Tasmanian AFL supporters/members

PerthBoy86

Norm Smith Medallist
May 23, 2016
5,403
3,969
AFL Club
West Coast
Curious about the demographic breakdown of supporters/club members in Tasmania, if there are any discernible trends. I'm sure there are polls/stats on membership/breakdown by club. I wonder if Hawthorn and North playing in Tassie has earned them many members. In terms of supporting VFL/AFL clubs was it pretty random? Perhaps due to family connections etc? Do a lot of Tasmanians simply just not follow any AFL club, watching more for entertainment, and focusing more on local footy? I know many in and out of Tasmania would love to see a dedicated Tasmanian team, including myself, but I just wanted to get a picture of Tasmanian football fans.
 

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PerthBoy86

Norm Smith Medallist
May 23, 2016
5,403
3,969
AFL Club
West Coast
Most of them support VIC clubs. They get the same free-to-air games as Victoria.
I guess many just choose whichever one they fancy, which isn't all that different to many in Melbourne, who don't have any other reason to support one club over another.

Growing up in Perth in the 90s, before the Dockers, supporting the Eagles was simply the default since they were the Perth/WA team. You supported the Eagles, Perth Wildcats, Western Warriors lol, Perth Glory etc. While I definitely don't regret supporting the Eagles, it seems fun to be able to choose a Melbourne club to support, and having so many local clubs. I guess technically we could even in Perth, but few did, though I had one friend who decided to be a Saints supporter and still is lol. WAFL had basically been relegated after the Eagles joined, so being an Eagles or Dockers fan is still strongly attached to West Australian identity.
 

Luv_our_club

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 14, 2017
5,788
10,309
AFL Club
Hawthorn
It is largely historical based on great Tasmanian players. Hawthorn always had great support there because we had great Tasmanian players, like Peter Hudson, Pritchard, Birchall... some i am forgetting.
 

PerthBoy86

Norm Smith Medallist
May 23, 2016
5,403
3,969
AFL Club
West Coast
It is largely historical based on great Tasmanian players. Hawthorn always had great support there because we had great Tasmanian players, like Peter Hudson, Pritchard, Birchall... some i am forgetting.
Yeah I was thinking that could be a factor. What about Richmond with Richo, Brisbane with Lynch?
 

The King!

Chosen One
Aug 3, 2004
103,205
84,542
Backwater
AFL Club
Sydney
Other Teams
Cavs, Redsox, Patriots
hawthorn were big for a while and obviously bigger now, i know a few who have a membership to go to games but hawks are their second team, but a lot of kids are going to be ironed on hawks fans because of their presence here.

Kangaroos not as much yet- but presume will have the same affect in Hobart maybe

Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon always big, Richmond


Sydney have quite a big support base down here for whatever reason


Stkilda historically popular too.
 

Kingpin

Brownlow Medallist
Jan 15, 2004
12,574
501
AFL Club
Richmond
Carlton and Geelong are well supported over here, as are Collingwood.
I went to a pre-season game at North Hobart in early 1996 between Geelong and Carlton which pulled over 19,000 to North Hobart.
Richmond obviously are very well supported over here, the AFL attendance records for both York Park and Bellerive Oval both involve Richmond, I was at both matches.
 

TheKanga

Brownlow Medallist
May 31, 2011
15,954
9,658
Hobart
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Arsenal, Melbourne City
There is a pretty big Hawks following.
Not sure if some were bandwagoners.

Richmond & Carlton also have plenty of fans here.

I started supporting North in the late 90s as a kid.
 

madmug

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 17, 2009
15,184
8,496
Hobart
AFL Club
Collingwood
It probably mainly goes back to the Ian Stewart, Royce Hart, Barry Lawrence, Darryl Baldock, Brent Croswell, Percy Jones, Peter Hudson, Rodney Eade, Ian Patton days of the 1960's & 70's, then onto the days of TV games starting in the late 70's. We also have ex Tassie VFL & VFL players come over here to coach which further kept interest on VFL teams. Peter Knights, Billy Picken, John Bingley, John Jillard, John Devine, Darry Sutton, Hudson & Baldock again, & others.
I have friends who followed VFL teams because of those guys & the colour of the jumper etc. So its a combination of reasons. TV has slowly killed local footy for attention.
I've always been Collingwood. Dad liked the B&W so I followed suit. I liked John Greening. Sad his career ended in such a shocking way. His brief comeback was amazing. He would have been one of the greats of Tassie footy & Collingwood except fpr O'Dea's thuggery off the ball. I was upset for ages over that.
 

