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Melbourne will unfurl their premiership flag when they host the Western Bulldogs in the 2022 AFL season-opener to kick off a March football feast in Victoria.

Fans starved of live action during COVID-19 lockdowns this year are being enticed back to venues, with all 10 Victorian teams playing in Melbourne in round one.

The Demons-Bulldogs clash -- a re-match of September's Grand Final - will be played on a Wednesday night (March 16) at the MCG.

Carlton and Richmond will play their traditional Thursday night match in round one, followed by St Kilda hosting Collingwood on Friday night.

Geelong and Essendon will meet in their feature 'Country Game' on Saturday and Hawthorn take on North Melbourne on Sunday.

The fixture for the remaining four games, featuring the eight non-Victorian clubs, will be confirmed in the coming days.

Victoria's "footy festival" will also see all 14 AFLW teams play their round-10 matches across the state, beginning on March 11 and leading into a six-team finals series the following week.

In total, there will be 12 men's and women's matches in Victoria across a 10-day period.

"We want to get big crowds back to the footy, the weekly ritual of being able to go to a game and the sense of community it creates," AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said.

"Connecting families and friends is something we have missed in the state.

"We look forward to seeing fans return to our venues in huge numbers as well as to all the surrounding business and venues that rely on footy and big events being staged across the city.

"Footy can hopefully help bring the heartbeat of the city back to Melbourne and back to the state of Victoria."


Wednesday, March 16

Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs (MCG)

Thursday, March 17

Carlton vs. Richmond (MCG)

Friday, March 18

St Kilda vs. Collingwood (Marvel Stadium)

Saturday, March 19

Geelong vs. Essendon (MCG)

Sunday, March 20

Hawthorn vs. North Melbourne (MCG)

Other matches TBC


Geelong vs. GWS (GMHBA Stadium)

North Melbourne vs. West Coast (Arden Street)

Melbourne vs. Carlton (Casey Fields)

Collingwood vs. Gold Coast (Victoria Park)

St Kilda vs. Adelaide (RSEA Park)

Richmond vs. Brisbane (Punt Road)

Western Bulldogs vs. Fremantle (Mars Stadium)