Long-term future of the AFL.

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Aussie in exile

Club Legend
Nov 21, 2013
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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.

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Who's going to pay for it?
If the AFL want to play games there it will cost them a pretty penny, and no help from the local taxpayers
 

weewilly

Team Captain
Jul 18, 2003
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Quite often talk about the future of the AFL revolves around expansion.

The AFL has a team in Australia’s 6 largest cities (struggling in the 6th). But that doesn’t mean the next couple of biggest are ready for a team too. Simply consider how much smaller they are compared to the big 5.

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Sometimes it’s hard to conceptualise the size of things based on numbers, with graphs being better.

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Melbourne excluding Geelong is now at 5.3+ Million based on the latest 2021 figures.
 

Aristotle Pickett

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Oct 19, 2020
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There needs to be an off-season spring/summer league from mid October to January.
There's not much happening in sports in that period, only horseracing which is becoming more unpopular and soccer .
Make it a semi-professional league with about 6 teams.
Call holding the ball straight away so players aren't getting getting injured or wasting energy unnecessarily.
Play games at night and sell TV rights, plenty of people will watch it.
Have teams with a minimum of 6 players over 35 to include ex-AFL players.
People would watch it imo.
 

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Cubs2Lions

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Jan 12, 2021
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There needs to be an off-season spring/summer league from mid October to January.
There's not much happening in sports in that period, only horseracing which is becoming more unpopular and soccer .
Make it a semi-professional league with about 6 teams.
Call holding the ball straight away so players aren't getting getting injured or wasting energy unnecessarily.
Play games at night and sell TV rights, plenty of people will watch it.
Have teams with a minimum of 6 players over 35 to include ex-AFL players.
People would watch it imo.
That's why AFLW will be played during the summer in the distant future (2024+) so that the AFL Men's Competition will run from March - October, while the Women's will run from October - March (the following year), therefore creating a 12 month calendar of Australian Rules Football.
 

RedV3x

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Dec 14, 2015
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Who's going to pay for it?
A sorely needed cricket stadium in New Zealand would obviously be paid for by the New Zealand taxpayers.
I don't think that New Zealand cricket is healthy enough to contribute much.
Luckily the proponents of the stadium development can see the AFL as a potential renter.
 

RedV3x

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Dec 14, 2015
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There needs to be an off-season spring/summer league from mid October to January.
There's not much happening in sports in that period, only horseracing which is becoming more unpopular and soccer .
Hopefully AFLW will fill that spot.
I see this as more of an opportunity for state leagues to try something innovative.
On a national scale you could have a state premiers competition or a state representative competition.
Even if it were only one game a week. that would assure good attendances and ratings with minimal cost.
 

TWLS

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Jul 19, 2015
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Who's going to pay for it?
If the AFL want to play games there it will cost them a pretty penny, and no help from the local taxpayers
Note the date on rendering -2016. That project is a long term deal for the Kiwis however in the blurb our game gets a mention which is a positive- I think.
Someone tell Jacinta the money she saves in her defence budget because we (Australia) cover her defence in reality could be allocated to Western Springs upgrade.
If it gets built the AFL will likely chip in somewhere according to past remarks by Gil however he will be long retired by then.
 

Bjo187

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Apr 30, 2020
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That's why AFLW will be played during the summer in the distant future (2024+) so that the AFL Men's Competition will run from March - October, while the Women's will run from October - March (the following year), therefore creating a 12 month calendar of Australian Rules Football.
Has this been stated as happening? It would be a smart thing to do asap, October and November are there for the taking.
 

Aussie in exile

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Nov 21, 2013
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There needs to be an off-season spring/summer league from mid October to January.
There's not much happening in sports in that period, only horseracing which is becoming more unpopular and soccer .
Make it a semi-professional league with about 6 teams.
Call holding the ball straight away so players aren't getting getting injured or wasting energy unnecessarily.
Play games at night and sell TV rights, plenty of people will watch it.
Have teams with a minimum of 6 players over 35 to include ex-AFL players.
People would watch it imo.
There's a game called Cricket that's played in that time
 

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Aussie in exile

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An AFL Spring/Summer league would have comprable ratings to bigbash imo.
Shorter quarters and ex-Afl players would be the formula.
I'm surprised it has never been tried by some entrenprener.
Cricket clubs are not going to let AF be played in their season, unless they are paid big compo, and i mean big compo, and certainly not on of the major grounds.
 

