Expansion Canberra

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Aeons

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There you go again, blaming GWS. Maybe the AFL just doesn't think Canberra actually is fertile expansion ground, regardless of how successful the Giants are?

Or even Los Angeles! Precisely the point, if GWS move their secondary home ground to somewhere else, Canberra's viability as an AFL market does not magically improve.
Just some insight from someone from Canberra. Despite it having a good local comp it will always be rugby union and league heartland. The population of Canberra that might be interested in supporting AFL are very transient in that they are living in canberra for work (public service or defense) and if they are from another part of Australia there is a very good chance that they would already support another club. The afl tried marketing the roos as a Canberra team a while ago and couldn't give away memberships....
 

3rd Grade Maggy

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Just some insight from someone from Canberra. Despite it having a good local comp it will always be rugby union and league heartland. The population of Canberra that might be interested in supporting AFL are very transient in that they are living in canberra for work (public service or defense) and if they are from another part of Australia there is a very good chance that they would already support another club. The afl tried marketing the roos as a Canberra team a while ago and couldn't give away memberships....
Sure you're from here?
 

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Walshawk

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Just some insight from someone from Canberra. Despite it having a good local comp it will always be rugby union and league heartland. The population of Canberra that might be interested in supporting AFL are very transient in that they are living in canberra for work (public service or defense) and if they are from another part of Australia there is a very good chance that they would already support another club. The afl tried marketing the roos as a Canberra team a while ago and couldn't give away memberships....
It matters not if people in Canberra already have another AFL team. THey will still attend games. If they have kids the kids will pick up the local team. If Tassie works well, the AFL will be more likely to go to a smaller market like Canberra.
 

Rob

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There have been plans slowly progressing for a (possibly covered) CBD stadium for the past decade or so. It's to replace the rectangular stadium at Bruce. At the moment it looks like plans are just for a rectangular replacement, but a multi-use stadium was discussed earlier on.

Canberra's always mentioned for potential BBL expansion, too, so a bit of diplomacy from the AFL and cricket could make it a mini Docklands.
Is there such a thing as a mini Docklands? You couldn't build it that much smaller otherwise the roof is too low.
 

3rd Grade Maggy

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It's a good local comp for north of the Barassi Line.

Pre-NEAFL, the Swans reserves travelled to play in the Canberra comp because there wasn't enough competition in Sydney.
It's a six team comp where the bottom two sides routinely get beaten by 25 goals unless they are playing each other. One of the six teams doesn't have an Under 18's side. It's very far from a good competition, north of the Barassi line or not.
 

Canberra Pear

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Just some insight from someone from Canberra. Despite it having a good local comp it will always be rugby union and league heartland. The population of Canberra that might be interested in supporting AFL are very transient in that they are living in canberra for work (public service or defense) and if they are from another part of Australia there is a very good chance that they would already support another club. The afl tried marketing the roos as a Canberra team a while ago and couldn't give away memberships....
I wouldn't really call Canberra a league heartland any more than a footy heartland. Counting men's teams actually in the Canberra-Queanbeyan area, in 2021 there are 15 playing league and 33 playing footy. Twice as many senior men's footy teams. With player numbers needed for Aussie Rules, there could be close to three times as many senior men's footy players.

It's only seen as a league heartland because of the success of the Raiders.

Was Canberra really in a different situation to Hobart with the Roos? North was only here for six seasons before they left us for a better offer. They still managed to average 11k crowds and a couple of sell-outs.
 

Canberra Pear

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It's a six team comp where the bottom two sides routinely get beaten by 25 goals unless they are playing each other. One of the six teams doesn't have an Under 18's side. It's very far from a good competition, north of the Barassi line or not.
Fair call regarding the disparity. The top four have remained pretty strong and competed relatively well in the NEAFL, but Gungahlin and Tuggeranong have some work to do.

Gungahlin has only been in the First Grade since 2015 and they're still miles behind. I think there's improvement, it'll just take time. They don't have the same assets as the rest of the league. Tuggeranong hasn't been able to match it with the top four for quite a while, but still managed to beat Mt Gravatt and UWS in the NEAFL. I believe AFL Canberra is now including rules to ensure more players are homegrown (to balance the richer clubs' advantage) so I would hope that gap would close in the future.
 

Aeons

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It matters not if people in Canberra already have another AFL team. THey will still attend games. If they have kids the kids will pick up the local team. If Tassie works well, the AFL will be more likely to go to a smaller market like Canberra.
You seem to have missed my comment that there are many people who live in Canberra that are essentially just living there temporarily, in other words they are transient. Let me be clear, I am not against Canberra having an AFL team, I am just realistic about the limited chances of such an endeavour being successful.
 

Badger17

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Some good points. And you're correct (at least about me), an Adelaide transplant to Canberra.

