THE Gold Coast Suns will make their AFL debut against Carlton at the Gabba in round two of the 2011 AFL season following the release of a draw CEO Travis Auld described as “exactly what we would have liked.”
With byes in round one and nine, and their home ground unavailable until round 10, the Suns will have three home matches at the Gabba in the early part of the season, including the eagerly anticipated clash with neighbours the Brisbane Lions in round seven.
Auld was delighted with the club's fixtures for their inaugural season.
“We're extremely pleased with our draw in our very first season in the AFL,” he said.
“In essence we've got exactly what we would have liked.
“Our request to the AFL centred around the ability to bring some of the big Melbourne clubs up to the Gold Coast to reward all those people who've come on board and supported us on our journey.”
The Suns first game at Gold Coast Stadium will be against Geelong and will be the first time marquee signing Gary Ablett will face his old side.
The Suns also have home games against reigning premiers Collingwood, runners-up St Kilda, the Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn.
Auld believes tickets will be at a premium for the clashes with the Lions and Melbourne clubs.
“We've got the opportunity to sell out the stadium on a number of occasions,” he said.
“You'd want to get a ticket early for our games against the Blues, Pies, Cats and the Saints.
“And you'd probably want to do the same for both our south-east Queensland rivalry games against the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.”
The Suns will play half of their home games against sides that finished in the top eight of the 2010 season.
They also have a scheduled away game in Cairns against Richmond and two trips to both Perth and Adelaide, while their first visit to the MCG in the penultimate round against Melbourne.