When the umpire bounces the first ball at Etihad Stadium on Sunday, history will be made in more ways than one.

Not only does North Melbourne begin its 2017 season, but the Roos and the Eagles will have the honour of playing in the 15,000th VFL/AFL game.

Neither team can of course claim to have been there for game one in 1897; North joined in 1925, and West Coast in 1987.

Did you know?

- The MCG has hosted 2,743 matches, well ahead of the second-most capped venue, Princes Park (1,277) and Victoria Park (880). Etihad Stadium is fast closing the gap, with 797 games at the venue over 17 seasons.

- Arden Street hosted a total of 529 home & away matches between 1925 and 1985.

- In all, 44 venues have been used throughout the competition’s history. Euroa, Yallourn and Albury are among the obscure locations to hold matches.

- In all, North has played in 1920 home & away and finals matches, the Eagles 705, and the league’s most-capped team, Collingwood, 2,485.

- Greater Western Sydney is the least-capped team, with 112 matches. University, who played for seven seasons between 1908 and 1914 played 126 games for just 27 wins.