Australian Football League side Carlton, "soon to be released from an unpopular 10-year venue contract, appears to have pulled off its wish of playing more games at the MCG" -- and fewer at Etihad Stadium -- from next season, according to Samantha Lane of THE AGE. While the club is set to post a financial loss after a "disappointing 2014, the club has also managed to clear the debt it has owed the AFL" since '03 when it was "on its knees" and received a A$1.5M loan. New Carlton President Mark LoGiudice said on Wednesday that "a significant change of fixturing for the club was imminent and would likely boost club membership and attendances." LoGiudice "has also formally requested that the Blues play Richmond in the 2015 AFL season-opener" at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Asked why Carlton and Richmond should have a mortgage on the first game, or at the very least the first AFL game in Melbourne for the new season, LoGiudice said, "Prior to this year we've had more than 80,000 at the MCG for opening games. So it has been a successful game for both Carlton and Richmond, and for the AFL." Richmond President Peggy O'Neal said on Wednesday that the Tigers would "strongly support" the request to play Carlton in a season-opener next year. Carlton’s board decided earlier this year that "it would push to play as many as eight of its 11 home games at the MCG following the expiry of a controversial 10-year deal that was struck in 2004." LoGiudice: ‘‘I am confident that we will play more games at the MCG than at Etihad next year. It’s not 100 percent complete, but I think you can say I’m confident. This has been a pretty long discussion and negotiation’’ (THE AGE, 7/30).