AFL Expansion

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AFL Expansion

Post by Beaussie »

Tasmania and perhaps the Northern Territory to ensure another game is available to sell to broadcasters.

I really like this idea. How great does the proposed stadium in Darwin look? :thumbleft:

An AFL team in the Top End? It’s not as out there as you might think
The Northern Territory’s bold bid for an AFL team is unlike anything seen in Australian sport.

By Zach Hope
SEPTEMBER 19, 2021

Image
Mutitjulu children playing footy during the closing ceremony in the shadow of Uluru.CREDIT:ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN


You can imagine the looks when the new footy boss of the Northern Territory emerged from coffee with Chief Minister Michael Gunner in mid-2018 and began whispering about an AFL team and a 25,000-seat stadium in a Darwin CBD paddock.

Even here, among the game’s most ardent, where participation rates double that of Victoria, it seemed a grand idea, tethered to a certain legitimacy; but in the tradition of grand northern Australian ideas, probably unreachable – if only for the fact it required the commitment of “southerners”.

Besides, the AFL has been kicking the new-club can through Tasmania for decades, and that state has twice the population and gold-standard facilities in any town kids kick a footy.

And then there’s the Gold Coast Suns – from one of the fastest-growing regions of Australia – which has struggled for members, success, money and hype since its founding more than a decade ago.

A team in Darwin? Population 150,000, hot, humid and four hours’ flying to the nearest other capital? You may be raising brows of your own.

And yet...

Gunner and AFL Northern Territory chief executive Stuart Totham, sipping coffee in Darwin’s Roma Bar, agreed to “have a look”, which turned into a feasibility study.

Brand consultants Bastion Experience delivered it in June and, to no one’s surprise, found the population too small to fund a team in the traditional sense like the Lions of Brisbane or Swans of Sydney.

But it also set out a tantalising vision of a Top End team with social impact as its core objective.

A club built on an “unconventional model” could, in fact, be revolutionary.

So serious are the NT government and AFLNT about this model and its possibilities they are poised to announce a taskforce of respected administrators to get the Top End ready when, and if, AFL and AFLW licences become available.

“There is a lot of work to do,” says Totham. “But in terms of the AFL developing a legacy and a social impact, I don’t think there’s anything bigger than this one.

“And it’s there. It’s there for the taking.”

This is how.

Sponsorship, crowd sizes, membership and other revenues may generate $30 million a year, a shortfall of about $10 million compared with even the most hard-up clubs, according to the Bastion research. Add another $5 million for travel costs.

But proponents point out the $15 million investment to make up this annual shortfall is miniscule against the billions poured into national strategies such as Closing the Gap and Developing the North.

Gunner talks of a team venerating Aboriginal culture: an Indigenous Round guernsey as the every-round guernsey; the club’s name or nickname taken from one of more than 100 Aboriginal languages and dialects of the Territory.

“Not a club with a social licence tacked on, but a club built to be a social force,” the Chief Minister says.

Bastion estimates such a Top End team could inspire about $460 million each year in better health outcomes, education, social cohesiveness and crime reduction.

And where to play? TIO Stadium in the northern suburbs already hosts games and could be redeveloped for about $80 million. But architects have sketched a new 25,000-seat stadium at the edge of the Darwin CBD, in easy walking distance to hotels.

Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium is about the same size and cost almost $300 million, most of it provided by the state and federal governments.

Image
An artist’s impression of a proposed new stadium in Darwin that proponents hope will host a Northern Territory AFL team.

“But for every dollar we spend [in Darwin], we’re pitching that a similar dollar has to be spent out in the bush,” says AFLNT chairman Sean Bowden of watered ovals, men’s and women’s change rooms and clubrooms doubling as community hubs and cyclone shelters.

“It’s a lot of money and it’s a big ask, but it’s overdue. We need the Commonwealth to support us here. And it’s simply what every other community in Australia is entitled to.”

Most pushing the bid favour a club representing, and drawing talent from, the entire north. Games could be set aside each year for Cairns, Townsville and Alice Springs. Training bases could be set up in towns such as Broome.

Image
Inside the proposed stadium.

Eddie McGuire, one of the most powerful backers of a northern Australian side and 20-team competition, warns of the fierce competition for talent, eyeballs and participation as we approach the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games, the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and Australia’s possible bid for the men’s version.

“[We need to] have a full, national competition so that AFL football owns Australia,” he said on Footy Classified last month.

Totham says the bid is not an alternative to Tasmania, which is front-of-queue. Rather, the bids could be symbiotic: two extra teams means an extra game for the broadcasters and avoids the uncomfortable necessity of a weekly bye.

“The AFL needs to go to 20, not 19,” Gunner says. “We need Tassie and they need us.”

Supporters also note the AFL’s growing interest in exciting the markets of Asia, which have the potential to be lucrative for the game even with a niche following.

“Flying five hours south from Darwin enables the engagement of 24 million people, whereas flying north engages over 400 million people,” the report says.

Beyond the balance sheet, Bastion flags the biggest challenge to a northern Australian team is developing local talent and holding on to interstate draft picks and trades.

“People are going to want to be involved,” Bowden counters. “They’re going to want to come up here and do more than just play AFL football – have a little more meaning, maybe, to what they’re doing.”

https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/an- ... 58n90.html


"One in every 24 Australians is now a member of an AFL club, a sign that the national reach of Australian football has never been greater," League CEO Gillon McLachlan said.
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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by Fred »

I don't think NT is viable to be honest - yes we should reward areas where AFL is dominant but just don't think the marker it is. Tassie - it is inevitable.


