Gather Round

SA will be home to AFL’s Gather Round until the end of 2026

South Australia has secured the AFL Gather Round until the end of 2026.

With Gather Round officially kicking off again this week, the conversation has turned to how long the popular event will be continuing in South Australia. In 2023, the Premier of South Australia, Peter Malinauskas announced that our state will be home to the AFL’s Gather Round until the end of 2026.

The inaugural ‘Gather Round’ in 2023 was an overwhelming success, with all nine games sold out, more than 220,000 fans attending matches across the Adelaide Oval, Norwood Oval and Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills and tens of thousands of fans attending the footy festival on the banks of Torrens.

Last year more than 60,000 fans purchased tickets from interstate.This year’s Gather Round looks set to mimic last year’s success, with the matches selling out, and even more peripheral events planned, to co-incide with the footy schedule, like the Norwood Food & Wine Festival which is happening on Sunday April 7th. 

Across 2024, 2025 and 2026, Gather Round …. A festival of footy will be hosted exclusively in South Australia, with Adelaide Oval to be the central venue, with both the AFL and the SA Government to take regional matches in 2024 to the Barossa / McLaren Vale region.

As part of the three-year term, both the AFL and SA Government also committed to establishing a community football legacy fund, that will benefit local footy clubs in the state beyond the weekend of matches.

“South Australia really turned it on (in 2023). Gather Round and all the activity across the state, the nine matches, the footy festival and the community football engagement has been some of the best days and events the AFL has ever delivered,” AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said.

“It has been a success because everyone in football got behind the idea, clubs, players, corporate partners and most importantly our fans, to deliver an extraordinary few days,

“While the concept has real momentum, and we plan on taking it to other states around the country, we also feel in order for it to be as successful in the other states we need to continue to build out the concept in South Australia,

“The reality is we only had a few months to pull this together, and we hope by locking it in now we are giving everyone a longer runway to put together a bigger and even better event, and our fans certainty around booking travel and accommodation.

“The match at Mount Barker was a special afternoon on Saturday and an important part of recommitting to South Australia was to establish the community legacy fund, ensuring local footy clubs’ benefit from bringing the Gather Round to town.”

During the round the AFL facilitated dozens of community club and school visits, held seminars for community club volunteers and delivered more than 10,000 footballs to regional community clubs.

The AFL will also work with the AFLPA on the commitments to the players.For more information on this year’s Gather Round, check out our latest news here.


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