland. Sydney Swans will host the season opener against Melbourne at Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday night, 7th March. It will only be the second time in AFL history that the first game of the season is played in the Harbour City (the first time was 2012). The following night (Friday 8th March) sees Brisbane facing Carlton at The Gabba in a rematch of this year's preliminary final. On Saturday, 9th March, Gold Coast will host Richmond in late afternoon, pitting new coach Damien Hardwick against his former club for the first time. The game will also mark the senior coaching debut of new Tigers coach Adem Yze. It will be followed by a Saturday night game between GWS and Collingwood in another preliminary final rematch. The eight teams involved in Opening Round will have a bye at some point between Round 2 and Round 6, meaning all 18 clubs will have played the same number of games by the start of Round 7. All clubs will have a bye across the four weeks between Rounds 12 and 15.
A full Round 1, featuring all 18 clubs, will kick off on Thursday, 14th March with the traditional Carlton v Richmond game at the MCG.