The MCG will once again play host to the Club’s blockbuster games for season 2017.
Essendon opens its campaign against Hawthorn under Saturday night lights at the ‘G. Over the past three decades the bitter rivals have produced epic encounters at the home of football, and Round 1 is expected to be another thrilling contest.
The Club will play a further four blockbuster games at the MCG, including;
Round 5 ANZAC Day - Essendon v Collingwood
Round 8 Country Game – Essendon v Geelong
Round 10 Dreamtime at the ‘G – Essendon v Richmond
Round 20 Traditional Rivals – Essendon v Carlton
Etihad Stadium will host seven of the Club’s eleven home games, including a Round 6 encounter with former teammates turned Demons Michael Hibberd and Jake Melksham, and the fourth instalment of the “Embracing India” game against the Western Bulldogs in Round 19.
CEO, Xavier Campbell, said the 2017 fixture was a win for the Essendon family.
“We believe the draw presents great opportunities from a team performance perspective, and equally as important, we believe the draw is a positive outcome for our loyal members and supporters right across the country with respect to accessibility and timeslots,” Campbell said.
“We can’t wait to open our season against Hawthorn at the MCG. It will be a wonderful opportunity for our passionate supporters to come together and watch a gripping contest between two extremely proud Melbourne Clubs.”
Campbell also welcomed the return to playing on Saturday afternoons and evenings.
“An increase in traditional time-slots and blockbuster home games against our biggest rivals is not only exciting for the Essendon family, it also presents great commercial opportunities for the Club,” he said.
“Of course we would like to be playing more Friday night football, but we welcome the increase in games scheduled on Saturday afternoons and evenings.
“We hope over the course of the 2017 season we can prove to the competition why we deserve to play more Friday night football in the coming seasons.”
The Club will play Carlton, Collingwood, Adelaide, Fremantle and Brisbane on two occasions next year.
Essendon supporters across the country will have the opportunity to watch their side in action, with six interstate trips awaiting John Worsfold’s side.
The Bombers will play the Lions at the Gabba, the Crows at Adelaide Oval, the Dockers at Domain Stadium, Gold Coast at Metricon, Sydney at the SCG, and the Giants at Spotless Stadium.