|2020 AFL premiership season|
|Attendance||0 (0 per match)|
The 2020 Australian Football League season is the ongoing 124th season of the elite Australian rules football competition and the 31st under the name "Australian Football League", having changed from "Victorian Football League" after the 1989 season. There will be 18 teams competing in the league, the same as the previous eight seasons.
The 2020 season was disrupted by the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, which was formally declared a pandemic on 11 March 2020, eight days prior to the scheduled start of the premiership season.
When the season was suspended, the league and clubs were faced with an acute cash flow shortage, as the gate and broadcast revenues which had been budgeted for stopped immediately; clubs deriving revenues from gaming and other public venues also saw those revenues drop when public gatherings were restricted. The league and clubs all stood down or severely reduced hours for huge percentages of their staff during the suspension; and the AFL agreed with both the AFLPA and ALFUA to significant play cuts for the players and umpires for the season, amounting to 50% of their wage from the point of the suspension until the end of the season, and increasing to 70% for any period of suspension which extends beyond the end of May. The league successfully obtained a $500-600m line of credit with the National Australia Bank and ANZ Bank, leveraged against its ownership of Marvel Stadium, to cover its and its clubs' cash shortfalls during the suspension.
Contingency plans have been developed to ensure the entire shortened 17 round season, plus finals, can be completed – in large part to ensure that the league can recover as much broadcast revenue as possible, since this revenue is critical to the game's finances. This may include shorter breaks between games, or extending the finish date for the season into as late as December if required – although the latter option would be complicated by grounds availability as the cricket season commences.
The pre-season series of games returned as the 2020 Marsh Community Series, with teams playing two games each. The games were stand-alone, with no overall winner of the series. Each team played two games, many at suburban or regional venues, while all games were televised on Fox Footy.
A one-off benefit match was played on 28 February 2020, as a fundraiser for the relief effort for the 2019–20 Australian bushfire season. The league donated $2.5 million to disaster relief funds in association with the match. Selection for the two teams was under state of origin rules, and it was the first interstate representative match featuring AFL-listed players since the AFL Hall of Fame Tribute Match held in 2008.
|State of Origin for Bushfire Relief Match|
|Friday, 28 February 2020 7:50 pm||Victoria||def.||All-Stars||Marvel Stadium (crowd: 51,052)||Report|
|Umpires: Fisher, Stephens, Nicholls, Williamson|
Best on Ground Medal: Dustin Martin (Victoria)
Kelly, Greene 4
Martin, Gaff, Bontempelli, Gresham 2
Dangerfield, J Cameron, Lynch 1
|Goals||C Cameron 3 |
Coniglio, Breust, Riewoldt, Smith 2
Neale, Weller, Walters, Hill 1
|Kelly, Martin, Greene, Papley, Pendlebury, Haynes, Cotchin, Dangerfield||Best||Coniglio, C Cameron, Mills, Cripps, Neale, Johannisen|
|Map of the grounds to be used during the 2019 AFL season (excluding Jiangwan Stadium, Shanghai)|
As the coronavirus situation develops, the AFL has advised that only the first four rounds will be played as originally drawn, although the dates and times may be altered as the situation develops. The rest of the fixture will be redrawn into a seventeen-round season in which each team plays each other once.
However, on 22 March 2020 the season was paused after the completion of Round 1 until 31 May 2020. This was a result of various Australian state governments announcing the closure of their borders due to the coronavirus.