Tassieboy

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2009
14,282
5,351
kanamaluka
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Hurricanes
Tasmanian club support is very similar to Melbourne's demographic. Although I would argue Melbourne Demons have a lower proportion of support here than they do in Melbourne.
 

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Howard Littlejohn

Brownlow Medallist
May 30, 2006
14,520
7,768
Canberra
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Launceston was heavily Hawthorn long before they started playing games there. Locally, the Hawks had the same levels of support as Carlton, Collingwood or Essendon. It is part of the reason why Hawthorn chose there rather than Hobart (I vaguely recall once games were announced, it was party due to there being something like five times as many pre-existing northern Hawk members as southern ones). It was hell growing up in the 80s around Lonny.

St Kilda are strong on the north-west and in Hobart, but in 26 years living in the north-east I don't think I ever met a Saints fan from Launceston; or that part of the state. Very few Melbourne, South/Sydney and Fitzroy fans too - but some.
Richmond probably the second tier of supporters, statewide. North some way behind them, and smatterings of Dogs, Cats and so on.

Some kids (at the time, I guess in their 30s now) who weren't rusted on to anyone before started to get behind Freo, Port, etc as the new teams .

One of the big differences is that Tasmanians had mostly abandoned local footy well before the AFL came into being. WA and SA only dropped off once they had VFL/AFL teams. By the 70s Tasmanians were VFL first, then the local comps - which was quite different to those two states. Quite a few my age, and almost all significantly younger, never followed any local league (state league once there was one, or regional league).
 

madmug

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 17, 2009
15,184
8,496
Hobart
AFL Club
Collingwood
Launceston was heavily Hawthorn long before they started playing games there. Locally, the Hawks had the same levels of support as Carlton, Collingwood or Essendon. It is part of the reason why Hawthorn chose there rather than Hobart (I vaguely recall once games were announced, it was party due to there being something like five times as many pre-existing northern Hawk members as southern ones). It was hell growing up in the 80s around Lonny.

St Kilda are strong on the north-west and in Hobart, but in 26 years living in the north-east I don't think I ever met a Saints fan from Launceston; or that part of the state. Very few Melbourne, South/Sydney and Fitzroy fans too - but some.
Richmond probably the second tier of supporters, statewide. North some way behind them, and smatterings of Dogs, Cats and so on.

Some kids (at the time, I guess in their 30s now) who weren't rusted on to anyone before started to get behind Freo, Port, etc as the new teams .

One of the big differences is that Tasmanians had mostly abandoned local footy well before the AFL came into being. WA and SA only dropped off once they had VFL/AFL teams. By the 70s Tasmanians were VFL first, then the local comps - which was quite different to those two states. Quite a few my age, and almost all significantly younger, never followed any local league (state league once there was one, or regional league).
I'd like to know the actual figures their. It was always hard to find a saint supporter, like with Melbourne, they won SFA, but they were around when they won a few games. Baldock was a hero here. I knew many Hawks supporters in Hobart & that was because of Peter Hudson & the 1971 & 76 premiership. Lots of Carlton, Essendon, Richmond & Collingwood. I knew 1 Fitzroy, nil Footscray, nil North or South Melbourne, can't remember any Geelong supporters until I met one at work. Just about everyone at my first job followed local footy & had a VFL team.

