GWS Giants bosses are confident they can capitalise on a groundswell of support as they prepare to go head-to-head with the Canberra Raiders in a battle for crowds.
The Giants will host two of their three AFL regular season matches at Manuka Oval on days the Raiders host NRL games at Canberra Stadium.
The Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns will join the Western Bulldogs in playing for premiership points in Canberra next season.
The Giants will play the Western Bulldogs at Manuka Oval under Friday night lights on April 3, while the Raiders will play Manly Warringah at Canberra Stadium on the same night.
GWS will then host the Gold Coast Suns at Manuka Oval on Sunday, April 26. Across town the Raiders will meet South Sydney.
The Giants will round out their matches in Canberra with a clash against the resurgent Brisbane Lions on Saturday, August 1.
It will be the club's only game with clear air in Canberra but Giants chief operating officer James Avery believes neither GWS or the Raiders will suffer a huge loss when they are on a collision course.
MORE CANBERRA SPORT
The Giants average attendance at Manuka Oval is 10,510, a number which has swelled in recent years. The Raiders recorded an average of 15,298 across 11 regular season games at Canberra Stadium this year.
"People in Canberra love their sport, they love teams that are winning, they love exciting football, whether that's rugby league or Australian football," Avery said.
"We think we will still get strong crowds, and we think the Raiders will still get strong crowds even when there is a clash. That's not something we think is an issue.
"Our supporters have shown they will come and watch Giants games at all sorts of times and in all sorts of conditions.
"If that's the case, we think a really well supported Raiders game over the way is not going to stop Giants fans from turning out in droves for some really high-quality AFL games."
The three regular season matches will be the Giants' only games in Canberra next year with a scheduling clash keeping AFLW and pre-season games off the agenda.
The ACT government invested in five women's Twenty20 World Cup games which means Manuka Oval will be unavailable for an AFL pre-season game.
Brisbane's arrival leaves Carlton, West Coast, Collingwood, Essendon and Sydney as the only teams yet to play regular season games against GWS in Canberra.
"Our aim is to always bring big games and varied opponents to Canberra so we bring something different each year whilst always trying to secure that coveted Friday night slot," Avery said.
"We're really proud to secure another Friday night game. It has been a success having Friday night football in Canberra over the past few years, the AFL have obviously recognised that and we have been pushing for it.
"It's really pleasing to see us secure another against one of the exciting teams of 2019 in the Bulldogs, who we have a good rivalry with.
"Also to have Brisbane Lions come to Canberra for the first time ever is genuinely exciting. Everyone is expecting them to be a finals contender if not more than that next year.
"On balance between the Bulldogs, Lions, and Suns, we think it's a really strong fixture with lots on offer for our supporters in Canberra."
GIANTS IN CANBERRA
Friday, April 3: Round three - GWS Giants v Western Bulldogs at Manuka Oval, 7.50pm.
Sunday, April 26: Round six - GWS Giants v Gold Coast Suns at Manuka Oval, 1.10pm.
Saturday, August 1: Round 20 - GWS Giants v Brisbane Lions at Manuka Oval, 2:10pm.