|Round 1 (Opening Round)|
|Thursday, 19 March (7:40 pm)||Richmond 16.9 (105)||def.||Carlton 12.9 (81)||MCG (crowd: 0)||Report|
|Friday, 20 March (7:50 pm)||Western Bulldogs 5.4 (34)||def. by||Collingwood 13.8 (86)||Marvel Stadium (crowd: 0)||Report|
|Saturday, 21 March (2:10 pm)||Essendon 9.9 (63)||def.||Fremantle 8.9 (57)||Marvel Stadium (crowd: 0)|
|Saturday, 21 March (4:05 pm)||Adelaide 11.5 (71)||def. by||Sydney 11.8 (74)||Adelaide Oval (crowd: 0)|
|Saturday, 21 March (7:40 pm)||Greater Western Sydney 17.3 (105)||def.||Geelong 11.7 (73)||GIANTS Stadium (crowd: 0)|
|Saturday, 21 March (6:40 pm)||Gold Coast 4.5 (29)||def. by||Port Adelaide 10.16 (76)||Metricon Stadium (crowd: 0)|
|Sunday, 22 March (1:05 pm)||North Melbourne 8.8 (56)||def.||St Kilda 7.12 (54)||Marvel Stadium (crowd: 0)|
|Sunday, 22 March (3:35 pm)||Hawthorn 14.6 (90)||def.||Brisbane Lions 9.8 (62)||MCG (crowd: 0)|
|Sunday, 22 March (3:40 pm)||West Coast 12.6 (78)||def.||Melbourne 7.9 (51)||Optus Stadium (crowd: 0)|
Bold – Home game
X – Bye
Opponent for round listed above margin
|Greater Western Sydney||Geel
|1||Port Adelaide||1||1||0||0||76||29||262.1||4||Finals series|
|5||Greater Western Sydney||1||1||0||0||105||73||143.8||4|
|5||Greater Western Sydney||45|
|Adelaide||Matthew Nicks||Rory Sloane||Matt Crouch, Tom Doedee, Tom Lynch, Brodie Smith|||
|Brisbane Lions||Chris Fagan||Dayne Zorko||Harris Andrews||Jarrod Berry, Darcy Gardiner, Ryan Lester, Jarryd Lyons, Stefan Martin, Hugh McCluggage, Lachie Neale|||
|Carlton||David Teague||Patrick Cripps
|Ed Curnow, Liam Jones, Marc Murphy, Sam Walsh, Jacob Weitering|||
|Collingwood||Nathan Buckley||Scott Pendlebury||Taylor Adams, Steele Sidebottom, Jeremy Howe||Brodie Grundy, Jordan Roughead|||
|Essendon||John Worsfold||Dyson Heppell||Michael Hurley, Dylan Shiel, Devon Smith, David Zaharakis|||
|Fremantle||Justin Longmuir||Nat Fyfe||Reece Conca, Joel Hamling, David Mundy, Alex Pearce, Michael Walters|||
|Geelong||Chris Scott||Joel Selwood||Mark Blicavs, Patrick Dangerfield||Mitch Duncan, Mark O'Connor, Tom Stewart, Zach Tuohy|||
|Gold Coast||Stuart Dew||David Swallow
|Touk Miller||Sam Collins, Brayden Fiorini, Alex Sexton|||
|Greater Western Sydney||Leon Cameron||Stephen Coniglio||Jeremy Cameron, Matt de Boer, Toby Greene, Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield|||
|Hawthorn||Alastair Clarkson||Ben Stratton||Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O'Meara||Jack Gunston, Ben McEvoy, Liam Shiels, Isaac Smith|||
|Melbourne||Simon Goodwin||Max Gawn||Jack Viney|||
|North Melbourne||Rhyce Shaw||Jack Ziebell||Shaun Higgins, Robbie Tarrant||Ben Cunnington, Trent Dumont, Jamie Macmillan, Jasper Pittard, Jy Simpkin|||
|Port Adelaide||Ken Hinkley||Tom Jonas||Hamish Hartlett, Ollie Wines|||
|Richmond||Damien Hardwick||Trent Cotchin||Jack Riewoldt|||
|St Kilda||Brett Ratten||Jarryn Geary||Sebastian Ross||Jack Billings, Bradley Hill, Tim Membrey, Dylan Roberton|||
|Sydney||John Longmire||Josh Kennedy
|Lance Franklin, Callum Mills|||
|West Coast||Adam Simpson||Luke Shuey||Josh Kennedy, Jeremy McGovern||Jack Darling, Andrew Gaff, Nic Naitanui, Elliot Yeo|||
|Western Bulldogs||Luke Beveridge||Marcus Bontempelli||Lachie Hunter||Josh Dunkley, Jason Johannisen, Mitch Wallis, Easton Wood|||
|John Worsfold||Essendon||17 September 2019||Will step down at the conclusion of the club's 2020 season as part of a succession plan.||N/A||Ben Rutten|