Lets be honest, the real reason the Hawks 'chose' Launceston was the political decision to play cricket in the South & football in the North. Football for the seat of Bass. Simple as that. If the 'North' had so few Saint supporters then why did StKilda play their too? Answer, Politics of Bass. The question at the time was why wouldn't they play 1 team in Launy & 1 in Hobart? Clearly it was all about sucking up to the Northern electorate. Saint Kilda only left because coach Thomas didn't like the ground for some reason, the saints kicked an own goal with that decision.

The politics of Bass did a lot of damage to footy in the south. Its clearly damaged our efforts at getting an AFL team. It meant the AFL could ignore us. Look at the mess in local footy now. Thats the result. At least its shone a light on the mess created by political actions.

Local footy support was strong until the advent of TV Games starting in the late 1970's & increasing through the 1980's. Remember the biggest TFL crowd was the 1979 GF, 24,968. Even 1988 GF was The best club crowd was 8480 in 2011 when Akermanis played for Glenorchy, which showed people would turn up to see footy personalities. Like when Hudson returned home to play in 1975.

Even the VFL Devils got good support, including 11k for a semifinal in 2006. People will support locals when the know the players. Being amalgamated with North Melbourne killed it off.
 

Howard Littlejohn

Brownlow Medallist
May 30, 2006
14,520
7,768
Canberra
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I'd like to know the actual figures their. It was always hard to find a saint supporter, like with Melbourne, they won SFA, but they were around when they won a few games. Baldock was a hero here. I knew many Hawks supporters in Hobart & that was because of Peter Hudson & the 1971 & 76 premiership. Lots of Carlton, Essendon, Richmond & Collingwood. I knew 1 Fitzroy, nil Footscray, nil North or South Melbourne, can't remember any Geelong supporters until I met one at work. Just about everyone at my first job followed local footy & had a VFL team.

Lets be honest, the real reason the Hawks 'chose' Launceston was the political decision to play cricket in the South & football in the North. Football for the seat of Bass. Simple as that. If the 'North' had so few Saint supporters then why did StKilda play their too? Answer, Politics of Bass. The question at the time was why wouldn't they play 1 team in Launy & 1 in Hobart? Clearly it was all about sucking up to the Northern electorate. Saint Kilda only left because coach Thomas didn't like the ground for some reason, the saints kicked an own goal with that decision.

The politics of Bass did a lot of damage to footy in the south. Its clearly damaged our efforts at getting an AFL team. It meant the AFL could ignore us. Look at the mess in local footy now. Thats the result. At least its shone a light on the mess created by political actions.

Local footy support was strong until the advent of TV Games starting in the late 1970's & increasing through the 1980's. Remember the biggest TFL crowd was the 1979 GF, 24,968. Even 1988 GF was The best club crowd was 8480 in 2011 when Akermanis played for Glenorchy, which showed people would turn up to see footy personalities. Like when Hudson returned home to play in 1975.

Even the VFL Devils got good support, including 11k for a semifinal in 2006. People will support locals when the know the players. Being amalgamated with North Melbourne killed it off.
I know the Mercury always puts that forward as a state government thing. its part of both their north-bashing and Labor-bashing. It was Howard government "Better Cities" funding that was available (which was only to regional centres and highly favouring in marginal seats), and Hawthorn made the call - not government. (That money should have been spent on the failing flood levies but that's another issue.) The "cricket in the south, footy in the north" line from Jim bacon and co came later and was always total BS.
St Kilda played in Lonny because by then the ground was already upgraded. They failed there because they had zero latent local support. And, yes, Grant Thomas played his part in them pulling out.
 

madmug

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 17, 2009
15,184
8,496
Hobart
AFL Club
Collingwood
I know the Mercury always puts that forward as a state government thing. its part of both their north-bashing and Labor-bashing. It was Howard government "Better Cities" funding that was available (which was only to regional centres and highly favouring in marginal seats), and Hawthorn made the call - not government. (That money should have been spent on the failing flood levies but that's another issue.) The "cricket in the south, footy in the north" line from Jim bacon and co came later and was always total BS.
St Kilda played in Lonny because by then the ground was already upgraded. They failed there because they had zero latent local support. And, yes, Grant Thomas played his part in them pulling out.
The Mercury were correct. It was Pork barreling at its best. The Howard better cities was $5million spent on York Park & $5million spent on Bellerive.

