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Monday, January 18 2021 @ 11:55 pm ACDT

Tasmania ready but told to wait

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As expected the AFL has told the Tasmanian AFL bid team that their proposal is very good but they will have to wait as the Gold Coast and West Sydney are next.

The bid team travelled to AFL House, led by Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett. Under the theme Ready When You Are, the presentation showed that the Launceston Aurora stadium, with a capacity of 21,000, would provide a similar deal to Geelong's successful arrangement with the 25,000 capacity Skilled Stadium (Kardinia Park). Combined with corporate support such as a 3-year $4 million deal with confectionary maker Mars and a fervent supporter base, the Tasmanians are believed to have demonstrated they are ready as soon as the AFL gives them the nod.

After viewing the bid, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou said, "They ticked the boxes in terms of stadium revenue and the corporate support you need to support a football club". Although emphasising the Gold Coast and West Sydney were next, Demetriou said "That’s not to say an opportunity won’t arise because you just never know what may happen". Further hope was given by his statement, "That doesn’t at all mean there won’t be serious consideration given to the Tasmanian Government presentation because it’s a first-class presentation" and Demetriou promised it would be discussed further by the AFL Commission.

Premier Bartlett conceded a short term breakthrough was unlikely, but said, "We're mapping out a pathway so when opportunities arise in the AFL in the future, the AFL Commission will understand Tasmania is ready, willing and able to provide a market for an AFL franchise".

Although Tasmania look unlikely to get a license soon their very public campaign appears to have generated a groundswell of public and corporate support, and has put them in an excellent position should a license become available in the next few years, be it through a change of plans on West Sydney, a club collapsing or a merger taking place. So in that respect Tassie do seem closer than ever to getting their own AFL side - but not quite yet.

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Tasmania ready but told to wait | 10 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Tasmania ready but told to wait
Authored by: Evan Read on Friday, December 12 2008 @ 03:23 pm ACDT

I'd be interested to know if people thought Tasmania would be better served
by a brand new team or a relocated Melbourne team?

I am massively for relocating teams - I think GC17 should have been a moved
Melbourne team.

I think the Lions "experiment" is working. I actually like the historical ties
Brisbane have to Melbourne (I live in Brisbane) and I like having the Fitzroy
jumper as our heritage guernsey and the Fitzroy colors as our away uniform.
(But then, I am as pro-Melbourne (as a city and place) as a Brisbanite can
be).

Better, I think, than creating brand new history and less of a burden on the
league.

Tasmania ready but told to wait
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, December 13 2008 @ 01:25 pm ACDT

Back to eread's post, your thoughts on a relocation are admirable but I reckon most Tasmanians would really want their own team... BUT because they've been denied so long, they probably would be happy just to get any club. Since Tasmania has such a long history in footy anyway they'd probably emphasise Tassie's history ahead of a relocating club's. So basically, whatever they can get.

West Sydney would be different, without much of its own history. But then a relocating team would be seen in the media as an invading side, so starting from scratch is more important there I reckon, history or not.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Tasmania ready but told to wait
Authored by: Evan Read on Sunday, December 14 2008 @ 05:46 pm ACDT

With the cost of running a team, though, is it a good idea to have the league
go to 18 (or more) teams?

It seems all very well for the A-League to expand ad infinitum, but I think the
costs of running an A-League squad are much lower.

I agree that new teams have their merits, and would always be preferable, but
I think the high cost of a team prohibits there being many more in the AFL.

I wonder if AFL will go the way of Formula 1 - making a team much cheaper
to run so that Western Sydney, Darwin, Canberra etc are much easier teams
to "get up".

Evan.

Tasmania ready but told to wait
Authored by: Sean Finlayson on Friday, December 12 2008 @ 04:46 pm ACDT

A bit ironic in that the AFL has on more than one occasion put a hold on Western Sydney. I think it is a bit rude that at the same time as they admit that Sydney market is not yet ready, they admit that Tasmania is but tell them to wait. The proposal should be judged on its own merits, not just against the AFL's pipedream to succeed in enemy territory. Tasmania should be the first and most logical choice, not a Plan B or afterthought.

Tasmania ready but told to wait
Authored by: Joel Adin Porretta on Saturday, December 13 2008 @ 10:45 am ACDT

I think that Tasmania deserve an AFL club cause their history in Footy more than proves that.

Tasmania ready but told to wait
Authored by: tinka13 on Thursday, December 18 2008 @ 05:33 pm ACDT

All very good comments. We have to look at the BIG PICTURE. More teams to grow the game, less in Melbourne because they are going broke. (mergers make good sense) Have a look at Super 14, played from SA to NZ. Lets look outside the square, so when this financial crises has gone we can respond quickly and have success. Can you imagine where we would be now if we were too afraid to grow the game into a national sport. If you are not growing, you are dying!

