The AFLW first-round match between Essendon and Hawthorn has been moved to the 53,359-capacity Docklands stadium due to a massive demand for tickets.
- The match was to be held at the North Port Oval
- The venue switch was made after the initial ticket allocation was exhausted
- Essendon and Hawthorn are both making their AFLW debuts this season
The historic match between the two AFLW newcomers — to be played on August 27 — was to be held at the 12,000-capacity North Port Oval in Melbourne, but the initial allocation of tickets sold out within 24 hours.
AFL general manager of women’s football Nicole Livingstone said the venue relocation was an indication of the increasing interest in AFLW.
“We’re in an incredible place coming into our seventh season and I couldn’t be prouder of every single person who got us here,” she said.
AFL executive member Travis Auld said the demand for tickets was “unprecedented.”
“Quite simply the fans of both clubs, and supporters of women’s footy in general showed why we needed to move to a bigger venue by selling out the game so quickly,” he said.
“Two proud clubs, a historic occasion for them and another historic moment for the AFLW competition.”
Port Adelaide and Sydney join Essendon and Hawthorn as the new AFLW teams, meaning the competition will feature all 18 AFL clubs.
The AFLW season begins on August 25, with Carlton hosting Collingwood at Princes Park.
Adelaide and Melbourne meet in a grand final rematch the following evening at Norwood Oval.