2017-18 A-League draw unveiled

Today saw the 2017-18 A-League draw released and for the third successive season Brisbane Roar will take part in the opening game of the season.

After playing Western Sydney and Melbourne Victory in the first game of the two previous seasons, Brisbane Roar will travel to AAMI Park to take on Melbourne City in the first game of the season on October 6th.

Adelaide United will be the opponents for Brisbane in their home opener in round 2 on Friday October 13th. This will be the fourth time that Brisbane will have played Adelaide in their first home game of the season, after previously doing so in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2014-15.

All up Brisbane will play 14 home games this season and 13 away games, although one of the home games has been moved to Cbus Stadium on the Gold Coast due to Paul McCartney’s concert at Suncorp Stadium on December 9th.

That concert will be the second of five major events at Suncorp Stadium over the summer months which have caused chaos around scheduling home games. In addition to the December 9th concert, there are two additional concerts to be held in March plus the Rugby League World Cup Final on December 2nd and the Global 10’s Rugby tournament in late January.

Here’s the list of upcoming events at Suncorp Stadium in the middle of the upcoming season
October 21- Rugby Union Test- Australia v New Zealand
November 24- Rugby League World Cup Semi-Final
December 2- Rugby League World Cup Final
December 9- Paul McCartney concert
Feb 10-11- Brisbane Global Rugby Tens (projected)
March 20-21- Ed Sheeran Concerts
April 1-15- Commonwealth games venue blackout

Due to that shortage of available dates Brisbane have been allocated just one Saturday night home fixture this season against Adelaide United in Round 22. In terms of marquee fixtures the home games against Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers within the space of 72 hours in early January, while the home game against Melbourne Victory is set for Sunday December 17.

The stadium situation here in Brisbane as thrown up all sorts of complications for the A-League draw which is also playing a part in a lack of available dates for National Team fixtures and Brisbane Managing Director Mark Kingsman has used the draw to kick-start a campaign for a second rectangular stadium in Brisbane.

As mentioned just one of Brisbane’s 14 home games have been scheduled for the Saturday night timeslot, with two Friday night games and three Saturday afternoon games scheduled. There are also four game set for Sundays split evenly between afternoon and evening, in addition to two Thursday night fixtures and one Monday game during the Christmas holiday period.

The away games are less spread out in terms of days with three Friday night games, four Saturday afternoon games and five Saturday night games providing plenty of opportunities for away travel. Interestingly there are no currently scheduled games for a Sunday this season, although there is one game scheduled against Western Sydney on a Tuesday night in Round 26, however the venue is yet to be confirmed.

With the new TV deal coming into affect this season a greater emphasis has been placed on selecting higher profile games for the Free to Air component, with two of the three Melbourne derbies, Sydney derbies and ‘Big Blue’ fixtures set to appear on Network 10 next year.

Brisbane will appear on FTA five times this season the first of which will be in Round 8 against Sydney FC. Free to air exposure has been shared out evenly with the 10 teams set to appear at least twice over the course of the season. Sydney FC have the most FTA games with 10, followed by Victory and City who have 8 each.

Network 10 have the rights to one game per round, predominantly the Saturday 7.50pm fixture in addition to live coverage of all finals games. Fox Sports will continue to broadcast every game live, including the Finals series.

Here’s the full Brisbane Roar draw for season 2017-18

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2015-16 Draw unveiled as Suncorp Stadium prepares for more concerts

The draw for the 2015-16 A-League season was released today by the FFA, with Brisbane drawn to start the season on the road against Western Sydney Wanderers on Thursday, October 8th at Parramatta Stadium.

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The clubs first home game is down for the following Sunday -October 18- against Central Coast Mariners, while the Roar conclude the season with a trip to last season’s double winner, Melbourne Victory. Here’s a few take away’s from the draw.

– Brisbane will play two home games this season against Adelaide, Central Coast, Melbourne City, Newcastle and Perth, while Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC, and Western Sydney Wanderers only make the trip to Brisbane once.

– In terms of away travel, Brisbane will make four trips to Sydney this season and three to Melbourne. They’ll also travel twice to Wellington, and once each to Adelaide, Central Coast, Newcastle and Perth. The Sydney trips will see the Roar face both sides from the harbour city twice, while they’ll travel twice to the Victorian capital to face the Victory, and once to face City.

– There will also be a regional game, to be held on Saturday, December 12 against Wellington Phoenix at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns- the first time Brisbane has held a regional home game in the north of the state. Cairns beat Townsville and Gold Coast to host the clubs bi-annual extra home game.

– Brisbane’s round 27 game against Melbourne Victory, which is provisionally set down for Saturday April 9, could yet be moved if there is a clash with the Victory’s ACL commitments.

– One of the downsides of the draw this year is the lack of glamour home ties, with high drawing Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC only playing in Brisbane once this year. To compound that, both aren’t scheduled to visit until 2016, at which point the public interest in those games -and the Roar- could be gone.

– From the players perspective, it’s not a bad one with just the one trip to the West for the season, while nine of the clubs thirteen away games are in NSW or Victoria, so the travel time figures to be lower than last year.

– This season’s farcical scenes which saw the Grand Final hosted at the 30k seater AAMI Park wont be repeated, with the FFA securing venues in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Wellington to host the final should those teams gain hosting rights.

While the draw takes the attention today, there was conformation of some much expected news yesterday, with the Queensland Government announcing their intention to lift the current restrictions on concerts at the Milton venue.

A media statement from Sports and Racing minister Bill Byrne, and Treasurer Curtis Pitt confirmed that the restrictions would go from four concerts a year up to six, with the changes set to be implemented from 2016 onwards. You can read the full statement here.

The changes have been made so that the state owned stadium can attract more high profile music acts after the Milton venue missed out on ACDC, with QSAC picking up the concerts after the venue had exhausted it’s limit of four concerts in 2015.

This upcoming A-League season will see Brisbane’s home ruled out of action for around a month with Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift set to play at the venue on November 28 and December 5 respectively.

Brisbane’s fixtures around the concert time will include Newcastle away (Nov 28), Western Sydney away (Dec 5), Wellington home* (Dec 12) and Central Coast Dec 20th. Brisbane’s first home game at Suncorp after the concerts is set down for Dec 27th against Melbourne City meaning the ground staff will have over 3 weeks to get the ground right after the concerts.

*The home game against Wellington is a regional round game to be held at Cazaly’s Stadium in Cairns.