Long-term future of the AFL.

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melbournemartin

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Whenever talking about new teams I find that there is this irrational need to balance the fixture. But in reality, adding any new team is a tremendous strain on the competition. If they add Tasmania they won't just add another few for the sake of getting to 22 or so such that everyone can play each other twice.

Nor will they say that with 19 teams we can afford to play everyone twice and just lose a few rounds each year.

I'd love a Tassie team, but I'd want that to be the only new team for 10 years or so. The AFL spread itself too thin adding GWS and GC at the almost same time.
 

HBFlanker

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If all goes to plan, it'll be at Western Springs. Artist's rendering below.

It's supposed to be "at least 18,000", but you can see there's room for expansion if it's needed.

Currently there's speedway at the venue, but they're attempting to do a stadium shuffle. Cricket from Eden Park to Western Springs, speedway from WS to Mt Smart, and League from Mt Smart to QBE / Eden Park. Eden Park is too expensive, and a terrible shape for cricket, so that has been the big catalyst, but articles suggest potential AFL matches are at least on the mind of planners, so hopefully that means the field is big enough for AFL

That was the plan at least. I believe Covid is delaying things because I haven't read much recently.

View attachment 1237727
Looks awesome, cheers
 

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LeverPuller

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Caps out at 20. NT doesn’t have the cash or population to support a team - they’ll be a basket case.

Tassie for 19, Canberra for 20. Theres 400,000 in Canberra and that’s without considering people driving from the Riverina, the Monaro, Goulburn or the South Coast - could be as many as 600,000. Bigger problem with a Canberra team is where they play - the Kingston NIMBYs will throw everything at preventing an upgrade of Manuka Oval.
 

JackFlash

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Ideally 16 or 18 teams and fully national, but that won't ever happen. If they go to 20 teams, then it should be 19 rounds and play every team once, That is unlikely unless they increase the number of finals games? TV and the dollars that go with it will determine the direction, fairness has nothing to do with it.
 

richoatthedisco

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If we got to 24 teams, it would almost certainly result in a promotion/relegation system. Two divisions of 12 fits the 22 rounds that the league seems stuck with. Its not something professional Australian sport does though, and salary caps and drafts make it a lot harder to implement, so it would be a difficult sell. I'm not even sure I like it, but it beats permanent conferences.

The current 18, plus Canberra, Tasmania, two more in Perth (one Joondalup and one in the city - financially these two are much more likely to work in the medium term than ACT or Tas, even though they would start very small, and West Coast would still be a behemoth). After that it gets harder.
I would expect south-western Sydney, as western Sydney is too big a region for the Giants to properly cover on their own. That gets to 23.
A third SA team seems unlikely, Adelaide hasn't got the money that Perth has.
FNQ isn't really viable, 4 hours between Townsville and Cairns, and not much media rights value. Not enough to bother trying to "convert" anyway.
Darwin maybe, they would have to play all games at night. And grow a lot.
A couple of people have mentioned Newcastle, that would be the next single population centre by population. And maybe by economy after Canberra. But is it a market the AFL would bother with, given how difficult the much larger (and more lucrative per eyeball for media rights) Sydney market is?

Another option might be 22 teams, with 12 in the top division and ten in the second.
This idea has merit. The salary cap and draft would work the same as they do today. Everyone has the same salary cap and the team that finishes last in Div 2 gets pick 1. The four prelim finalists from Div 2 could replace the bottom 4 from Div 1, or else just the grand finalists replace the bottom 2.

Conferences would be tough to work equitably in terms of travel, etc. I doubt non-Vic teams and fans would be happy if there were Vic and non-Vic conferences, but the Vic teams drawn into the same conference as the Perth sides would be disadvantaged compared to those that weren't.

Two divisions. Makes sense. Selling it to clubs and fans the sticking point, although as we know the AFL's attitude to fans is 'let them eat slightly cheaper pies'.
 

Vikingnz

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Anything over 20 would put the AFL above nearly any professional league I can think of which doesn't follow the US model of divisions and/or conferences - off the top of my head the only one I can think of is UK lower league football?
 

Nugett

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The double up of a rivalry isn't super important, but it's a good money spinner. Rivalries already aren't binary. Would Essendon consider Carlton and Collingwood their biggest rivalries, but they'd consider each other? So a rivalry round already isn't perfect, so not a major issue for expansion teams.

