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Today the AFL has officially confirmed that the first match at Adelaide Oval in 2014 will be a Showdown.

The redeveloped venue will play host to the Port Adelaide and Adelaide Football Clubs on March 29, with a capacity crowd of more than 53,000 people expected to fill the stadium.

“We’re enormously excited by the news that the Showdown has been officially confirmed,” said Adelaide Oval SMA CEO Andrew Daniels.

“It’s only fitting that we celebrate the full completion of the redeveloped Adelaide Oval by hosting our two proudly South Australian AFL teams.

“It will be a truly momentous occasion and we’re looking forward to having a stadium packed with passionate fans while showcasing our fantastic new venue to South Australians and indeed the rest of the country.”

The AFL is currently in the process of completing the 2014 fixture and AFL General Manager – Broadcasting, Scheduling and Major Projects Simon Lethlean said the two SA clubs had been notified of the opening Adelaide Oval match today, due to the intense local interest around the game.

Adelaide Oval first staged football games in the 1870s but has not hosted regular top-level football in SA for four decades, since the 1973 SANFL Grand Final between Glenelg and North Adelaide, as football had been extremely well served by AAMI Stadium at West Lakes. In 2014, the return of football to the city centre with the Crows and the Power will be one of the highlights of the premiership season and Mr Lethlean said the AFL would fulfill its long-standing commitment that both SA teams play in the opening game at the redeveloped venue.

“It was the AFL’s view that both SA teams must play in the first match at Adelaide Oval after the exceptional redevelopment work undertaken by the South Australian government,” Mr Lethlean said.

“The AFL has determined that Port Adelaide should host the game, so as to maximise attendances across both Showdown matches in the 2014 premiership season.”

Mr Lethlean said the Adelaide Oval would be a key feature for a number of showcase national telecast games for the 2014 season and further details around matches at the venue for the two clubs would be confirmed when the fixture was signed off and completed at the end of this month.