The AFL has stuck with its now-traditional season opener between battlers Carlton and powerhouse Richmond.
The clubs will meet at the MCG to open the AFL season on the night of Thursday, March 21 next year.
The AFL announced the opening round schedule on Sunday ahead of the release of the full fixture expected this week.
Collingwood host Geelong at the MCG in a night game on Friday, March 22.
The following day, home games have been assigned to Melbourne against Port Adelaide, Adelaide against Hawthorn, the Western Bulldogs against Sydney, and Brisbane against West Coast,
On the Sunday, St Kilda host Gold Coast, GWS host Essendon and Fremantle host North Melbourne.
Carlton have again been given the Thursday night season opener despite woeful results in recent seasons.
“This particular slot stands alone,” the AFL’s general manager of clubs and broadcasting Travis Auld said.
“It has averaged an 80,000 crowd for the last (four) years and last year’s crowd was over 90,000 … and rated really well in broadcast.
“We understand there was some feedback last year about Carlton, particularly Friday nights, and that will be addressed through the fixture.
“But certainly this game is a big game regardless of how the two teams are expected to perform and both have got some new, exciting players coming in.”
Here’s how 2019’s opening round shapes up:
Thursday, March 21
Carlton v Richmond at the MCG, 7.20pm AEDT
Friday, March 22
Collingwood v Geelong at the MCG, 7.50pm AEDT
Saturday, March 23
Melbourne v Port Adelaide at the MCG, 1.45pm AEDT
Adelaide v Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval, 4.05pm ACDT
Western Bulldogs v Sydney at Marvel Stadium, 7.25pm AEDT
Brisbane v West Coast at the Gabba, 7.20pm AEST
Sunday, March 24
St Kilda v Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium, 1.10pm AEDT
Greater Western Sydney v Essendon at Spotless Stadium, 3.20pm AEDT
Fremantle v North Melbourne, Optus Stadium, 3.20pm AWST