I was hoping the AFL would abandon the idea of a ‘Round Zero’ for the 2024 season, but it seems they’re determined to go through with it. The ‘Opening Round’ will consist of four games spread across Sydney, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast. The concept is problematic in several ways, and the league’s fixation on increasing attendance in New South Wales and Queensland seems forced and unnecessary. The whole idea is flawed and seems to be a deliberate attempt to compete with the NRL. It’s unlikely to achieve its intended goals and will likely only serve to irritate fans.