Brisbane Lions must press home advantage
The Lions will spend the first month of the revamped AFL season playing inside the Gabba fortress as the club looks to assert their dominance early on.
The AFL released the opening block of fixtures on Monday with welcomed news for the Brisbane players who get to play the first four rounds at home.
Brisbane will host Fremantle on June 13 for their first clash back from the season hibernation, followed by games against West Coast, Adelaide and Port Adelaide.
The Lions currently sit 15th on the ladder following their Round 1 loss and will be looking to climb a few rungs in their opening games of the season.
Lions CEO Greg Swann said it was important the club made the most of four consecutive games at the Gabba.
"That's interesting for us because we've never done that before," Swann said.
"We normally travel every second week so to be able to put our roots down and play all our games at home, it's a good start for us.
"But as I said, there's no easy one. It will be a test.
"If we're good enough, we think we can win anywhere. It is important (to make them count).
"If you want to play finals, you have to win those games at home.
"We expect to be super competitive in those first games and certainly being at home gives us an advantage."
Swann said the club had held talks with the Gabba around a possible return to crowds but admitted it was still in the hands of the government and health authorities.
"We've had some discussions with the Gabba about what that may look in the short term," he said.
"(Whether) to get people in and sit them in every third seat, all that sort of thing, so we've done some modelling along that but obviously that's determined by the various governments."
The Suns will also play at home for the first three rounds of the relaunched season, with games against West Coast, Adelaide and Fremantle.
Gold Coast SUNS CEO Mark Evans said the release of the fixture had created plenty of excitement at the club.
"We can't wait to restart our 2020 season at Metricon Stadium against the 2018 Premiers the West Coast Eagles - it's a great challenge and we will be ready for it," Evans said.
"To have Metricon Stadium host seven AFL games in the first four weeks - and be the home base for four interstate clubs - is fantastic economically and from a tourism promotions perspective for the Gold Coast.
"We're looking forward to welcoming the South Australian and Western Australian AFL clubs to our beautiful home on the Gold Coast in the coming weeks."
Originally published as Lions must press home advantage