The more important reason for 22 rounds is every team having an even number of home games. Both for playing fairness and planning memberships.
how about year 1. Team A plays team B at Ground Team A
year 2 Team A plays team B at Ground Team B.

that way over a 2 year period every team gets to play the same amount of Home and Away.

Scrap the extra game we don’t need it.
 

Golumless

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Tasmania added as a football club. Seems inevitable now. Another thing I doubt we're too far off seeing is a national reserves league and the expansion of list sizes to accommodate that.

Beyond that, it's hard to say initially. Newcastle/Central Coast strikes me as another expansion location that'll probably happen in conjunction with Tasmania (but lagged by a few years). I imagine we're eying off NZ and Auckland for an international move. I can't see any more teams forming in SA/WA, seeing all they'll do is harm existing teams.
 

sprockets

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The NFL having 32 teams in a population of 330mil is irrelevant. In 1925 Australia had a population of 6mil and the AFL had 12 teams, which worked fine for decades. We now have 4 times the population plus anyone from overseas to pick from.

And why conferences? Why not, you know, the traditional Australian football way of first and second divisions, if required? Just because some other country does it differently doesn't mean we should swap everything over to their way of doing things.
 

Canberra Pear

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Caps out at 20. NT doesn’t have the cash or population to support a team - they’ll be a basket case.

Tassie for 19, Canberra for 20. Theres 400,000 in Canberra and that’s without considering people driving from the Riverina, the Monaro, Goulburn or the South Coast - could be as many as 600,000. Bigger problem with a Canberra team is where they play - the Kingston NIMBYs will throw everything at preventing an upgrade of Manuka Oval.
In defence of NIMBYs, the most recent Manuka bid was unsolicited from the Giants and Grocon. It included 140,000m2 of floor space between a hotel, residential, commercial and retail and a licenced club. I think that as part of the proposal, Grocon would also have had access to some previously public land to build that commercial area (can't find a source for that though). The would have had to move the pool, which is popular with locals. I believe another part was also the increased traffic that would arise.

I think there would be less NIMBYism if the proposal came directly from the ACT government. The next stage of the light rail will also come within 1km of the stadium (or 400m if I had my way), which would help ease traffic concerns too.

The only other chance of a new stadium in Canberra is jumping on board the new Raiders / Brumbies stadium. It's supposed to be 25-30k and possibly rooved.

It's currently planned for Civic (the CBD), but there wouldn't be enough room for an oval configuration. If it's built at EPIC (6km north of the city), which seems to be the plan b, the AFL and cricket could chip in a bit and make it a multi-sport oval.
 

Badger17

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I think there would be less NIMBYism if the proposal came directly from the ACT government. The next stage of the light rail will also come within 1km of the stadium (or 400m if I had my way), which would help ease traffic concerns too.
The light rail won't reach large portions of the city and buses are faster and more direct anyway, so you're better off building the new stadium in the best location over one specifically because it's on the light rail line.
The only other chance of a new stadium in Canberra is jumping on board the new Raiders / Brumbies stadium. It's supposed to be 25-30k and possibly rooved.

It's currently planned for Civic (the CBD), but there wouldn't be enough room for an oval configuration. If it's built at EPIC (6km north of the city), which seems to be the plan b, the AFL and cricket could chip in a bit and make it a multi-sport oval.
There's next to no chance that the government would turn the new rectangular stadium into an oval, that'd just start a shitstorm that wouldn't benefit anybody in the long run. The spectator experience at ovals for rectangular sports is terrible, so there really is no such thing as a 'multipurpose stadium' as it destroys the rectangular sports business, and sporting bodies and governments across the world have realised that hence most cities moving away from them to separate venues.

If you tried to get one up in Canberra the Raiders/NRL, Brumbies/ARU, and FFA would all fight it to the end. You'd instantly kill the A-league bid and I wouldn't be surprised if there was relocation talk amongst the others if the new stadium was an oval and Bruce was knocked down to help fund it (which is currently the plan), which would be bad PR for everybody involved, even the AFL. Lets put it this way; alienating almost every RL, RU, and Soccer fan in the ACT and surrounds would not be a good way for the AFL to engender support if they were launching a new club in the region.

Epic would be a terrible place for a stadium as well, it'd have all the problems Bruce has on roids. If I was the AFL (and Cricket Australia) I'd leave the rectangular stadium be and push for Phillip Oval to be the site of a new oval stadium.

