Your complete guide to the 2023 AFL Premiership season


Tom Hounslow

Posted March 16, 2023

Here's everything you need to know about the 2023 AFL season. Know the best ways to get to the games, find out what's changing, and make time for these matches you won't want to miss.

It's time to bust out the scarves, cook up a batch of sausage rolls and prepare those vocal cords, because after five long months, footy is finally back!

Though the sounds of sirens, whistles, and roaring fans has been silent over the past five months, the game of AFL football has been evolving behind the scenes.

So you can head to the footy with confidence this 2023 season, we've put together a guide for how to get to the major AFL venues for 2023, along with a summary of the major AFL news you might have missed during the off-season.

Before heading to the game, make sure to plan your journey with arevo

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What’s new in the 2023 season?

Gather Round

Round five (April 13 to 16) of the AFL Premiership season will be exclusively held in South Australia over four action-packed days.

Six games will be played at Adelaide Oval, including two double-headers on the Saturday and Sunday, and two each at Norwood Oval and Adelaide Hills (Summit Sports and Recreation Park, Mount Barker).

Make your plans quickly for this weekend, as many of the games have already sold out and accommodation will be in short supply.

More umpires

After scrutiny intensified on the playing group in 2022 to punish unacceptable abuse directed towards umpires, an additional umpire will feature on the ground in the 2023 season.

Already tried and tested in the off-season, two umpires will begin in the centre at the bounce of the ball as one umpire will be present at the opposite scoring ends of the field.

The AFL is hoping this will improve the decisions made by umpires, while also reducing the amount of ground each umpire needs to run each game – usually between 10 and 15 kilometers.

AFL video game upgrade

The latest edition of the AFL video game will be getting a major overhaul in 2023, now featuring a management career mode, team creators, and for the first time – the full AFLW will feature, allowing participants to play both the men and women’s game.

Featuring commentary from famous commentators including Anthony Hudson, Hamish McLachlan, Daisy Pearce, Daniel Harford, Kelli Underwood and Jason Bennett, AFL 23 has potential to be the most authentic video game the sport has seen.

Pre-orders are available, with the full game set to be released on April 13 on Xbox, PlayStation and PC.



Geelong AFL fans

Will the Geelong Cats be able to claim back-to-back premiership glory? Image: Getty.

New coaches

Brad Scott – Essendon: The former Hawthorn and Brisbane player – and brother of Geelong coach Chris Scott – was recruited as North Melbourne’s coach at the young age of 33 in 2010.

After nine years in the top job in the Roos’ camp and a string of woeful seasons, Brad resigned in 2019. In September of 2022, Brad was appointed the new coach of Essendon with a coaching record of 106 wins and 105 losses.

Alastair Clarkson - North Melbourne: While ‘Clarko’ did play professional-grade football for 10 years, his notoriety came as a coach after leading Hawthorn to four AFL Premierships, including the famous ‘three-peat’ in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Clarko now takes the reigns of the Kangaroos, who have finished the last two consecutive seasons on the bottom of the ladder.

Ross Lyon - St Kilda: Ross ‘the boss’ Lyon has been a busy man since he hung up his playing boots.

After a string of assistant coaching roles from 1996 to 2006, Ross was offered the job as Senior Coach of St Kilda. He saw great success during this time, but was always just shy of claiming a flag, including a draw in the 2010 Grand Final. Ross went on to coach Freemantle for another seven years until 2019.

Since then, Ross has been a renowned voice on the AFL media circuit, and now returns to St Kilda as senior coach. Will he now claim that elusive premiership cup? 

Five unmissable AFL games in 2023

Grand Final rematch - Round 6, April 22

After a demolition of Sydney in the 2022 AFL Grand Final by Geelong, Sydney will be put to the test once again, but this time at Geelong's home at GMHBA Stadium. After a successful trade period for the Cats, Geelong will walk in as favourites, but Sydney will be out for redemption.

Anzac Day - Round 6, April 25

One of the biggest games of the year, the modern Anzac Day clash between Collingwood and Essendon has been played at the ‘G since 1995. Regularly selling out in advance, a special Anzac Day service is held before the match of 100,000 spectators.

