Frankston’s SkyBus Stadium will host the opening match of the 2022 NAB AFLW Season, with the Saints and Tigers to officially kick off the year under lights on Friday 7 January.

The game, located in Melbourne’s bayside region, will further extend St Kilda’s southern footprint and reintroduce the women’s game to the City of Frankston. It will mark the first time AFLW teams will compete for Premiership points at the venue.

St Kilda’s VFLW affiliate, the Southern Saints, played its inaugural match at SkyBus Stadium in 2018. The venue also served as their primary home ground during the team’s debut season. 

With RSEA Park unavailable until February due to a multimillion-dollar oval redevelopment, Saints’ CEO Matt Finnis said the club was embracing the opportunity to connect with fans across its southern heartland.

“It’s exciting to add another chapter to our AFLW journey by returning Saints’ footy to the Frankston region,” Mr Finnis said.

“SkyBus Stadium played a key role in the establishment of our women’s football program, so to be able to take a home and away AFLW match back to that venue and play under its spectacular new lights will be a very special occasion.

“This game will also provide a wonderful platform for us to showcase our new partnership with Frankston City Council to redevelop the Linen House Centre in Seaford into a state-of-the-art Healthy Futures Hub. 

We couldn’t think of a better way to commence our third AFLW premiership season and hope to see as many local residents, St Kilda members and supporters there for Round 1.

- Matt Finnnis

Frankston City Council Mayor, Nathan Conroy, said it was exciting to welcome the AFL Women’s competition to SkyBus Stadium.

“We’re thrilled to have St Kilda return to Frankston and play matches at our state-of-the-art SkyBus Stadium, Mr Conroy said. 

“Football is an important part of our community, and we look forward to welcoming St Kilda members, supporters and our own residents to SkyBus Stadium in the coming weeks.

“I can’t wait to have SkyBus Stadium at full capacity at the beginning of the new year and am excited to see our association with the Saints develop further.”

AFL General Manager Women’s Football Nicole Livingstone said it was pleasing to deliver NAB AFL Women’s matches to fans in the Bayside and Peninsula region.

“We’re looking forward to witnessing the NAB AFLW competition expand its horizons to include another quality venue in 2022,” Ms Livingstone said.

“We look forward to seeing our AFLW teams take to the field during the 2022 NAB AFL Women’s season and we cannot wait to witness the local community enjoying an AFLW game on their home turf.”

Frankston Football Club CEO Adrian Lloyd said his club couldn’t wait to see national level football played in Frankston.

“We are delighted to welcome AFLW footy to SkyBus Stadium and we are sure that they will be thrilled with the unique facilities we enjoy at our boutique stadium,” Mr Lloyd said.

“We look forward to seeing the Saints take to the ground in the opening round of the 2022 NAB AFL Women’s Season and hope to see further matches played at the venue in future.”

The remainder of the 2022 NAB AFLW fixture will be announced in the coming days.

AFLW 2022 | Round 1

St Kilda v Richmond
Friday 7 January, 2022
7:15pm, SkyBus Stadium
Broadcast live and free on Channel 7