Woden is relatively central and easy for everybody in Canberra and Queanbeyan to get to, and there's room for a stadium there without ruining the surrounding city. It's easy walking distance from a bus interchange, restaurants, pubs and clubs. There's plenty of parking and room to build more if you're smart about it. The next stage of the light rail is headed there as well. Basically it just makes a lot of sense, and I reckon the government would be up for it as well if there was a promise of an AFL license, and maybe a BBL license as well, in it for them.
 

Taylor

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The NFL having 32 teams in a population of 330mil is irrelevant. In 1925 Australia had a population of 6mil and the AFL had 12 teams, which worked fine for decades. We now have 4 times the population plus anyone from overseas to pick from.

And why conferences? Why not, you know, the traditional Australian football way of first and second divisions, if required? Just because some other country does it differently doesn't mean we should swap everything over to their way of doing things.
They weren't able to pay the players elite month for almost all of that time.
 

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Canberra Pear

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The light rail won't reach large portions of the city and buses are faster and more direct anyway, so you're better off building the new stadium in the best location over one specifically because it's on the light rail line.

There's next to no chance that the government would turn the new rectangular stadium into an oval, that'd just start a shitstorm that wouldn't benefit anybody in the long run. The spectator experience at ovals for rectangular sports is terrible, so there really is no such thing as a 'multipurpose stadium' as it destroys the rectangular sports business, and sporting bodies and governments across the world have realised that hence most cities moving away from them to separate venues.

If you tried to get one up in Canberra the Raiders/NRL, Brumbies/ARU, and FFA would all fight it to the end. You'd instantly kill the A-league bid and I wouldn't be surprised if there was relocation talk amongst the others if the new stadium was an oval and Bruce was knocked down to help fund it (which is currently the plan), which would be bad PR for everybody involved, even the AFL. Lets put it this way; alienating almost every RL, RU, and Soccer fan in the ACT and surrounds would not be a good way for the AFL to engender support if they were launching a new club in the region.

Epic would be a terrible place for a stadium as well, it'd have all the problems Bruce has on roids. If I was the AFL (and Cricket Australia) I'd leave the rectangular stadium be and push for Phillip Oval to be the site of a new oval stadium.

Woden is relatively central and easy for everybody in Canberra and Queanbeyan to get to, and there's room for a stadium there without ruining the surrounding city. It's easy walking distance from a bus interchange, restaurants, pubs and clubs. There's plenty of parking and room to build more if you're smart about it. The next stage of the light rail is headed there as well. Basically it just makes a lot of sense, and I reckon the government would be up for it as well if there was a promise of an AFL license, and maybe a BBL license as well, in it for them.
The light rail is getting there, but I get your point. Light rail isn't the most efficient, but it's a handy addition to have.

I like the idea of Woden. Right next to Westfield so it's already got all the transport and parking facilities, plenty of nearby pubs and restaurants, and central enough. And the light rail will pass it soon, so the best of both worlds. Woden CBD is booming too so plenty of people in walking distance. Probably less opposition from locals, too.
 

Roobs321

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Three major existential issues going forward seem to be concussion, generational interest in non-global football, and media rights. Covid economy, global warming and player council type stuff will also shift the game slightly.

On teams, 22 teams seems like a good cut-off. I don't want conferences, and if you went any bigger you'd probably see some Fitzroy tragedies and even relegation divisions.

I agree that the Suns for now could potentially be relocated to FNQ down the track (or be expanded as a state-esque team alternative to Brisbane). Tassie and a 20th team will come in, but beyond that I don't know at this point, depends on how Australia itself develops over the next few decades. 3 teams to a state is risky, and I can't see any more Victorian teams coming in. Darwin and Canberra are probably not that viable for now in their own right. You'd probably need to test those markets out with AFLW first and have the men follow down the track. Soccer and Basketball continue to underperform a bit as minor parties but could get their act together.
 
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Football Tragic

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Nov 11, 2010
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I agree with many here and think a Tasmania and Canberra teams would be the most likely next inclusions. I would also expect that if they do bring in a Tassie team the Canberra team will quickly follow to even up the fixture. I think this will occur before 2030.

Canberra has shown a surprising support for the game with membership and attendance to GWS games recently. With a good stadium deal, they could easily be self sufficient and then prosperous very quickly. Tasmania would get behind their own team and deserve a team after being a heartland state for the AFL since its conception.

