The AFL continues to overhaul its preseason format, ditching the '18 games in 18 days' experiment for a four-week schedule.
Next year's schedule will start on February 26 when premier Hawthorn hosts Collingwood at Tasmania's York Park and will run until March 22, when local rivals West Coast and Fremantle do battle at Subiaco Oval.
The league will then have a week off until the regular season starts in early April.
Each club will play three preseason games, spread over four weekends.
Regional and other non-traditional AFL venues will again feature heavily in the preseason and, for the second year, there will be no preseason competition winner.
Another feature is that no team will have to travel interstate for the last preseason round of games.
Each team will have two games spread over the opening three weekends, with all 18 playing on the final weekend.
All four weekends will feature games from Thursday through to Sunday.
The Western Australian regional town of Mandurah, Moreton Bay and Townsville in Queensland, South Australia's Port Lincoln, New South Wales's Coffs Harbour and the Victorian towns of Morwell and Shepparton are among the country venues.
Whitten Oval in Melbourne will host an AFL-standard match for the first time since late in the 1997 season.
Norwood Oval in Adelaide and Sydney's Drummoyne Oval are two other new suburban preseason venues.
Last year, each team played two games over an 18-day period and had the option for a third match before the start of the regular season.
This time, the preseason and regular season are starting a week late because of the cricket World Cup.
Of the 27 matches, 21 will be televised.
The AFL also announced that for the first time in a decade, paid-up club members can attend their team's games for free.
The league will announce next year's regular season draw on Thursday.