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by Bumsniffers »

Feasibiulity study had a 15m a year revenue gap. The argument is that a team would have a massive social benefit and address chronic underfunding by the commonwealth. Essentially the team itself would drive social change


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by Quolls2019 »

Northern Australian team, majority of games in Darwin, with 1 each in Alice Springs, Rockhampton, Cairns and Townsville with the ability to buy some games.


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by leeroy*NRL* »

it is a great idea, though a few hard areas for it to get off the ground.

Logistically it is hard.
Players to train in such harsh conditions.
Be a money pit unless funded by N.T Government.


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by NRL&NFLweLaughATAFL2 »

You would think they would want to put a team in Canberra before the Northern Territory. Canberra is the largest city without their own AFL team.


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by truthbomber »

NRL&NFLweLaughATAFL2 wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:49 am You would think they would want to put a team in Canberra before the Northern Territory. Canberra is the largest city without their own AFL team.
but we have the midgets
the greater western blackheath to madagascar midgets :lol: :lol: :(/ :(/ :rofl: :rofl:


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by NRL&NFLweLaughATAFL2 »

truthbomber wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:42 am
NRL&NFLweLaughATAFL2 wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:49 am You would think they would want to put a team in Canberra before the Northern Territory. Canberra is the largest city without their own AFL team.
but we have the midgets
the greater western blackheath to madagascar midgets :lol: :lol: :(/ :(/ :rofl: :rofl:
Yeah that is pretty ridiculous.Why don't they call themselves CWS Canberra Western Sydney lol..

Is so stupid the way AFL has done it. Is like if the Melbourne Storm decided to play a few games in Tasmania and then goes. "Hey we are Tasmania's local team too because we play a few games there" Even though we called the MELBOURNE STORM, we represent Tasmania too.

That is how stupid the logic of GWS being called Canberra's team too is. :lol: :lol:
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leeroy*NRL* (Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:57 am)


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by Fred »

Agree


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by Pokitren »

NRL&NFLweLaughATAFL2 wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:44 am
truthbomber wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:42 am
NRL&NFLweLaughATAFL2 wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:49 am You would think they would want to put a team in Canberra before the Northern Territory. Canberra is the largest city without their own AFL team.
but we have the midgets
the greater western blackheath to madagascar midgets :lol: :lol: :(/ :(/ :rofl: :rofl:
Yeah that is pretty ridiculous.Why don't they call themselves CWS Canberra Western Sydney lol..

Is so stupid the way AFL has done it. Is like if the Melbourne Storm decided to play a few games in Tasmania and then goes. "Hey we are Tasmania's local team too because we play a few games there" Even though we called the MELBOURNE STORM, we represent Tasmania too.

That is how stupid the logic of GWS being called Canberra's team too is. :lol: :lol:
That's for sure! Canberra Western Sydney - might as well be called Canberra North Adelaide :rofl:
Last edited by Pokitren on Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by NRL&NFLweLaughATAFL2 »

If AFL have any sense they will put a team in Canberra when the new team starts in Tasmania.
Whether the AFL have deep enough pockets to do that might be the question.
Call the them Canberra Cutters or Canberra Capitals or even the Crushers... something like that.


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by NRL&NFLweLaughATAFL2 »

Pokitren wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:48 pm
NRL&NFLweLaughATAFL2 wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:44 am
truthbomber wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:42 am

but we have the midgets
the greater western blackheath to madagascar midgets :lol: :lol: :(/ :(/ :rofl: :rofl:
Yeah that is pretty ridiculous.Why don't they call themselves CWS Canberra Western Sydney lol..

Is so stupid the way AFL has done it. Is like if the Melbourne Storm decided to play a few games in Tasmania and then goes. "Hey we are Tasmania's local team too because we play a few games there" Even though we called the MELBOURNE STORM, we represent Tasmania too.

That is how stupid the logic of GWS being called Canberra's team too is. :lol: :lol:
That's for sure! Canberra Western Sydney - might as well be called Canberra North Adelaide :rofl:
Haha yeah exactly bro.


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by leeroy*NRL* »

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein has announced that former Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson will work in an advisory role supporting Tasmania’s bid for a standalone AFL team.

you do not see many people objecting to Tasmanian Team in the AFL>

if AFL do not include them as the 19th team..

AFL do not have a Heart except Greed.


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by Fred »

I think you’ll see either a relocation or a stand alone and if stand alone another team will also come in. I think the other team will be either south Australia which would be pretty safe,or they’ll look to another Sydney team to build on the in roads there seem at grassroots. In saying that don’t see any new teams until minimum 2028.


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Re: AFL Expansion

Post by leeroy*NRL* »

Fred wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 3:21 pm I think you’ll see either a relocation or a stand alone and if stand alone another team will also come in. I think the other team will be either south Australia which would be pretty safe,or they’ll look to another Sydney team to build on the in roads there seem at grassroots. In saying that don’t see any new teams until minimum 2028.
the AFL would love a relocation (i wonder if AFL offered a Club a $30mill Gift or something BIG for a relocation if any would jump.. (looking at Kanga's St Kilda or Hawks)
(slightly off topic, NRL offered $8million like 20 years ago for NRL club to relocate to Central Coast and no one excepted..
after North Sydney Bears were kicked.
I think the NRL hoped they could reduce numbers and relocate, but it back fired

Adelaide team hey, what a South or North Team... (just don't see the funds to get it up) and compete with crows and port.)
who is the strongest club in the local league ??

Sydney team would be interesting..

You have Swans with interest in the north and east...
Giants with no interest lol in the inner west.

Where does it go..


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