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Demetriou: AFL expansion to 20 teams would include Tasmania

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Melbourne newspaper the Herald Sun this morning reported that AFL chief Andrew Demetriou has raised the prospect of the next stage of expansion to include clubs in Tasmania and either North Queensland or a third Western Australian AFL club.

Speaking at a Latrobe University alumni function last night, Demetriou said "if we were to have another team down the track you would have to say that Tasmania is the logical place for that team to be - and we have expressed that view to the Tasmanian Government."

"Beyond that, if we were to go to 20 teams and who knows, that may or may not happen, you'd have to think it wouldn't be a team in Melbourne because we've got 10."

"But a place like Western Australia, which is a booming state, or even northern Queensland, are the two places that have some attraction."

While the prospect of an AFL club in Tasmania, a state with a relatively small but traditionally footy-mad population, is sure to please many football fans, a move to 20 clubs anytime in the future has raised discussion of how far the talent pool can be stretched.

For international footy followers, more clubs could potentially open the way for more recruitment of non-Australian based talent. A North Queensland club, based in Townsville or Cairns, could be ideally located for tapping into the growing footy community in PNG and the Pacific Islands, with Cairns having already played host to a match between a young Oceania side and a Queensland representative team earlier this year.

For more, visit the original article Tassie gets a guernsey in Demetriou's vision for the future.

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Demetriou: AFL expansion to 20 teams would include Tasmania | 4 comments | Create New Account
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Demetriou: AFL expansion to 20 teams would include Tasmania
Authored by: Chris on Thursday, October 22 2009 @ 07:05 am ACDT

Demetriou talks about Tassie, which is probably a given, and then talks about Western Australia or Northern Queensland. However, WA and Queensland already have two teams. With a 15-20 year horizon, what about Auckland?

Demetriou: AFL expansion to 20 teams would include Tasmania
Authored by: Michael Christiansen on Thursday, October 22 2009 @ 12:41 pm ACDT

For any 15-20 year horizon :
then, at that time, hopefully AFL owns Docklands outright and has a Vic Govt funded boutique 3rd Melbourne stadium....

..a bit like the song "2525", if all the Melbourne Clubs have managed to survive, they should then be as solid as they'll ever be. Thus, beyond 15 years, the need to relocate/merge might not be so compelling.

Barassi's notion of success in Sydney to justify consideration for a Sydney hosted AFL GF includes 3-4 SYdney/NSW based teams going gang busters.....so.....might there be an argument for a new Syd team every 25 years? How about that Irish team out of Sydney!?!? (the SWAFL has the Bondi Shamrocks).

Nth Qld/NT (plus PNG/PI's) seems a good idea. A 3rd WA team seems a good idea, until the ore runs out.

NZ......really hard to see that - becuase, apart from anything, it's an off-shore team in the AFL. Is that really wanted? Otherwise, if that's tolerable, then South Africa would be more compelling sooner.

Demetriou: AFL expansion to 20 teams would include Tasmania
Authored by: tinka13 on Saturday, October 24 2009 @ 12:20 am ACDT

I think a Auckland side will only come in if there is a relocation from an ailling Melbourne side. They only two and half hours away on a plane from Victoria and Rugby, League, Soccer, Basketball, Netball etc don't seem to have a problem with it!

Demetriou: AFL expansion to 20 teams would include Tasmania
Authored by: Aaron Richard on Saturday, October 24 2009 @ 10:03 am ACDT

A couple of thoughts on Auckland, both for and against:

- As far as I know, the Auckland AFL has more players and clubs at the moment than the VRL did when the Melbourne Storm were set up. However, the Storm also the reasonable large VRU to count on for supporter base as well.

- The backlash from the nay-sayers when you propose more clubs in NSW and Qld is massive. The outcry if you said you wanted a club in NZ would be even bigger.

- Realistically, it'll take a few recruits from the NZAFL (not just Kiwis who are drafted from Australian clubs) making it into the AFL before you'll convince Australian fans that it's legit.

- With the NZ dollar weaker than the Australian, the operating costs will be a bit higher. Tickets, memberships etc bringing less revenue, the player payments costing more in local terms. Probably not a huge difference, but I know Canadian clubs in the NHL, NBA and Baseball have problems with this. With a big enough supporter base, it's not a huge issue, but for a NZ AFL club it could be.

Maybe if the NZ government wanted to underwrite it (like the Tasmanians do), or you had a NZ businessman who wanted to bankroll it, you could start by having a couple of games there each year. I think if it happens though, it'll be a while off, and my money's on Tassie and Cairns/Townsville first.

As I said above, I reckon Cairns/Townsville could be a potential base for a PNG and Oceania pathway into the AFL - Cairns has the strongest league in Queensland outside Brisbane and good facilities at Cazaly's that has hosted AFL matches. Townsville doesn't have as strong an Aussie rules scene, but it's a lot bigger and has a proven track record of supporting clubs in national competitions.

A North Queensland club could also maybe play one or two games each year in Port Moresby, if you could get the facilities and the financial underwriting.