There's talk about Parkes Way being lowered to better connect the city and lake, which would allow for some flexibility for the stadium to expand southwards, but I still think it's still unlikely any Civic stadium would be an oval (as much as I'd prefer this option). Not logistically impossible, but very expensive.

If Canberra went for the EPIC option for the new stadium, I'd say there's a much greater chance of oval sports being included. EPIC has much more space for a larger stadium. It would also be cheaper, so more money remaining for an oval configuration. It's on the light rail, but is quite a distance from the south (for Canberra standards). Would also lack a lot surrounding atmosphere.

I think Manuka Oval could still be a good option if it's upgraded. I know the last redevelopment was quashed by locals, but I think that was more around the circumstances rather than the upgrade itself as the proposal would've benefited the developer more than the community. The light rail extension will get a stop within 1km (possibly closer depending on the route chosen) and make the stadium a lot more accessible than it currently is.
Even with Parkes Way being realigned the plot can only fit a roughly 20k rectangular stadium, and building the new stadium in EPIC would have all the same issues that Bruce stadium has, i.e it'll be a waste of money unless it's built in a city centre.

We shouldn't worry about the light rail either, it won't reach most of the city (even parts that it's promised to reach), and busses are faster and carry a larger load anyway.
Interesting point about Canberra's perception in the region. I definitely wouldn't be opposed to Canberra hosting 11 home games, but I like the idea of giving back to the areas where many of the players would come from.

I think the Bulldogs are a good example to follow. They're selling their Bulldogs brand to Ballarat, not basing their brand around Ballarat. The Dogs are getting more than $600k for a game, so it's not unreasonable to think Canberra could get $800k for two games across Albury and Wagga.

I know Albury and Wagga might not have any affinity for Canberra, but the excitement of having a footy game would be enough until it grew its base. GWS got 6.5k to Wagga for just a preseason match. There'd be a lot of support for Canberra's Riverina players, too. Those areas would be in a Canberra academy area so eventually all the kids would grow up aiming to play for Canberra and you'd win over fans as the Giants have in Canberra (the orange has grown a lot in a decade).
You can support the regions without playing loss making games in them.

If a Canberra club was going to play home games away it would have to be in a place that can afford to underwrite them, and unfortunately that's not places like Wagga or Albury. Maybe Newcastle would be interested.
I honestly hadn't even noticed the Brumbies' rebrand until you'd said it then. I swore my whole time in Canberra I'd heard "ACT Brumbies", but not sure if that's them misspeaking or me mishearing. Either way, not a good rebrand.
That's because everybody still refers to them as the ACT Brumbies because of what an utter failure their attempted growth in NSW was.

The Raiders have had more success in the bush but that is because the Raiders are really just an extension of the Queanbeyan Blues, and that RL is way more popular, but generally speaking Canberra teams that have tried to grow into Southern NSW have failed spectacularly and I can't see an AFL team being any more successful.
 

Badger17

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I wouldn't really call Canberra a league heartland any more than a footy heartland. Counting men's teams actually in the Canberra-Queanbeyan area, in 2021 there are 15 playing league and 33 playing footy. Twice as many senior men's footy teams. With player numbers needed for Aussie Rules, there could be close to three times as many senior men's footy players.

It's only seen as a league heartland because of the success of the Raiders.

Was Canberra really in a different situation to Hobart with the Roos? North was only here for six seasons before they left us for a better offer. They still managed to average 11k crowds and a couple of sell-outs.
Comparing the amount of community club teams doesn't really give a good reflection of the popularity of each sport.

For on thing most people whom play RL casually, and RU to a lesser extent, play touch or tag, not the full contact versions of the sport. Even a lot of ex-NRL players play touch/tag over full contact. Aside from that there're tons of people whom are diehard supporters of sports but don't participate.

On whether RL or Aussie Rules is bigger in Canberra, well it's hard to say and really depends on how you are measuring it (do we include transients or not for example). Broadly speaking I'd say they are roughly the same size give or take, and that you shouldn't underestimate the latent support that RL has in the city and surrounding regions.

RL would also be way bigger in Canberra by now if the NRL hadn't neglected the region (and everywhere else outside Sydney and SEQ) for the last 30 odd years, but the NRL's incompetence is a whole other discussion.
 

Walshawk

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You seem to have missed my comment that there are many people who live in Canberra that are essentially just living there temporarily, in other words they are transient. Let me be clear, I am not against Canberra having an AFL team, I am just realistic about the limited chances of such an endeavour being successful.
I don’t think it matter if people are transient either. Although you may only be talking about 10% - 20% of the population
 

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Canberra Pear

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Comparing the amount of community club teams doesn't really give a good reflection of the popularity of each sport.

