AFLNT Statement: 2021 Sir Doug Nicholls Round in Alice Springs


Due to the current COVID-19 situation in Victoria and advice from the Northern Territory Government Department of Health, AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) can confirm the 2021 Toyota AFL premiership season Sir Doug Nicholls Round 12 Alice Springs (6 June) Melbourne Demons and Brisbane Lions game will not go ahead. 

At this stage, the AFL has advised there has not been a decision if a replacement game will be played in Alice Springs or Darwin this season.

Head of AFLNT Stuart Totham said the team at AFLNT is disappointed both games have now been re-fixtured and the Sir Doug Nicholls Round won’t be represented in the Territory this season. 

“As we were looking forward to welcoming Gold Coast and Hawthorn to Darwin, we were also just as excited to have Melbourne back in Alice Springs and host the Lions during this extended and important Round of footy,” Totham said.

“We have been working very hard in the background with the AFL, Gold Coast and Melbourne footy clubs to not only have two great games of elite footy shown in our backyards, but also deliver community engagement programs over a couple of weeks.” 

“The Sir Doug Nicholls Round is a wonderful time to acknowledge and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture throughout our game AFLNT was thrilled to play host to two marquee games this year.”

“Public safety comes first and I want to thank the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister and Chief Medical Officers for all their patience and diligent work assessing the current situation in order to keep the Territory community safe.” 

“AFLNT will continue to work with the AFL, health officials and Northern Territory Government on a solution to bring the AFL to the Territory this 2021 season.” 

Melbourne Football Club CEO Gary Pert said whilst it is understood public health and safety comes first, the Demons remain committed to playing the fixture in Alice Springs in 2021.

“We love travelling to the Red Centre and engaging with the community,” Pert said. 

“My team and the team at AFLNT have done a power work to ensure the game was going to be a huge success and it is a shame that the match has been postponed.”

Automatic refunds will be made available to anyone who has purchased tickets for these events. Tickets purchased by credit or debit card via Ticketek will be refunded in full including ticket insurance premium, patrons do not need to take any action. Patrons should allow approximately 60 days for the refund to appear in their account.

Updated information will be shared as soon as it is available.