ANZAC Day will feature four AFL matches in 2020, with the league also opting for a later start for the traditional Collingwood-Essendon clash.
The change to the marquee match was confirmed when the AFL released its much- anticipated fixture for the 2020 season at league headquarters on Thursday morning.
The Magpies’ encounter with the Bombers at the MCG will get underway at 4.20pm AEST in what has been labelled a dry run for a potential twilight grand final in the future.
With Anzac Day falling on a Saturday next year, Hawthorn will host West Coast in Launceston, Sydney will travel to the Gabba to take on Brisbane and Port Adelaide will take on the Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval.
“We spent a lot of time talking to Collingwood, Essendon and the RSL to make sure we give the day the respect that it deserves,” AFL general manager of broadcasting Travis Auld said.
“We decided that there would be just one game in Victoria and the second thing was to make sure that that game had clear air and the best way to do that was to push the game back.
“We looked at a number of options but that’s quite a popular timeslot and we felt it worked for everyone.”
A significant move was made on another marquee day, with the Western Bulldogs replacing Essendon to play North Melbourne on Good Friday.
“We made it clear when we launched Good Friday that we’d trial it,” Auld said.
“We’ll continue to assess but North Melbourne have always been the anchor club.
“They’ve put a lot of time into it over a lot of years to build it.”
An extra Thursday night match has been added taking the total number to nine, with five in a row to start the season.
© AAP 2019