Melbourne will officially open the 2022 AFL season with a Wednesday night grand final rematch against the Western Bulldogs.

The Dees will host the Dogs at the MCG at 7.10pm on Wednesday March 16th, taking the opportunity to unfurl the club’s first premiership flag in 57 years.

Melbourne CEO Gary Pert said the club had pushed hard to secure the blockbuster season opener as a way to thank and reward the loyalty of the club’s members and supporters.

“As much as all Melbourne supporters were thrilled by the 2021 premiership, many feel like they missed out on the experience with the game being held in Perth,” said Pert.

“As soon as the season was finished we approached the AFL about securing a grand final rematch as the season opener so that our members and supporters could experience something special to launch the season; a blockbuster match-up between the two best sides of 2021, the much anticipated unfurling of the premiership flag and a return to crowds at the mighty MCG.

“Our preference was to play this game on the Friday night, however in working with the AFL it became clear that a Wednesday night fixture was the only viable option in order to secure a grand final rematch in Round 1.

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“With this in mind, and in an attempt to make the game more accessible to as many of our supporters as possible, the game will be played at 7.10pm, hopefully allowing more families to attend the match and be part of the pre-game festivities.

“Melbourne fans have waited an incredibly long time to see their club win a premiership and we hope the 2022 season opener can be some consolation to our many Victorian based members who missed out on attending last year’s grand final.

“Given the significance of the match we expect a huge crowd to turn out for the occasion and I know our players and coaches cannot wait to once again see the MCG filled with a sea of red and blue.”

The blockbuster match will be the first time a grand final rematch opens the AFL season since 2009.

As a home game for the Demons, Melbourne members will have priority access to secure tickets to the much anticipated clash.

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