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Door opening for New Zealand AFL club
Authored by: tinka13 on Tuesday, January 15 2013 @ 02:25 pm ACDT

Lets get back to the article, do you believe NZ can sustain an AFL side in the near future? Lets look at the facts?; you have 4 million people, 1 million in Auckland (where the game is biggest). You will need to have at least 10% (400,000) of the country interested in following the game to some degree and at least 10% (40,000) of them, interested enough to become paid up members. Sponsors would be mainly common to Australia and NZ with a few locals.

Can this happen, is the AFL serious enough to invest for 10 years or more. There has always been a belief, that if you are not expanding, then you are declining? Wellington has good ground, but Auckland doesn't - everything cost heaps!

I look at it this way, we share Rugby, Basketball, Soccer, etc with NZ sides, so some day its going to be AFL as well. The sooner we plan and get serious about it the better and Melbourne is struggling supporting 9 teams. Should it be the FAR Eastern Bulldogs or the KIWI KANGAROOS?

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Door opening for New Zealand AFL club
Authored by: pants on Wednesday, January 16 2013 @ 06:54 am ACDT

It would have to be in Auckland

I've always said, the AFL should help re-develop Western Spirings and there's been some promising news regarding the re-allocation of Auckland's sporting faciltiies.

The main point is moving speedway out of Western Springs and delevoping Western Springs for Test Cricket as Auckland doesn't have a decent test cricket venue.

If the AFL had any vision, they'd contact Auckland Council and cough up some cash to make it happen.

Here's the link: www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/auckland-city-harbour-news/8089425/Warriors-move-on-the-cards

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Door opening for New Zealand AFL club
Authored by: Brett Northey on Wednesday, January 16 2013 @ 04:57 pm ACDT

Hey Tinka,

I understand the sentiment but I'm not sure suggesting "FAR Eastern Bulldogs or the KIWI KANGAROOS" endears international footy to a lot of supporters in Melbourne!

Definitely thought the AFL will need to ramp up its investment in NZ if a viable club was to be based there in anything like 10 to 20 years.  But the trajectory of effort/spend over the last 3 years has been pretty good - thinking the Hawthorn committment and HANZ Up and now St Kilda and the ANZAC Day match and the move to have many more tiers of national sides for NZ development and AFL 9s.  If that kind of growth in support was replicated for a few more years then it all starts to look more achievable.

Pants' suggestion about the stadium in Auckland at Western Springs is very interesting.  It has even hosted an AFL match previously.  I'm another person who thinks surely Auckland has to be the go in terms of supporting a permanent club.  The suggestion that the AFL should support ensuring a venue in Auckland can host AFL matches is very sensible.  Where would the Wellington ANZAC Day match concept be if they had no suitable ground?  It wouldn't be happening.  Read the following article for some background on AFL exhibition matches in NZ and the efforts to ensure Wellington can host AFL matches now through intervention when the ground was being developed... hopefully the AFL tries to get involved in a similar way:  Opinion: New Zealand football – a personal perspective from across the Ditch

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN
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