Contributed by: Wesley Hull
Riley Beveridge from the sww.afl.com.au website reports that Port Adelaide has a new partner in China for the next three years. After talk and speculation since the Gold Coast Suns withdrew from future agreements, St Kilda has formally been announced as the new opponent for the Power in Shanghai, commencing next season.
PORT Adelaide has struck a deal to take on St Kilda in its annual China clash from 2019 and beyond, with the two sides confirming a three-year agreement on Thursday.
Gold Coast had been Port Adelaide's opponents in Shanghai over the past two seasons, with the first home and away game played on Chinese soil back in the 2017 campaign.
However, the Saints will replace the Suns in 'hosting' a match at Shanghai's Jiangwan Stadium, which has a capacity of around 11,000 people for AFL matches.
Next year's match will be played on a Sunday in round 11, with the AFL confirming that the two sides will again have the bye the following week as they return to Australia.
Speaking on Thursday, the AFL's general manager of clubs and broadcasting Travis Auld said the agreement would allow both sides to plan for a long-term future in China.
"We have seen commercial and broadcast success in having hosted two premiership season matches in Shanghai in recent years and are pleased that St Kilda and Port Adelaide are committing to play a match each year from 2019 to 2021," Auld said.
"Port Adelaide has been leaders in engaging the Chinese market for the last few years and St Kilda has sought the opportunity to join them in playing future matches.
"To be able to commit to playing matches in Shanghai for at least the next three years will allow both clubs to develop long-term engagement strategies both here in Australia and in China, while building on the growth achieved in having hosted previous matches in China."
The AFL has also confirmed that match will be broadcast live by Fox Footy, while it will be simulcast into South Australia via Channel Seven.
Port Adelaide has won the two previous matches in China, beating Gold Coast comfortably on both occasions. Both matches drew crowds in excess of 10,000 people.
The original story by Riley Beveridge can be viewed at: http://www.afl.com.au/news/2018-10-25/saints-set-for-shanghai-showdown-with-port
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