The Gold Coast SUNS will start their season in front of a home crowd at Metricon Stadium for the first time since 2017.
They will host 2022 Grand Finalists, the Sydney Swans on Saturday, March 18 at 7pm AEST.
The Brisbane Lions will hit the round for Round One and will play Port on the same day (March 18) at 4.50pm.
Richmond and Carlton will kick the season off on Thursday, March 16 at the MCG.
AFL EGM Clubs, Broadcast and Fixturing Travis Auld said the Round One fixture gets the home and away season off to a flyer.
“We are always aiming to get our season off to the best possible start, and with four big clubs, traditional rivalries, 150,000+ fans at the MCG over the first two nights and with millions more watching around the country, it gives the competition the best opportunity to kickstart the 2023 season,” Mr Auld said.
“It’s been a big year and come Round One the anticipation for the return of football will be palpable and bring not only Melbourne to life, but all the cities hosting matches in the opening rounds.”
Mr Auld said a 2022 Toyota AFL Grand Final re-match was discussed as an option for round one but ultimately not fixtured in the best interests of the fans.
“After discussing a potential Grand Final rematch to open the season, it was determined in consultation with Geelong, the reduced capacity of GMHBA Stadium paired with a potential Wednesday night match in Melbourne, wasn’t the best option for Cats’ fans to travel up the highway for a midweek night match.
“The two WA-based teams understand the challenges with Optus Stadium hosting the Ed Sheeran concert, and we appreciate their understanding in both clubs starting their seasons on the road.
“Recent history has shown the competition is closer than ever, and we look forward to Round One setting the scene for what shapes to be thrilling and dramatic home and away season.”
The 2023 Toyota AFL Premiership Season fixture for the first 15 Rounds, and then rounds, match ups and venues for the remaining home and away matches will be released later this week.