Beyond that, I see another NSW team as a viable option. AFL continues to grow in support in the most populous state so a third team would certainly be a viable option in 20 odd years. Beyond that, I think a international team in a country such as India (where they already have many suitable grounds) could expand the game exponentially.
 

NoobPie

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The light rail won't reach large portions of the city and buses are faster and more direct anyway, so you're better off building the new stadium in the best location over one specifically because it's on the light rail line.

There's next to no chance that the government would turn the new rectangular stadium into an oval, that'd just start a shitstorm that wouldn't benefit anybody in the long run. The spectator experience at ovals for rectangular sports is terrible, so there really is no such thing as a 'multipurpose stadium' as it destroys the rectangular sports business, and sporting bodies and governments across the world have realised that hence most cities moving away from them to separate venues.

If you tried to get one up in Canberra the Raiders/NRL, Brumbies/ARU, and FFA would all fight it to the end. You'd instantly kill the A-league bid and I wouldn't be surprised if there was relocation talk amongst the others if the new stadium was an oval and Bruce was knocked down to help fund it (which is currently the plan), which would be bad PR for everybody involved, even the AFL. Lets put it this way; alienating almost every RL, RU, and Soccer fan in the ACT and surrounds would not be a good way for the AFL to engender support if they were launching a new club in the region.

Epic would be a terrible place for a stadium as well, it'd have all the problems Bruce has on roids. If I was the AFL (and Cricket Australia) I'd leave the rectangular stadium be and push for Phillip Oval to be the site of a new oval stadium.

Woden is relatively central and easy for everybody in Canberra and Queanbeyan to get to, and there's room for a stadium there without ruining the surrounding city. It's easy walking distance from a bus interchange, restaurants, pubs and clubs. There's plenty of parking and room to build more if you're smart about it. The next stage of the light rail is headed there as well. Basically it just makes a lot of sense, and I reckon the government would be up for it as well if there was a promise of an AFL license, and maybe a BBL license as well, in it for them.

Sorry dude but I reckon you are wrong on multiple counts

There wouldn't be large amounts of fans of a potential AFL club who would not support it because their feelings were hurt that a potential rectangular stadium became an oval one. I would suggest that would be a very small number in the long run.

Secondly, the AFL would know that if the government was spending hundreds of millions on a stadium in a small city like Canberra, then that's it. There will be no AFL stadium built for a new AFL club - even though the two oval sports are easily the biggest crowd drawers in Australia.

Just looked at the raiders crowds and, in a 20K plus stadium, they range from averages in the 14ks when they are good down to under 10K when they are bad. The Brumbies can't get 10k to a final anymore and there is no men's soccer team

If I was the AFL, and Canberra was a serious candidate for team 20, I would be negotiating now to ensure any significant new stadium build was an oval
 

Canberra Pear

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Sorry dude but I reckon you are wrong on multiple counts

There wouldn't be large amounts of fans of a potential AFL club who would not support it because their feelings were hurt that a potential rectangular stadium became an oval one. I would suggest that would be a very small number in the long run.

Secondly, the AFL would know that if the government was spending hundreds of millions on a stadium in a small city like Canberra, then that's it. There will be no AFL stadium built for a new AFL club - even though the two oval sports are easily the biggest crowd drawers in Australia.

Just looked at the raiders crowds and, in a 20K plus stadium, they range from averages in the 14ks when they are good down to under 10K when they are bad. The Brumbies can't get 10k to a final anymore and there is no men's soccer team

If I was the AFL, and Canberra was a serious candidate for team 20, I would be negotiating now to ensure any significant new stadium build was an oval
Way back in the day ACT Sport Minister Andrew Barr preferred the 30k "Super Stadium" option. It definitely hasn't seemed to be a preferred government option since, but talks have moved so slowly that the AFL would probably still have a chance. Especially if they chipped in a bit. Barr's now Chief Minister and an AFL fan (Hawthorn unfortunately).

Technology and designs are constantly improving, so if it's done well, I think moveable seats could give rectangular sports a pretty decent experience these days.
 

NoobPie

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Way back in the day ACT Sport Minister Andrew Barr preferred the 30k "Super Stadium" option. It definitely hasn't seemed to be a preferred government option since, but talks have moved so slowly that the AFL would probably still have a chance. Especially if they chipped in a bit. Barr's now Chief Minister and an AFL fan (Hawthorn unfortunately).

Technology and designs are constantly improving, so if it's done well, I think moveable seats could give rectangular sports a pretty decent experience these days.

