Round 6 will see a different Saturday line-up but don’t expect it to continue, according to AFL fixtures boss Travis Auld.
The first game between Fremantle and Melbourne will start at the unusual time of 12:35, with the following clash between West Coast and Adelaide at the Gabba beginning at 3:05.
It also means the two Saturday night games will be spaced apart, allowing minimal overlap.
Auld clarified why the League decided to make the change, saying it was all about ensuring both WA sides get out of their Queensland hub before midnight in order to begin their mandatory 14-day quarantine period as soon as possible.
“What’s happened there is if we have to get these teams home by midnight Saturday night so they can start quarantine,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“We need to have those games done, they’d usually be a 1:05 and 3:35 game but we’ve just brought them forward so we can get the games completed and get them to the airport and into Perth before midnight.
“Being able to spread the round with the Thursday game makes a big difference and we may be able to do more of those this year, the only reason we don’t do more Thursdays is from a crowd point of view.
“For the same reason, we try push the Saturday games back a little bit for community sport so they can watch games and that hasn’t been a factor this year.
“It’s the same for a 6pm Sunday game, whether we continue that as crowds come back is something we need to think about.”
Auld confirmed the AFL would announce the Round 7 fixture later on Thursday, which will include the Western Derby which is expected to be the first game this season to be played in front of a full house.
Collingwood and Geelong will head to Perth for a three-week stretch and will face each other at Optus Stadium in the same round.