Alice Springs will be promoted to an audience of 1.6 million during this weekend's AFL clash between Melbourne and Adelaide.
The clash at Traeger Park on Sunday will kick off the AFL's week-long celebration of Indigenous culture ahead of the Sir Doug Nicholls Round.
In an unprecedented move, Channel 7 will deliver a six hour live broadcast from Alice Springs to mark the occasion, which will include a curtain raiser match between the Centralian Red Tails and Top End Storm as well as a special cultural performance.
The extended broadcast will also feature tourism segments profiling unique attractions and experiences in the Centre, delivering huge exposure for local tourism businesses.
The tourism segments feature Channel 7 commentators Brian 'BT' Taylor and Melbourne Football club women’s captain, Daisy Pearce, as they get a taste of bush tucker with Kungas Can Cook at Rainbow Valley, take an astronomy tour at the Alice Springs Earth Sanctuary, experience art and culture at the Araluen Arts Centre, go on a camel adventure with Pyndan Camel Tracks, take a hike at Olive Pink Botanic Gardens and go mountain biking with Outback Cycling.
Tourism NT will ensure the broadcast converts viewers into holiday-makers with special Webjet travel deals to Alice Springs and the NT to be promoted throughout the game as well as on popular sporting websites.
As part of the Indigenous celebrations, a special cultural presentation, titled ‘Caterpillar Dreaming’ will be held prior to the main AFL game featuring 200 local artists, Indigenous performers and footballers from 12 remote communities across Central Australia.
Local Arrernte woman and Artistic Director of the performance, Kumalie Kngwarraye, said the performance will showcase the ancient culture of Central Australia.
“It will show that our culture is very much alive and well in Central Australia and it is also about celebrating our culture of footy that our younger people have embraced and they can celebrate both cultures the old and the new,” she said.
The AFL premiership game in Alice Springs is part of the NT Government’s $1.7 million a year partnership with the AFL to secure premiership games in the Territory until 2023.
A second AFL premiership game will see Melbourne play Fremantle in Darwin on Saturday 7 July 2018.
AFL in Alice Springs - Match Day Schedule:
Sunday 27 May
11:00am – Gates open
11:40am – Curtain Raiser starts (Centralian Red Tails v Top End Storm)
2:05pm – Caterpillar Dreaming cultural performance
2:50pm – AFL game starts (Melbourne v Adelaide)