For on thing most people whom play RL casually, and RU to a lesser extent, play touch or tag, not the full contact versions of the sport. Even a lot of ex-NRL players play touch/tag over full contact. Aside from that there're tons of people whom are diehard supporters of sports but don't participate.

On whether RL or Aussie Rules is bigger in Canberra, well it's hard to say and really depends on how you are measuring it (do we include transients or not for example). Broadly speaking I'd say they are roughly the same size give or take, and that you shouldn't underestimate the latent support that RL has in the city and surrounding regions.

RL would also be way bigger in Canberra by now if the NRL hadn't neglected the region (and everywhere else outside Sydney and SEQ) for the last 30 odd years, but the NRL's incompetence is a whole other discussion.
Participation might not be a truly accurate reflection, but I think it's good ballpark number. Especially in response to Canberra being called a league heartland compared to footy.

The NRL may have stymied league growth in Canberra, but having the Raiders' presence alone has been good for the sport in the city. For league and footy to be relatively on par without an AFL team is a credit to footy and shows its support. If we had an AFL and AFLW team, constantly in the media, visiting schools and community events, then footy's grassroots and support would be even greater.
 

Canberra Pear

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I don’t think it matter if people are transient either. Although you may only be talking about 10% - 20% of the population
I would agree that the population is becoming less and less transient. When I first moved Christmas stand down was a relative ghost town, but there's more people staying in Canberra every summer.

Anecdotally, in my friendship group, only about 10% of interstaters are considering moving back home in the future.

Yes, Defence is a large employer for Canberrans, but the majority of those are civilians whose roles will remain in Canberra. And for serving personnel, it's probably the most stable Defence location. Most senior positions are in Canberra so it's where many personnel aspire to be career-wise.
 

Badger17

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Participation might not be a truly accurate reflection, but I think it's good ballpark number. Especially in response to Canberra being called a league heartland compared to footy.
If participation numbers alone gave even a good ballpark number of the overall support of a sport then soccer would be by far the largest football code in all of the Anglosphere, and I think we can both agree that outside of the UK that simply isn't the case. In my opinion it's impossible to get a good reflection of the rate of support for a code (or sport in general) from a singular data point, and I think that cherry picking a singular statistic to push an agenda is unhelpful if the goal is to seek the truth of the matter.

I also think that because of the city's history that whether or not Canberra is a RL heartland is a much more complex question than it may seem on the surface, but whether it is or isn't doesn't really matter when it's been treated as a redheaded stepchild by the governing bodies of RL for such a long time. In other words, whether it is or isn't a RL heartland, as things stand Canberra is ripe for a competent competitor to come in and slice out a share of the professional sports market.

However in saying that the surrounding regions definitely are RL heartlands whether or not Canberra is, and to underestimate their influence on the market would be a mistake, but that is a whole other issue.
The NRL may have stymied league growth in Canberra, but having the Raiders' presence alone has been good for the sport in the city. For league and footy to be relatively on par without an AFL team is a credit to footy and shows its support. If we had an AFL and AFLW team, constantly in the media, visiting schools and community events, then footy's grassroots and support would be even greater.
I think we agree that both Aussie Rules and RL aren't meeting their full potential in Canberra, but I reckon that if they both were (i.e. the AFL had a professional presence here, and the NRL actually cared about the grassroots and local footy outside of Sydney and parts of Qld, etc) that you'd probably end up in the exact same spot that we are now in Canberra just on a larger scale, with the two being of similar popularity and it being hard to determine which is more popular than the other.

At the end of the day I don't think that it really matters anyway. As long as you can cut out a niche large enough for the sport to be sustainable and do well in the city/region who really cares which sport is more popular.
I mean do you think that KFC really cares that McDonald's has bigger market share as they count their billions of dollars?
 
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Established1870

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The afl tried marketing the roos as a Canberra team a while ago and couldn't give away memberships....
1) No one cares about North
2) No one cares about a side who might as well come in with a giant banner saying "we're only here for the money thanks"
3) Reread 1
 

General Giant

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Just some insight from someone from Canberra. Despite it having a good local comp it will always be rugby union and league heartland. The population of Canberra that might be interested in supporting AFL are very transient in that they are living in canberra for work (public service or defense) and if they are from another part of Australia there is a very good chance that they would already support another club. The afl tried marketing the roos as a Canberra team a while ago and couldn't give away memberships....
To be fair the AFL and Kangas have tried marketing North as a Canberra side, A 2nd Sydney side, a Gold Coast side and more recently a Tassie side.

It isn’t the locations but the club they are selling off.
 

Teen Wolf

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To be fair the AFL and Kangas have tried marketing North as a Canberra side, A 2nd Sydney side, a Gold Coast side and more recently a Tassie side.

