I'd leave it on 19 teams (who cares if there's a bye) until the NT becomes viable, and I'd move GWS to Canberra ASAP. The endgame for me would be at least one team in every state and territory in the country. I think one team is enough for Sydney. The AFL desperately wants two there because they're greedy, but I don't think it will work.It's a bit before my time, but that's my understanding too. The capital was moved from Melbourne, and it brought a lot of Victorians with it. Then a few subsequent waves of West and South Australians meant footy was strong. It was essentially an extension of the Riverina. We could be in a very different situation if the VFL took action back then. The footy support is still strong, but doesn't have the single team to focus support on the way the Raiders have (and the media, school visits etc that that brings).
For the four pre-Covid seasons, the Raiders averaged 13,252. If that 60/40 translated exactly, that would mean crowds of 19,877 for an AFL team. That's more than the Giants, Suns - and even more than North against non-Victorian teams.
I can't see anywhere else mentioned for Team 20, except possibly Perth, getting anywhere near those crowds.