NT wants a club within 10 years

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Bunk Moreland

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The Northern Territory is plotting a shock bid to join Tasmania in the race for an AFL license.

AFL NT is set to unveil a 100-page report, which has been funded by the NT government, by the end of March exploring the viability of a 19th or 20th AFL franchise.

AFL NT officials are eyeing the establishment of team by 2030 that would be dominated by indigenous players and play out of Darwin and Alice Springs.
Seems like a long shot but in any case, the value really doesn’t reside in a 19th club but in a 20th, as it means an extra game each week.
 

Forward Press

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Population of Darwin - 132k
Population of Alice Springs - 25k

Cairns - 150k
Townsville - 178k
Gold Coast - 550k
Newcastle - 322k
Canberra - 395k
Wollongong - 295k
Ballarat - 101k
Bendigo - 110k

I don't think it's viable. The idea is romantic (sides in all capital cities) but the feasibility seems questionable.
 

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Donakebab

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If they needed a 19th and 20th club there are plenty more viable candidates. Third teams in NSW and WA would surely be the front runners.
I'm not arguing for an NT team at all, only saying I can see the reason why the NT government would push for one.

Tassie is clearly the 19th team. I can't see the AFL wanting to fracture the NSW market any time soon, but it certainly is the right population for it in another 15-20 years. WA does make sense, but in reality it would just be a third team in Perth region, which wouldn't grow the game at all.
 

Forward Press

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I'm not arguing for an NT team at all, only saying I can see the reason why the NT government would push for one.

Tassie is clearly the 19th team. I can't see the AFL wanting to fracture the NSW market any time soon, but it certainly is the right population for it in another 15-20 years. WA does make sense, but in reality it would just be a third team in Perth region, which wouldn't grow the game at all.
Perhaps but given the consistent popularity of West Coast and Fremantle a third WA team is a more likely money spinner which is what it's all about in the end rather than romantic notions of equity and spreading out of teams.

I'd bet my house on a third WA team before Tasmania, and a third NSW team before NT.
 

La Dispute

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Would be an uphill battle getting players to sign on, and draftee retention would be appalling if they were to institute a team up there.

It’d be great if they can play more away GC and Brisbane games up there, but with its current population and growth projections it could not sustain a full time AFL team.
 

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NoobPie

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Only reason would be for the TV rights. Extra games means extra broadcasts means extra advertising.
The TV rights thing is a bit misleading.

The main reason the 9th game may have increased TV rights is it increased the amount and proportion of the TV content that was subscription only. In the longer term it may add value through adding extra clubs in the biggest and third biggest markets.

A tenth game would add less of the first and nothing for the second if the extra teams in Tasmania and the NT
 

Seedsfan

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Only reason would be for the TV rights. Extra games means extra broadcasts means extra advertising.
Extra game doesn’t mean extra money, the last few years the NRL has become the most watched competition in Australia, why? Because of how the games are structured on the weekend you never have two games going head to head, this sees them maximise TV audience
 

DEVO

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Population of Darwin - 132k
Population of Alice Springs - 25k

Cairns - 150k
Townsville - 178k
Gold Coast - 550k
Newcastle - 322k
Canberra - 395k
Wollongong - 295k
Ballarat - 101k
Bendigo - 110k

I don't think it's viable. The idea is romantic (sides in all capital cities) but the feasibility seems questionable.
Those Canberra figures a way out of date, so I'd assume the others would be as well.
Canberra's population is now closer 425-430,000 and Queanbeyan is close to 40,000. Canberra is also around 90 minutes from the Riverina which has a strong footy history. Canberra would be a better option than NT.
 

Forward Press

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Those Canberra figures a way out of date, so I'd assume the others would be as well.
Canberra's population is now closer 425-430,000 and Queanbeyan is close to 40,000. Canberra is also around 90 minutes from the Riverina which has a strong footy history. Canberra would be a better option than NT.
It's the first result from a Google search which I believe is sourced from the latest census (which was four years ago) so it might indeed be out of date.

And yeah Canberra would probably be more likely than NT for an AFL team.
 

LordLucifer

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Whilst the notion of an NT team sounds nice when you read it in the paper, the reality is that there just isn't enough people up there to support a professional sports team in a national competition.

Darwin is no.17 on the cities by population list with a mere 132K there. The other thing is that they play their sporting codes opposite to the rest of the country (ie. cricket in our winter & footy in our summer) due to the seasonal weather patterns.

Using the cities with populations of 200K or more as a measuring stick, then this is how the competition should be structured in the future :

1. Sydney - 3 teams
2. Melbourne - 5 teams
3. Brisbane - 2 teams
4. Perth - 3 teams
5. Adelaide - 3 teams
6. Gold Coast-Tweed Heads - 1 team
7. Newcastle-Maitland - 1 team
8. Canberra-Queanbeyan - 1 team
9. Central Coast - 1 team
10. Sunshine Coast - 1 team
11. Wollongong-Illawarra - 1 team
12. Geelong - 1 team
13. Hobart - 1 team
 

Seedsfan

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Auckland would be a chance of getting a team down the line. Football may not be huge there but the game has a long history in the city. It had a population of 1.6 million and with the cricket ground they are developing in Western Springs Auckland city council is looking to attract AFL to the city.

The first game in Auckland was back in 1870

The average crowd for the games played in Wellington was 16k while not great

It also increases the AFL’s foot print and opens up a new market for TV rights

On top of that it gives you another time zone with NZ being ahead of us so you would be able to give the game clear air
 

Professor Knowall

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Would be an uphill battle getting players to sign on, and draftee retention would be appalling if they were to institute a team up there.

It’d be great if they can play more away GC and Brisbane games up there, but with its current population and growth projections it could not sustain a full time AFL team.
Agree. - and the NT population is actually getting even smaller -
NT at the bottom of the barrel – Alice Springs News

www.alicespringsnews.com.au
www.alicespringsnews.com.au
www.abc.net.au

Only one capital city in Australia saw its population fall last year
The drop comes despite a multi-million-dollar government spending program to attract people to the region.
www.abc.net.au
www.abc.net.au
Just a couple of months ago, I was talking to a cousin, a plumber, who has just left Darwin (one of many) after living there for nearly a decade, saying the economy there is "shot" and the "only thing still keeping the place surviving is Centrelink". The whole economy up there is now basically reliant on the Federal Gov't spending (our taxes).

If the NT can't even support a NEAFL team (which it couldn't) there's no way known it could get remotely close to supporting an AFL club.
 

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