It isn’t the locations but the club they are selling off.
Then why oh why is it that two of those locations have their own club now, while the other two don't.

It's not like North is the only club to sell home games to Canberra or Tassie (some hotshots have even sold games to different countries!). Those locations have had plenty of other chances to make a case for getting their own clubs, but for some reason the AFL appears to remain unconvinced.
 

Canberra Pear

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If participation numbers alone gave even a good ballpark number of the overall support of a sport then soccer would be by far the largest football code in all of the Anglosphere, and I think we can both agree that outside of the UK that simply isn't the case. In my opinion it's impossible to get a good reflection of the rate of support for a code (or sport in general) from a singular data point, and I think that cherry picking a singular statistic to push an agenda is unhelpful if the goal is to seek the truth of the matter.

I also think that because of the city's history that whether or not Canberra is a RL heartland is a much more complex question than it may seem on the surface, but whether it is or isn't doesn't really matter when it's been treated as a redheaded stepchild by the governing bodies of RL for such a long time. In other words, whether it is or isn't a RL heartland, as things stand Canberra is ripe for a competent competitor to come in and slice out a share of the professional sports market.

However in saying that the surrounding regions definitely are RL heartlands whether or not Canberra is, and to underestimate their influence on the market would be a mistake, but that is a whole other issue.

I think we agree that both Aussie Rules and RL aren't meeting their full potential in Canberra, but I reckon that if they both were (i.e. the AFL had a professional presence here, and the NRL actually cared about the grassroots and local footy outside of Sydney and parts of Qld, etc) that you'd probably end up in the exact same spot that we are now in Canberra just on a larger scale, with the two being of similar popularity and it being hard to determine which is more popular than the other.

At the end of the day I don't think that it really matters anyway. As long as you can cut out a niche large enough for the sport to be sustainable and do well in the city/region who really cares which sport is more popular.
I mean do you think that KFC really cares that McDonald's has bigger market share as they count their billions of dollars?
I think we both agree. I think given a full-time AFL team, the Raiders and the AFL club would be on pretty level footing support.

Footy doesn't have to be bigger than league or union, there's more than enough room for all of them. The only reason I bring them up is a common argument against a Canberra team is that it's a rugby heartland. But I think the numbers show that it's very much a multi-code city and footy could have similar success.
 

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Then why oh why is it that two of those locations have their own club now, while the other two don't.

It's not like North is the only club to sell home games to Canberra or Tassie (some hotshots have even sold games to different countries!). Those locations have had plenty of other chances to make a case for getting their own clubs, but for some reason the AFL appears to remain unconvinced.
The reason is potential growth.

Greater Western Sydney has 2 million potential new fans and provides the Swans with a derby. The Gold Coast has 700k is growing fast, provides the Lions with a derby, and also another team to take to Cairns, Townsville etc.

Growth has been impressive in NSW and Qld and it's largely to these two expansions (and AFLW). These were the correct two expansions.

Tasmania and Canberra are absolutely capable, but couldn't provide the same long-term high potential so they've been overlooked. They will still provide benefit though and are obvious choices for 19 and 20.
 

Badger17

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To be fair the AFL and Kangas have tried marketing North as a Canberra side, A 2nd Sydney side, a Gold Coast side and more recently a Tassie side.

It isn’t the locations but the club they are selling off.
GWS hasn't really been all that much more successful in Canberra than the Kangaroos were.

They have more resources and money behind them then the Roos did, but people that go to GWS games are disproportionately represented by expats and the vast majority actually support other teams. Also what fan base they have actually built in Canberra will largely dissipate quickly after they leave just like the support for the Roos, and other clubs that have played games here, did.

So really all GWS has had over North Melbourne in Canberra is a stronger long term commitment and a larger marketing budget.
 

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I think it makes sense you bring in the others and give them a 10 year head start to gain support as both tassie and canberra will have instant support no matter when you bring them in.
 

Teen Wolf

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The reason is potential growth.

Greater Western Sydney has 2 million potential new fans and provides the Swans with a derby. The Gold Coast has 700k is growing fast, provides the Lions with a derby, and also another team to take to Cairns, Townsville etc.

Growth has been impressive in NSW and Qld and it's largely to these two expansions (and AFLW). These were the correct two expansions.

Tasmania and Canberra are absolutely capable, but couldn't provide the same long-term high potential so they've been overlooked.
Yeah so it's got everything to do with the profile of Canberra and Tasmania, not sure why people are acting like it's got anything to do with who sold what home games when.

They will still provide benefit though and are obvious choices for 19 and 20.
Clearly the AFL doesn't agree, at least not yet.
 

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Canberra is miles and miles behind Tassie in terms of getting an AFL side.
And that's really saying something.
Be thankful to get our 3 Giants games each season.
 

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