Rob

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An AFL Spring/Summer league would have comprable ratings to bigbash imo.
Shorter quarters and ex-Afl players would be the formula.
I'm surprised it has never been tried by some entrenprener.
Do you know what the BBL rates? Zero chance of getting comparable ratings for a 2nd tier league. You're sounding like some soccer people that insist a 2nd division would be popular.

It's not that it's necessarily a bad idea, but keep the expectations realistic. Might be lucky if Fox wants to show it and if it gets 100k nationally.
 

RedV3x

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It's not that it's necessarily a bad idea, but keep the expectations realistic.
Considering that:
1. We're talking about a national competition.
2. The AFLW has reasonable ratings.
3. The second tier competitions still get reasonable ratings in competition with AFL.
4. It could be an exciting night game series with new atmosphere.
5. A night series doesn't clash with cricket.
6. The majority of people don't watch cricket.
 

Rob

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Considering that:
1. We're talking about a national competition.
2. The AFLW has reasonable ratings.
3. The second tier competitions still get reasonable ratings in competition with AFL.
4. It could be an exciting night game series with new atmosphere.
5. A night series doesn't clash with cricket.
6. The majority of people don't watch cricket.
The AFLW gets reasonable ratings because they're AFL teams with ready made supporter bases. A bunch of nothing teams with 2nd tier talent is not the same recipe.

It's not that it's not something worth exploring - far from it - but you can't just create AFL lite and expect people to come crawling out of the woodwork. It would need to sell something different to the AFL.
 

Canberra Pear

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Nov 26, 2016
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I actually think we cannot determine the success of the Gold Coast Suns until they have some on-field success. I still hold up some hope that they would achieve decent attendances if they were a top 6 team.
Agreed.

The Suns have had pretty solid support considering they've never finished above 12th. They've usually still managed to get crowds higher than the Giants, and in recent pre-Covid years were actually getting higher crowds than the Titans.

If timing went right, and the Suns had some good years while the Titans had a few bottom years, the Suns could easily dominate the Gold Coast. They still need to be called "Gold Coast" and play a majority of their of their games at Metricon to be able to do that though.

I think if the Suns didn't exist, the Titans might have already folded. There were four NRL teams before the Titans and none of them lasted longer than six seasons. The Titans have been on death's door a few times. If the Suns didn't start up, I think the NRL would have let the Titans fold/relocate/merge already.
 

RedV3x

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Dec 14, 2015
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A bunch of nothing teams with 2nd tier talent is not the same recipe.
Yeah, like AFL reserve teams dominate state competitions - NOT.

It would need to sell something different to the AFL.
Firstly you have state competitions that collectively draw and rate.
Secondly these would be in effect state teams - a very high standard.

I wouldn't hire you as a marketing manager.
A summer night competition creates a host of opportunities.
It's a night competition - it has an attraction in itself.
State Vs state - state pride on the line, always a big puller.
Exciting play - no AFL coaches or AFL umpires - I'm salivating already.
The opportunity for the competition to innovate.
 

Gigantor

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State Vs state - state pride on the line, always a big puller.
Exciting play - no AFL coaches or AFL umpires - I'm salivating already.
The opportunity for the competition to innovate.
Melburnians account for at least half of all AFL ratings, and they don't give a damn about state vs state, never have.
Also, Fox experimented with a 2nd tier cup type of comp, it generated very little interest.
No one is going to stump up cash for it, it's as simple as that.
 

RedV3x

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The_Wookie

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Jul 2, 2010
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Melburnians account for at least half of all AFL ratings, and they don't give a damn about state vs state, never have.
Ok thats not really true - it was fairly keenly followed up until at least 1991. Post AFL interest definitely dropped


Also, Fox experimented with a 2nd tier cup type of comp, it generated very little interest.
It was poorly promoted and wasnt exactly AFL quality using second tier clubs that were on Fox only.

No one is going to stump up cash for it, it's as simple as that.
If they can find cash for the abomination that was AFL-X then it could be done for this.

The problem is the league needs the space for the womens comp.
 

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