Melbourne Storm will host a Thursday night clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs to kick-off the 2021 NRL season at AAMI Park - exactly 537 days since we last played in front of our home crowd.
It will be a long-awaited homecoming for thousands of Victorian supporters who have not attended a home game since September 21 last year (our 32-0 semi final win over the Eels...at least we've had good memories to cherish).
Your reigning premiers last played to an empty AAMI Park in June.
Marquee matches in our 2021 fixture will include a blockbuster Good Friday clash against the Broncos, our traditional ANZAC Day match against the Warriors and the Grand Final rematch against the Panthers on Saturday July 31.
The NRL have rewarded our loyal Victorian fans with up to 11 home matches at AAMI Park in 2021 (subject to COVID restrictions), with 14 games being broadcast free-to-air on Channel 9.
The club's interim CEO, Ash Tucker, welcomed today's fixture announcement.
"We can't wait to have as many Storm fans as possible back at AAMI Park to kick-off the season against the Rabbitohs," Tucker said.
"Storm fans have waited 537 days to see their team play live at AAMI Park and we can’t wait to present the 2020 Premiership trophy to them in person come March 11.
All Victorians have been through an extremely tough year and have missed out on attending live sport for most of the year. It’s been a long wait for the players too and I know they have missed running out in front of the purple army in Melbourne.Ash Tucker Storm Interim CEO
"There are some challenging periods through the season for Craig and the coaching staff to prepare for but, as they have shown this year, our players are very good at rising to the challenge." Tucker said.
The NRL draw will see Storm making road trips to Perth (Bulldogs), Townsville (Cowboys) and Auckland (Warriors) in season 2021, while the annual Magic Round will be played against the Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.
Storm will also spend rounds 9 – 12 on the road playing in Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane across the four weeks, before returning to AAMI Park on June 5.