Dreamtime at the ‘G - Round 10, May 20

It’s the Tigers verses the Bombers which celebrates Indigenous contribution to the game. Players wear specially-designed guernseys for the event which begins with ‘The Long Walk’ by fans from Federation Square to the MCG.

The Big Freeze - Round 13, June 12

In its first iteration as the King’s Birthday weekend, it will be the traditional Demons and Magpies clash for the ‘Big Freeze 8 - FightMND’ event, which acts as a fundraiser for Motor Neuron Disease research. The pre-game entertainment sees famous athletes, actors and singers slide down to ice-filled water. But once the opening siren blares, the packed stadium heats up very quickly.  

Carlton vs Collingwood - Round 20, Date TBC

The longest sporting rivalry in Australia runs deep. The Blues will face the Pies late in the season, but is sure to sell out months in advance. Proceeds from the clash raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.


Optus Stadium in Perth

Optus Stadium in Perth. Image: Tourism Western Australia. 

How to get to the games

Over the 23 rounds, 414 games will be played across Australia in every state. There are few better excuses for a weekend away than seeing your team play.

These are the major AFL venues across Australia for you to plan the perfect weekend away. If you’re heading to rival territory, make sure to plan your journey with arevo.


MCG: The heart of Melbourne and the largest stadium in Australia, the glorious MCG can be accessed by train from Richmond and Jolimont Stations, and on the 48, 70, and 75 tram lines.

Parking is also available on-site, but is subject to weather conditions.

Marvel Stadium: Located in Melbourne’s Docklands district, catch a train to Southern Cross Station, or get on board the 48, 70, 75, or 86 tram.

Parking is also available at the ground and surrounds.

GMHBA Stadium: Home ground to the Cats, GMHBA Stadium is located within Kardinia Park in Victoria’s second largest city, Geelong.

Get there from Melbourne on the V-Line from Southern Cross Station. Parking is available at the ground, as well as bus services.

New South Wales

SCG: Home ground of the Swans, the Sydney Cricket Ground is in the middle of the CBD. Once you’re in Sydney, you can take the Light Rail to Moore Park. Some parking is available.

Sydney Showgrounds Stadium: Often known as the GIANTS Stadium when AFL is in session, you can either drive, get the CityRail to Olympic Park Station, take the 525, 526 or 533 bus routes, or catch the ferry and connecting bus to Sydney Olympic Park Wharf.  


Blundstone Arena: The home of sport on Australia’s Apple Isle in Hobart, the AFL Grounds can be accessed via the 601, 615, 625, or 634 bus routes.

Those planning more of a scenic journey can also head on down via the Derwent Ferry that departs from Brooke Street Pier.

University of Tasmania Stadium: With capacity of almost 20,000, Launceston will be hosting Hawthorn as a part-time home ground.

A range of metro buses are available to the venue from Hobart, Cradle Coast, and surrounding Launceston.


Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Oval in South Australia. Image: Getty

South Australia

Adelaide Oval: As one of the more scenic stadiums, Adelaide Oval is the home ground of both Port Power and the Crows. Car parking is available, while the ground is also accessible via a train to Adelaide Railway Station.

A range of trams and buses that stop within the vicinity of the Oval are also available. While you’re there, check out some of these top things to do in Adelaide.

Western Australia

Optus Stadium: As one of the newest and most stunning stadiums in Australia, this is a venue that is worth travelling to.

Driving is not encouraged, as multiple forms of alternative transport are much more easily available, whether it’s the purpose-built bus and train Perth Stadium Stations, the cycling paths and bike racks, or the Burswood Jetty that allows vessels to drop off fans at Stadium Park. If you desire to stick around, here’s just some of what Perth has to offer.


The Gabba: In sunny Brisbane is The Gabba, a far cry from the Lions’ former home in Fitzroy. While parking is not available, fans can access bus and train lines on the Queensland Rail City Network for free by showing their footy ticket.

Metricon Stadium: You can get to the Carrara home ground on the 740 bus from the Resort, or get off at Broadbeach South Station on the light rail.

Northern Territory

TIO Stadium: The open-air stadium in Darwin only features a few games each year which often sell out very quickly, so make sure you get your trip to the Northern territory planned in advance.

Parking at the stadium is free, or alternatively, the number 5 bus stops at the front of the venue.


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