Footy Frenzy Down Under: A Preview of AFL's 2024 Gather Round in South Australia

With 23 rounds of matches for AFL each team, four weeks of finals and three byes dotted unevenly across the year, this season will stretch across

afl game

Get ready for the Australian Football League, the only professional football competition that adheres to Australian football rules. The AFL’s Gather Around is drawing near, and many fans are looking forward to April to enjoy the relatively new tradition again.

The South Australian Gather Round was first held last spring, in 2023. During the event’s exciting debut, all nine matches in round five were played across one weekend. The new manifestation has proven to be successful in more than one way.

Apart from being a novel sporting sensation, it allowed fans to enjoy themselves and the region of South Australia to showcase its touristic offer. A convenient meeting of sports and tourism is precisely what Australian football needed to boost its prominence on the world map.

AuCasinosList’s sports analysts have thoroughly analyzed the upcoming matches to support your enthusiasm with up-to-date AFL 2024 Gather Round betting odds. To ensure your experience goes as smoothly as possible, check out our expert real money casino app Australia selection to gather information on eligible online casino applications for betting.

Are you excited for the April Gather Round? We surely are. If you cannot visit the gorgeous area for the event, we’ll keep you engaged through our analysis.

Event Schedule and Format

The second ever Gather Round will reprise certain elements, like the location, but introduce some novelties to up their game as a promise for a bright future.

The unique new format will see all 18 AFL teams play across three venues in Adeleide, including Norwood Oval, Adeleide Oval and Adeleide Hills, Mount Barker. Now that we have the place, the only thing left is to announce the time.

AFL Gather Round 2024 will be held between April 4th and April 7th. We expect pleasant weather and an enthusiastic atmosphere. Remember, last year’s matches were sold out, and more than 268,000 fans attended the sports festival. This year will surely be just as successful. If you haven’t checked the schedule yet, these are the teams that will have a clash in April 2024.
  • Adelaide vs.Melbourne (April 4th)
  • Brisbane vs. North Melbourne (April 5th)
  • Port Adelaide vs. Essendon (April 5th)
  • Sydney vs. West Coast (April 6th)
  • Carlton vs. Fremantle (April 6th)
  • Geelong vs. Western Bulldogs (April 6th)
  • Gold Coast vs. GWS (April 7th)
  • Richmond vs. St Kilda (April 7th)
  • Collingwood vs. Hawthorn (April 7th)

Key Matchups to Watch

Adelaide Crows vs. Melbourne Demons

Last season under coach Matthew Nicks resulted in 11 wins for The Crows, which is more than impressive. We asked Scott Dadsons, AuCasinosList long-time contributor and AFL sports betting expert, for his take.

“The Crows were the previous year's number-one team. However, they haven't always capitalized on their victories, suffering many losses on the way. The team has balanced its offence and defence, but many injuries, including Rory Sloane, Nick Murray, and Harry Schoenberg, are still on the way up the prediction ladder. Many experts expect them to get to the first 8 or 4 top teams but miss the finals,” shares Scott.

The situation has also been turbulent for the Demons, with drama around Clayton Oliver, Joel Smith's Sports Integrity Australia investigation, and Angus Brayshaw's health-related retirement. The potential is there, but there are some legitimate doubts. Still, we believe The Demons will be among the top 8. But who will win? If the past matches are a measure, The Demons have won three games against The Crows in the past three years.

Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles

The Swans had a rollercoaster of a year in 2023, losing six of their first nine games and then winning six of their last eight matches. Nobody expected them to be in the top 8, but they've surprised everyone. For the off-season, they have acquired some new talents, like Taylor Adams, James Jordon and Joel Hamling, during the exchange period. The West Coast Eagles have the worst prediction for 2024. Many believe this is due to the youthful players' dominance and the need for senior leadership. The Swans came out triumphant in their previous battles, so many believe the history will remain unaltered.

Collingwood Magpies and Hawthorn Hawks

The Hawks are another team with a young squad that many believe needs some seasoning to start flying. 2022 saw some significant departures that were successfully overcome by the stepping up of the likes of Conor Nash, Jai Newcombe and Will Day. Collington Magpies are high on the betting lists, just below the first trio. We will discuss the odds in the following paragraphs, so keep reading. Being this year's top four, according to betting sites, they will probably beat The Hawks.

Predictions and Odds

According to popular betting sites, here are the most and least popular teams that might end up as the event's winners.

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The Best

GWS Giants+500
Sydney Swans+550
Brisbane Lions+550
Collingwood Magpies+700

The Worst

Richmond Tigers+8000
North Melbourne Kangaroos+25000
West Coast Eagles+35000

afl pre-match game

Economic and Cultural Impact

Gather Round has quickly become one of the distinguished festivals that put South Australia on the map, boosting its economy and supporting the touristic offer. Apart from enjoying sports, you can access fantastic food offers and various family activities. The region has capitalized on it by introducing fun trip additions, like Tatiara Food Village, Hahndorf Footy Festival, and much more. You can add many activities to your trip, and even the non-sports fans in your family can enjoy it. It is precisely what an event needs to go viral, so it's no wonder more and more interstate visitors are expected.

Tickets and Fan Engagement

Now, here's a short reminder about the tickets. For club members, they became available on December 11th, and for the general public the next day, December 12th. Club members also receive privileges, like free access to their team's game. As an avid fan, you have already booked your place and are eager to participate in the trip of your life. Or you are just reading about it and hoping to visit the upcoming events.

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The New AFL CEO's Vision for the Event

2023 was just the beginning. A testing ground. As we all witness, the situation is developing rapidly, with 2024 already introducing novel, thrilling additions. Undoubtedly, the Festival of Footy will entertain us for many seasons to come, with better strategy each year. For instance, AFL CEO Andrew Dillon praised the 2023 triumph, announcing to make the 2024 event even more significant. Also, AFL plans to leverage school holidays to maximize fan attendance. Has this article whetted your appetite for travel? Click here to read about the Royal Caribbean World cruise.

Conclusion: The Future of Gather Round

When sports and culture collide, the results are intriguing and lucrative. The vision behind the Gather Round is to blend a cheering event for Australian football fans with vacation and holiday traditions, travel, and tourism. The plan is to add family activities to the matches to attract more visitors. Some will come for the football, and others will spend quality time with their loved ones, socialize, eat, drink, and admire South Australia. Huge events present tremendous potential for the local economy and culture, precisely what AFL Gather Round plans to promote. Last year's debut project was an absolute success, so the future looks bright. AFL Gather Round will keep growing its overall offer, fostering community spirit, love for sports and the beautiful region of South Australia.

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