Yeah obviously the rectangular sports would prefer a rectangular stadium built for them for free.

Also, it is irrelevant what is happening in the rest of the world with multipurpose stadiums. It is completely different for
-a rich soccer club that get's big crowds to insist (and pay for mind you) a rectangular stadium without an athletics track around it that is rarely used for a big crowd drawing event; than it is for a
-nrl or super rugby club (or non existent soccer club) that don't get big crowds and won't pay a cent of commit to a long term rent that locks in a capital contribution, to insist on a stadium design that the two big crowd drawing codes can't use.

It is also silly to talk about it "destroying their business". That might make sense if they had got together to build the stadium and the government uses planning powers to insist that it has to be multi purpose. If your business relies on the government building you a several hundred million dollar stadium exactly as you like with no strings attached, it aint a very good business
 

Badger17

Draftee
Jul 7, 2021
13
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Port Adelaide
Sorry dude but I reckon you are wrong on multiple counts

There wouldn't be large amounts of fans of a potential AFL club who would not support it because their feelings were hurt that a potential rectangular stadium became an oval one. I would suggest that would be a very small number in the long run.

Secondly, the AFL would know that if the government was spending hundreds of millions on a stadium in a small city like Canberra, then that's it. There will be no AFL stadium built for a new AFL club - even though the two oval sports are easily the biggest crowd drawers in Australia.

Just looked at the raiders crowds and, in a 20K plus stadium, they range from averages in the 14ks when they are good down to under 10K when they are bad. The Brumbies can't get 10k to a final anymore and there is no men's soccer team

If I was the AFL, and Canberra was a serious candidate for team 20, I would be negotiating now to ensure any significant new stadium build was an oval
I could go through and address each point individually but I can't be bothered, it's probably a waste of time anyway because you obviously exist deep inside a bubble.

So all I will say is this; the Canberra sports market is nothing like Melbourne's, and if the AFL try to treat it like Melbourne it will bite them on the arse.
 

NoobPie

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I could go through and address each point individually but I can't be bothered, it's probably a waste of time anyway because you obviously exist deep inside a bubble.
"I could go through and address each point individually but I can't be bothered (or unable?), so I will instead resort to an pathetic ad hominem attack"


So all I will say is this; the Canberra sports market is nothing like Melbourne's, and if the AFL try to treat it like Melbourne it will bite them on the arse.
The Canberra market is nothing like Melbourne's because, more than anything, it is 1/10th of the size.

I am not sure how anything I wrote suggested the AFL should treat Canberra like Melbourne.

My main point's are

-the AFL should assume that, if the ACT builds a new stadium, it will be the only new stadium for decades in a small place like Canberra and that it should do everything to make sure it is an oval (particularly if there is a prospect of an AFL club there in the future).
-this would have next to no impact on the future prospects of support for an AFL club in canberra. The kind of people who would be angry that a fully tax payer funded stadium was oval so the AFL and cricket can use it as well would be not be the kind of people who would support an AFL club anyway.
 

Badger17

Draftee
Jul 7, 2021
13
9
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Port Adelaide
Yeah obviously the rectangular sports would prefer a rectangular stadium built for them for free.

Also, it is irrelevant what is happening in the rest of the world with multipurpose stadiums. It is completely different for
-a rich soccer club that get's big crowds to insist (and pay for mind you) a rectangular stadium without an athletics track around it that is rarely used for a big crowd drawing event; than it is for a
-nrl or super rugby club (or non existent soccer club) that don't get big crowds and won't pay a cent of commit to a long term rent that locks in a capital contribution, to insist on a stadium design that the two big crowd drawing codes can't use.
The fact that almost every American, European, and even Australian cities, have moved away from major multipurpose stadia is very significant IMO. It shows a pattern of expensive multipurpose stadiums not fitting the needs of cities across the world and having to be replaced.
It is also silly to talk about it "destroying their business". That might make sense if they had got together to build the stadium and the government uses planning powers to insist that it has to be multi purpose. If your business relies on the government building you a several hundred million dollar stadium exactly as you like with no strings attached, it aint a very good business
Yeah because the AFL isn't reliant on taxpayers to fund stadia for them either. . .

I haven't said that the government doesn't have the right to say 'screw you we're building an oval' to the rectangular sports. All I'm saying is don't be surprised if they say screw you back, and that that isn't in anybody in the ACT's interests, not even the AFL's.
 

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