Posted: 27 October, 2016 by AAP

Twilight Grand Final Could Happen Much Sooner Than We Thought

No way!

(Image: Getty)

The AFL is considering making a break from tradition to move the 2017 grand final to a twilight timeslot.

The league released next season's fixture on Thursday and chief executive Gillon McLachlan revealed a working party over summer would consider the timing of its showpiece game.

"There's no rush. We've got plenty of time to work through a process and make a call," McLachlan said.

"It feels like it's been a busy year ... we just haven't considered it - (we need) a considered process to make a change.

"Talking to stakeholders, the clubs and others, to research it and have time to consider it properly."

The grand final is traditionally played at the MCG on the last Saturday in September at 2.30pm.

Despite the decider being played on Saturday October 1 this year, the AFL commission stuck with the 2.30 timeslot after long discussions, with the body believed to be evenly split on moving the premiership decider.

Proponents of starting the game two hours later believe it would add to the spectacle of the occasion, with broadcasters also set to benefit with a ratings boost.

The contentious round-23 bye will return next year, with the AFL eager to further investigate the break that it believes contributed to this year's hotly contested finals series.

There had been calls to move the Brownlow Medal ceremony from the Monday evening of grand final week to the week of the bye, but that appears highly unlikely with McLachlan not a fan of the idea.

The grand final of the new AFL Women's competition will be held on the opening Saturday afternoon of the AFL season.

"You can imagine that leading into that day, with the momentum of the Thursday and Friday night games carrying into the women's grand final ... it will be a good weekend," AFL executive in charge of fixturing Travis Auld said.

"Where that's played, we're not quite sure yet. We're still working through how we integrate that."

In another break from tradition, North Melbourne will host the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Good Friday, which McLachlan believes will ultimatley provide a windfall for the Good Friday Appeal.

"It's something that's required some sensitivity and we've worked with all interested parties but it's not going to be a universally celebrated decision," he said.

"But we've crossed that threshold now.

"There will be some monies going through - clearly not all of the proceeds - but we're working to make sure there is money going to the Good Friday Appeal.

"Hopefully, we can take that (AFL) audience into it and increase broader donations as well."

-AAP

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