Tasmania ready but told to wait
Authored by: Brett Northey on Thursday, December 18 2008 @ 11:50 pm ACDT

That's a belief that certainly underpins my attitude to the future of Aussie Rules - grow or die. Very rarely can anything simply maintain a balance in-between.

I firmly believe that if the sport had not gone national it would be on its way to dying. The VFL was in debt, clubs would've collapsed in Victoria, the sport was in trouble in Adelaide and Perth because many of the best players were being lured to Melbourne and crowds were down.

Some people believe that footy is so strong in Melbourne it would've been fine as the VFL. But it was clearly in trouble. Rugby League went through its Super League debacle, but it had teams in most of Australia's major cities. The VFL had resisted any attempt to form a true national league until it did it through expansion. As the VFL changed in to the AFL, it became profitable through large (at the time) license fees for the new clubs and big increases in TV revenue and coverage (and thus sponsorship) as it was a national league.

If all that hadn't happened, then the National Rugby League (NRL) would've had far less competition for new fans and for sponsorship dollars. I have no doubt that there would've been 1 or 2 NRL clubs thriving in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne. And just as we see some of the best young athletes from Queensland and NSW being grabbed by AFL clubs, we would've seen the reverse with the best young Vics, South Aussies and West Aussies being lured to the NRL.

The NRL would have had huge revenue and the lure to sponsors and fans as the #1 football code in Australia. It's a pretty logical outcome. No doubt footy in Melbourne would've hung in there for 20 years or so, but look how plenty of fans jump off when their team struggles for a few years. Even a powerhouse like Carlton was in trouble when it got hit with draft violation penalties. Imagine those teams playing in run down stadia, clearly not the big ticket in town, without the best athletes. It would definitely fade and once it fell a certain distance behind there would be no coming back. It would be NRL #1, soccer #2.

Happily it didn't unfold that way. The way the AFL came into existence was pretty unpopular outside of Victoria, for good reasons, but what is done is done, and at least a national league emerged in some form, and just in time.

But expansion has to continue to maintain its position. And besides, it's a bloody good game that the whole world should get a chance to experience.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Tasmania ready but told to wait
Authored by: Troy Thompson on Friday, December 19 2008 @ 07:33 am ACDT

Brett, my view may be skewed but I would have thought the way it came about was probably more unpopular in Victoria than elsewhere - with the attitude that our great Victorian league has been ruined still prevailing with some today.

Tasmania ready but told to wait
Authored by: Brett Northey on Friday, December 19 2008 @ 10:25 am ACDT

It is skewed. 8)

Yes, plenty of Victorians didn't like it. But I reckon pretty much everyone was against it in the other states. Let's face it, the great rivalry with Victoria was in part because of the quality of football, but it really ramped up due to the stripping away of football in the other states as the VFL sought to consume them. And the other states put forward options for the evolution of a national competition and the National Football Council tried various things but was stymied by the VFL until eventually the NFC lost relevance and was killed off.

Hardcore football people in states like SA and WA resented all of that and they still do. The fact is that the VFL clubs survived (mostly) and the other proud century old clubs of Australian football state leagues are shadows of themselves. The heroes and champions are forgotten, while VFL awards of the Brownlow and Coleman etc continue on. The license fees paid off VFL debt, and the MCG has been completely made over, and Telstra Dome built, meanwhile AAMI Stadium in Adelaide has merely had minor face lifts in comparison and even forthcoming plans are just more facelifts. For many years non-Vic clubs had to go to Melbourne to play big finals despite finishing higher on the ladder than their opponents. Rule differences, the brand of footy used, even the colour of the behind posts, the way % is calculated, the way the team lineups are listed. The list goes on. Every aspect of footy is a concession to the VFL way of doing things.

You don't need me to go through all the gripes about the AFL. But a large chunk of them stem from the perception of how the national league came about. Have no doubt that most fans outside of Melbourne still regard the AFL as biased towards Melbourne because it came out of the VFL.

Like I said, what is done is done. We move on. If we still love the game we still follow it and support it. It's still the greatest game on Earth, and I do believe that the AFL has slowly grown to be more representative, and they do employ people from across Australia and they have turned a struggling competition into a vibrant and successful national competition and they are turning their attention outwards far more. Always worth remembering that a lot of sacrifices were made along the way. But when it comes to how people feel about the present I reckon it's important to focus on where you are going than where you've been - sounds like a nice idea anyway.

And as for Tasmanian footy, they went through all that too, except they didn't even get the consolation prize of their own AFL side.

---
Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Tasmania ready but told to wait
Authored by: Niels Schønnemann on Friday, December 19 2008 @ 09:14 pm ACDT

Of the current 16 AFL clubs, how many came out with a profit in 2008? And whats the membership count like for the 16 clubs? Is big membership = profit in todays AFL?