THE OPENING six rounds of Melbourne’s 2021 season have been revealed, with the AFL releasing full details of the first block of matches on Monday afternoon.

The initial phase will see the Demons play three home games at the MCG, including their season starter against Fremantle, and the annual ANZAC Day Eve clash with the Tigers.

Despite Melbourne and Richmond’s existing arrangement, where the two clubs alternate as hosts each year, the Dees will retain the game in 2021, following the pandemic-affected 2020 season.

As announced on Sunday, Melbourne’s Round 1 match-up with the Dockers will be the first time it has played at its spiritual home since July.

The pair will go head-to-head on Saturday 20 March at 1.45pm, with the Demons expected to be eager to make amends for their last encounter. 

Melbourne CEO Gary Pert highlighted the significance of getting the season underway on home soil.

"To have the first game at the MCG, along with six of the first nine matches and a total of 10 home games, is great news for Melbourne supporters," he told Melbourne Media.

"There is no doubt that will get all our fans excited about the 2021 season."

The following Saturday will see Melbourne take on St Kilda at Marvel Stadium from 7.25pm, before travelling to Manuka Oval (Canberra) for a contest with GWS on Sunday 4 April at 6.10pm.

While all the details of the later rounds are yet to be confirmed, the trip will be the first of seven interstate matches for the Demons next season.

They will travel to Tasmania for a contest with North Melbourne in Round 7, the Gold Coast in Round 19, Perth to play West Coast in Round 21, and Adelaide twice – in Round 10 to go up against Adelaide and in Round 17 to face Port Adelaide.

Melbourne will also return to Alice Springs in Round 12 to host Brisbane for the annual ‘Heart of the Nation’ match.

Back home, more blockbusters await.

In a similar fashion to the ANZAC Day Eve match, the Demons have also secured the Queen’s Birthday clash against Collingwood as a home game.

The event, most notably, recognises Neale Daniher and his fight against Motor Neurone Disease, and is a fixture highlight for fans and players alike. 

"The fixture will deliver up seven blockbuster games, all at the MCG against rival clubs, including Collingwood, Richmond, Essendon and Hawthorn," Pert said.

"I am delighted for our supporters that our request to the AFL to retain the home games of both ANZAC Day Eve and Queen's Birthday was granted.

"These are two of the most important games in the fixture for Melbourne supporters, and we are extremely happy to give our members home ground access, which is something that was a focus for us with our conversations with the AFL."

Melbourne will meet both of those clubs just once in 2021, but will instead face Geelong, the Western Bulldogs, GWS, Hawthorn and Adelaide on two occasions.

Games against Sydney and Carlton round out the red and blue’s home match-ups for next season.

The AFL’s floating fixture will mean full details of games from late April onwards will be announced in due course, with the league expected to be guided by the state of the current COVID-19 situation.

Despite this, the AFL remains hopeful that crowds will be able to attend matches from Round 1, with capacity and ticketing information also to be confirmed at a later date.

For those keen to get on board the Dees for 2021, memberships are now on sale, with reserved seat, general admission and non-access options available.

Melbourne’s 2021 AFL Fixture

Round 1 (H)
Melbourne v Fremantle
Saturday, March 20
MCG, 1:45pm on FOX Footy

Round 2 (A)
St Kilda v Melbourne
Saturday, March 27
Marvel Stadium, 7:25pm on Channel 7

Round 3 (A)
GWS GIANTS v Melbourne
Sunday, April 4
Manuka Oval, 6.10pm on FOX Footy

Round 4 (H)
Melbourne v Geelong
Sunday, April 11
MCG, 3.20pm on Channel 7

Round 5 (A)
Hawthorn v Melbourne
Sunday, April 18
MCG, 3:20pm on Channel 7

Round 6 (H)
Melbourne v Richmond
Saturday, April 24
MCG, 7.25pm on Channel 7

Round 7 (A)
North Melbourne v Melbourne
Blundstone Arena

Round 8 (H)
Melbourne v Sydney

Round 9 (H)
Melbourne v Carlton

Round 10 (A)
Adelaide v Melbourne
Adelaide Oval

Round 11 (A)
Western Bulldogs v Melbourne
Marvel Stadium

Round 12 (H)
Melbourne v Brisbane
TIO Traeger Park

Round 13 (H)
Melbourne v Collingwood

Round 14

Round 15 (A)
Essendon v Melbourne

Round 16 (H)
Melbourne v GWS GIANTS

Round 17 (A)
Port Adelaide v Melbourne
Adelaide Oval

Round 18 (H)
Melbourne v Hawthorn

Round 19 (A)
Gold Coast SUNS v Melbourne
Metricon Stadium

Round 20 (H)
Melbourne v Western Bulldogs

Round 21 (A)
West Coast Eagles v Melbourne
Optus Stadium

Round 22 (H)
Melbourne v Adelaide

Round 23 (A)
Geelong v Melbourne
GMHBA Stadium