Expansion Canberra

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Canberra Pear

Senior List
Nov 26, 2016
161
195
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Yes this.

Trying to grow the game in 2 regions instead of just concentrating on WS was a misstep in my opinion. As well as it is going.
I agree long-term. Canberra has been sort of a lifeboat for GWS, and showing they're capable of floating on their own will be good for their WS base. And a strong GWS is Canberra's best shot for their own team, too. I'd personally like to see ANZ take a game during the Easter Show against a big Vic side.

But in the short-term, it looks like GWS looks keen to stay. It could be a good transition plan if GWS drops to two games, and we get two Vic teams in to play "home" games, too. But I'd like GWS to remain the "away" team for those Vic games. Canberra has gone back and forth between "home" teams, but after a decade with GWS, there's actual loyalty behind the Giants support now. Canberrans like AFL, but they want a team to barrack for, not just "yay AFL".
 

Johnny Bananas

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 10, 2010
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A sugar refinery
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I like your thinking. I'd like to see Hawthorn and the 'Roos play home games against the Giants here (like teams did in Cairns against the Gold Coast) on top of the three GWS home games. That way we'd get five GWS games and we'd be getting close to a home team. Maybe St Kilda too as they seemed keen to jump on the Tassie bandwagon.

A lot of the image perception with GWS is their part-time status, but if we could get six "home" games in Canberra, they'd only be two short of the Brumbies.
And you're not concerned that this would lock Canberrans into supporting GWS, hurting their prospects of having their own team as the AFL would think they're already a captive market?
 

Canberra Pear

Senior List
Nov 26, 2016
161
195
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
And you're not concerned that this would lock Canberrans into supporting GWS, hurting their prospects of having their own team as the AFL would think they're already a captive market?
A little bit. It's a bit of a catch 22, showing that we could support more of a full-time team by simultaneously already showing we're a captive market.

I'm not too concerned about Canberra fans not being able to switch to a new team. I would say the Giants are still a second team for the majority of Canberra AFL fans. I've been a member since 2016, even bussed to Sydney for two finals, but the moment they play Port, they're dead to me. GWS being a relatively new entity was easy for Canberrans to jump on, there's no baggage that would come with a Victorian team (for instance, I would find it very hard to barrack for Hawthorn if they played home games here).

I'd say our biggest hurdle is GWS' perceived reliance on Canberra. They don't want to destabilise the Giants. So we need to walk the fine line between moving more Giants games to Sydney, and not losing our AFL presence in Canberra.

I'm not opposed to having Saints, Hawthorn and GWS all playing two home games each (as Walshawk mentioned) , it'd just be a bit of a logistical effort to coordinate support. They might have to work with the AFL to come up with AFL Canberra memberships to get into all the games.
 

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Johnny Bananas

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 10, 2010
8,068
10,751
A sugar refinery
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
A little bit. It's a bit of a catch 22, showing that we could support more of a full-time team by simultaneously already showing we're a captive market.
The only way is through rotating a few teams during the season as you mentioned, and I'm concerned that buying GWS away games isn't truly going to do that. Even if GWS get to the stage where they're able to sell out the Showground every week, I'm not sure they'd want to abandon Canberra given the money they can make out of memberships there, and I'm not sure the AFL would want to make them do so.
 

Canberra Pear

Senior List
Nov 26, 2016
161
195
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
The only way is through rotating a few teams during the season as you mentioned, and I'm concerned that buying GWS away games isn't truly going to do that. Even if GWS get to the stage where they're able to sell out the Showground every week, I'm not sure they'd want to abandon Canberra given the money they can make out of memberships there, and I'm not sure the AFL would want to make them do so.
That’s a good point. I’d wanted a unified support a single adopted team, but it probably isn’t beneficial in the long run to get our own team. We run the risk of being similar to Tasmania and just being used as a cash cow.

Our benefit over Tasmania is I believe we’re less lucrative. I think the Hawks are getting $1m per game, compared to $400k for GWS. The Hawks are getting $4m a year, and the Giants $2.3m, but half of GWS’ payments are earmarked for player development in the Canberra region.
 

Canberra Pear

Senior List
Nov 26, 2016
161
195
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Including Canberra and everything in NSW southwest of Canberra, there were 40 players in the AFL in 2019. And another in Tathra. This all comes under what I would assume to be Canberra's "territory".

A bulk of that is in the Riverina, but Canberra would provide an attractive option for new players within a few hours' drive from their families.

Juniors are going well in WS, so by the time Canberra comes in we should be able to claim the local talent without undermining GWS too much.

2019-NSWACT-players-in-AFL-724x1024.jpg
 

Canberra Pear

Senior List
Nov 26, 2016
161
195
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
But do them players live in Western Sydney?
I'd say most of those players probably live in the inner west. There'd be some pretty nice places still close to the Westconnex Centre.

But I see Canberra's attraction more as a big country town feel similar to what Geelong promotes. With much of the recruitment from the Riverina-Murray, there'd be plenty of players from small towns who'd prefer Canberra to Sydney. As an Adelaide (a small town of sorts) transplant, I 100% prefer Canberra to Sydney (sorry any Sydneysiders reading).
 

Canberra Pear

Senior List
Nov 26, 2016
161
195
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
My initial worry with an upgraded Manuka Oval was its lack of transport options, but I think the next stage of the light rail will actually make the stadium pretty accessible compared to now (still not great for parking). From what I can tell, the plan is for Stage 2B to be complete by about 2026, which would be before any Canberra team comes.

The red station would be about a 1km walk. For context, the SCG and Metricon are about a 2km walk from their closest station. The purple station is option 2. It's less likely, but would be incredible if chosen. It's only 550m to Manuka Oval, which is similar to Adelaide Oval and its closest station.

Light-Rail-Gungahlin-to-Woden-d.jpg
 

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