20th AFL Team

Which location will be the home of the 20th AFL team?

  • Total voters

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Team Captain
Nov 30, 2006
AFL Club
Other Teams
Swan District
Also Tas could come in as Team 19. And after some time, the league may reduce down to 18 teams… either through mergers or folding… you never know.

Canberra Pear

Team Captain
Nov 26, 2016
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
I disagree.

The 11 games from team 19 are worth far more than the 11 games from team 20. The weekly bye allows for more Thursday night games. That is where the next 11 games will be fixtured, most likely on FTA. This slot is second only to Friday nights in eyeballs. Adding a tenth match per round the game will either be the second night game (on Fox Footy) or second Sat arvo on Fox’s secondary channel. Both these slots are overlapping and won’t draw half the eyeballs as the Thursday slot.

I also disagree.

The bye doesn't really do much for Thursday games. The AFL has played large chunks of consecutive Thursdays before without a bye. Last year, rounds starting on Friday were still the norm (at least the majority) and they managed to fit nine games into them every week. A tenth game can help solidify the Thursday timeslot.

I actually think Canberra would be more desirable than Tasmania for broadcasters.
  • RegionalTAM considers the Canberra market bigger than Tasmania, 566k to 534k. That's not including the 300k in the Riverina that would be drawn into the Canberra market
  • Tasmanians already watch the footy. Canberra has many neutrals, so a team would bring in new eyeballs
  • Canberrans have 22% higher disposable income than Tasmanians, so Canberra viewers are worth more to advertisers (and therefore broadcasters)

The ladder will also be a pain all season long with teams not having played as often as each other. Excluding the few bye weeks, the ladder is simple now.

Secondly, Tas currently has around 25 listed players. Without a team, this could well drop to 15 in 10/20 years. With a team, it is likely to grow - say 35. The difference of 30 player will make a decent offset to the 19th team and extra players required. No other location can say the same.

Once again, I disagree.

Firstly, 35 is only 20 players more than 15. And any new team in a currently unrepresented area will get a boost from having their own team. Tasmania's not unique.

If Canberra entered, they would be the closest team to the hometown of 40 players currently in the league. If those towns continue contributing talent, it'd be an easy daytrip for families instead of a flight to Melbourne or Sydney. I'd say it would be likely that a Canberra team, including a stronger academy focus on the Riverina, and the ability to stay connected to friends and family, there would be a big boost of Canberra players in the Riverina. The Raiders have been playing games in Wagga, so similarly, that number might go down if we don't get a team.

We've had eight Canberran men drafted since 2015. Prior to that we had a 10 year gap of no draftees. Canberra has had a huge boost from having the Giants and we're only just starting to see the benefits now. I'd say with our own team, Canberra would probably be producing about three players a year.

So a Canberra could also add 20-30 players to the talent pool.

The NT could possibly add another 20 players in that situation, too. So many Territorians never never pursue their career because they don't want to move away from family, and more retire earlier than they had to to return. The NT would still be reliant on interstate talent, but it would increased the overall pool.

Tas is a much safer bet as we know it is footy heartland. Sure, footy in Canberra was just as big or bigger than RL pre-Raiders, but how do we know that the media, and fans will get behind a team the way Tassie will? (They probably will).

It's still bigger than RL now.

fargothegreat recently showed that AFL fanaticism is pretty similar in the ACT and Tasmania (28%-30% of the population respectively). Canberra aren't as desperate to get on board as Tasmania, we don't have the same parochialism, but it's not that far behind Tasmania as a footy heartland (even post-Raiders).

So, if you think the team 19 has an uphill battle for entry, team 20 will be much much harder. Plus no one at the AFL has even mentioned it. It is simply not on the radar.

Of course Team 20 is on the radar. This isn't the NRL where they rush through an expansion side, it's the AFL, where they plan 50 years ahead and put the teams where they think is best. Not only is Team 20 on the radar, Team 21 and Team 22 probably are, too.

Sidenote: I didn't mean for this to become a Canberra v Tasmania post. I'm very keen on Canberra AND Tasmania together.