AFL sets key 2018 fixture dates

Mark it down in your diaries: the 2018 AFL grand final will be on Saturday, September 29.

The AFL will hold back on expanding Thursday night football in 2018 despite a hungry appetite for the matches from television audiences.

On Thursday, the league announced its key fixtures dates for next season.

The 2018 season will kick off on Thursday, March 22 and finish with the grand final played on Saturday, September 29.

An AFL statement said the number of Thursday night matches is "likely to be similar" to the eight played in 2017.

Free-to-air broadcaster Channel Seven averaged three quarters of a million people tuning in for those Thursday night matches.

The Easter round will be round 2 and Anzac Day round will be round 5, with the traditional Collingwood v Essendon match falling on a Wednesday in 2018.

AFL executive Travis Auld said the league had asked clubs, broadcasters, stadiums, the players association and governments for input on the fixture ahead of its completion in October.

Source AAP

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