Gold Coast SUNS players

Dates announced for Territory AFL matches

Excitement is building for several football games in the NT, with AFL confirming dates for two blockbuster AFL clashes in coming weeks.

This comes following a packed NRL match last Friday that saw more than 12,000 people cheer on the Parramatta Eels and Brisbane Broncos at TIO Stadium.

The Gold Coast Suns will face Hawthorn on Saturday, 29 May 2021 at TIO Stadium in Darwin and the Melbourne Demons will take on the Brisbane Lions at Traeger Park in Alice Springs on Friday, 4 June 2021.

The games are part of the AFL’s Sir Doug Nicholls Rounds, which recognise the contribution of the game’s Aboriginal players and their cultures.

Gold Coast SUNS CEO Mark Evans said the fixture during the prestigious round highlights the value of the SUNS partnership with the Territory.

“Our Round 11 clash with the Hawks will be massive and I am confident we will build our annual Darwin fixture into an AFL show-piece event during the Sir Doug Nicholls Round. It’s a great way to recognise the contribution of current and past Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander footballers – including many Territorians – to the AFL,” he said.

Melbourne Football Club CEO Gary Pert said the club was “really excited” to be heading back to Alice Springs for another season.

“The Northern Territory holds a special place in the hearts of the Melbourne players, staff and Board. We have built a strong relationship over the past decade and continue to focus on giving back to the community and ensuring our partnership is meaningful and impactful,” he said.

The Sir Doug Nicholls Round fixtures forms part of the Northern Territory Government’s partnership with the AFL, which has seen the Gold Coast Suns play in the Top End, and the Melbourne Demons head to the Red Centre each year.

In exciting news for Darwin footy fans, it will mark the first time Hawthorn will play in the Territory since 1991.

Meanwhile in Alice Springs, AFL fans will get to watch one of the top two teams in action.

Tickets for the Gold Coast Suns and Hawthorn game at TIO Stadium will be available from 7 May via

Fans can secure a ticket prior to on sale by purchasing a Territory SUN ‘reserved’ or ‘general admission’ membership at:

Tickets for the Melbourne and Brisbane Lions clash at TIO Traeger Park are available from 14 May.

Tickets for general public and club members will be available online via