The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys will host half of their 2019 home games in the preferred Saturday evening timeslot, in a huge coup for the club's far-flung member and fan base in the NRL Telstra Premiership draw released today.
Six Saturday evening games at 1300SMILES Stadium have been scheduled for 2019, including a season-opening clash with St George Illawarra Dragons in Round 1.
The blockbuster against the Dragons, which pits star recruit Nene Macdonald against his old club, is one of 12 games to be hosted by 1300SMILES Stadium in its final season as the Cowboys home ground, before the club moves to the new North Queensland Stadium in 2020.
Following a trip to Brisbane to face arch-rivals Broncos in Round 2, the Cowboys return to North Queensland for a three-game home-stand, capped off by a bumper Friday-night showdown with Melbourne in Round 5.
The Storm clash is one of two prime-time Friday night fixtures at 1300SMILES Stadium, with Wests Tigers also travelling north in Round 14.
The Cowboys also have two home games set down for the Friday 6pm timeslot, against the Titans in Round 8 and the Panthers in Round 23.
A Round 21 showdown with the Broncos, the fourth contest of the XXXX Derby, is the first of two Thursday night games for the Cowboys, the second a meeting with the Bulldogs in Round 24 which will mark the last ever regular season game at 1300SMILES Stadium.
Among the notable away fixtures are the Round 2 clash with Brisbane, the Magic Round (Round 9) encounter with South Sydney and regular-season ending battle with Melbourne in Round 25.
After playing just one Sunday game in 2018, Paul Green's men have three Sunday fixtures scheduled in 2019.
The first is the Magic Round showdown with South Sydney, followed by a visit to the Gold Coast in Round 12 and a Round 17 trip to the Central Coast to take on reigning premiers the Roosters.
The Cowboys will play three consecutive Thursday night games from Round 19 to 21 against the Sharks, Tigers and Broncos.
"We're really excited to be opening our final season at 1300SMILES Stadium with a blockbuster against St George Illawarra on a Saturday night in Round 1," Cowboys Acting CEO Jeff Reibel said.
"The Dragons have been rare visitors over the past decade, but when they have travelled to North Queensland, those games have attracted bumper crowds.
"Playing four of our first five games of the season at 1300SMILES Stadium gives us a golden chance to kick off on a really strong note in front of our passionate members and fans.
"Our final four home games all shape as exciting fixtures leading into our farewell to 1300SMILES Stadium in Round 24.
"We played the Bulldogs in our inaugural game in 1995, so they're a fitting opponent for our final regular season match at the ground we have called home for the first 24 seasons of this great club."
Full season memberships (reserved and general admission) including tickets for all 12 home games are available now through cowboys.com.au, while single game tickets will be available in February 2019.
2019 Cowboys draw breakdown: