Power seals three-year Shanghai deal with Saints
PORT Adelaide will play St Kilda in Shanghai, China on June 2 next year - and continue the clash with the Saints for at least another two AFL seasons.
The Round 11 Sunday match - likely to be in an afternoon timeslot - was finally confirmed after much speculation at the MCG on Thursday.
The Saints replace Gold Coast, the Power's opponent in the two games played in China in the past two seasons as an AFL first.
The Victorian state government - a major trade partner with China - is the major backer of St Kilda's move to the international stage with Port Adelaide.
Port Adelaide is compelled to buy an "away" game from an AFL rival to play in China. The Power is not allowed to transfer any of its 11 home games at Adelaide Oval by the State government's agreement at the venue.
St Kilda chief executive Matt Finnis has confirmed the Saints will wear their home red, black and white jumper in Shanghai.
Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas is not objecting.
Thomas said the Power will develop a new China jumper with "subtle" changes to the current Port Adelaide white clash guernsey.
"Playing an AFL premiership game in China (in 2017) was an achievement; setting up games for five years is a significant achievement," Thomas said.
Thomas is still working to put the China game under lights. However, he is not optimistic this will be possible next year.
The timeslot for the match will be confirmed when the AFL fixture is released on Wednesday.
The Victorian state government has confirmed - as reported in The Advertiser in May - it wants the China game to include an AFLW exhibition match.
Unlike the previous two games played in mid-May at Jiangwan Stadium in Shanghai, the Power-Saints clash will be closer to the AFL mid-season break.
This will be beneficial to Port Adelaide in avoiding fatigue late in the home-and-away season. The Power had to play 13 consecutive games after returning from Shanghai this year - and 14 in Season 2017 when the China game marked the first AFL match played for premiership points outside Australia and New Zealand.