The Footy in the north & Cricket in the south was very much a political decision. Yes it was BS. Both YP & BO should have had cricket & footy. We had 2 upgraded Ovals, both should have been better used.

As far as I can find on 'AFLtables', the average StKilda crowd at York Park over 8 games was 16844, Hawthorn average over 60 games is 15413. So 'latent local support' appears not to be StKilda's problem. It was Grant & a short sighted StKilda administration. That seems clear.
 

PHX

Quarterback Style
Jan 15, 2006
33,023
6,734
Oz
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Orlando Magic, Baltimore Ravens
It's incredible going to Hawthorn games in Launceston. Hawthorn certainly already had a good following in Launceston but the kids with Hawks gear on is insane and a testament to the work that Hawthorn has done.

As yet I don't feel that same connection with North Melbourne when attending games in Hobart but it is much earlier for North in establishing themselves.

And I think that shows in the crowd figures where Hobart can get a crowd when a popular team comes down but the base for a low crowd is worse in Hobart than Launceston when a less popular or interstate team comes down.
 

BobbyMorri

Norm Smith Medallist
May 4, 2009
6,813
5,010
Tasmania
AFL Club
Sydney
Other Teams
Scunny, Furth
It was the saints fault they left Launny. They were doing really well in Melbourne and had a shocking record down here. Nothing to do with local support. The saints are well supported down here, especially with the older generation of Baldock/Stewart etc.

I liked Footy in the North/ Cricket in the South when I lived on the NW. But I am glad they finished that. Think/hope both regions know that they need to share nowadays. Hobart is the bigger city, Launny is in a better location for everyone.

Blundstone Arena is crap with its limited seating and location. I wonder how much that is limiting attendance.

The Southern Huskies foundation membership drive($10 with no guarantee of having an NBL side) hit over 1,000 in its first day
 

sverik25

Norm Smith Medallist
May 31, 2008
5,380
6,056
Melbourne
AFL Club
St Kilda
Other Teams
Gold City Royals
St Kilda made the decision to leave Tasmania because it was the belief of the club then (esp. Grant Thomas) that by playing home games down there it was giving up its home ground advantage. St Kilda had a 50% winning record in Launceston from home games in 2003-2006, a period where overall, they won 61% of matches. There were no issues with crowds - St Kilda's lowest crowd in its time there was 12,465 against Fremantle on a wet day in 2005 (I should know, I was there), and its next lowest was 15,282.

There is absolutely no reason why St Kilda's tenure in Launceston couldn't have been successful over a much longer period. The decision made at the time was definitely short-sighted and one of St Kilda's biggest mistakes in recent memory.
 

Freo Quokkas

Cancelled
Jun 27, 2016
447
285
Hobart
AFL Club
Fremantle
I have followed one or both WA clubs.

I stopped following AFL for several years after the disrepute and damage Ben Cousins and company did.

Even now, it could take Freo until 2023 or longer to reach the summit or pinnacle.

1994 - Established
2003 - First finals match.
2013 - First Grand Final

Tasmanian AFL fans are like refugees, they have to find clubs based elsewhere to follow or support.

The money spent by the Tasmanian Government on Hawthorn ($19 million for 5 years, or CPI of $3.8 million per year) would be better spent on things that actually benefit local people - housing, health, education, hospitals, schools.

TT Line (Spirit of Tasmania ferry service - State Government Enterprise) is sponsoring North Melbourne to play in Hobart until 2021.

Come 2022 to 2030, probably no Tassie Devils.
Despite certain media reports claiming the AFL will eventually want to increase and expand to 20 clubs for greater TV rights revenue.
But WA 3, Canberra, who knows?

Parochialism between Northern and Southern Tasmania would need to be resolved for the goal of 'One State, One Team.' (Every second home match would need to be in turns at Bellerive and Launceston.)

Economist Saul Eslake said the myth that Tasmania can't afford to run its own AFL club is nonsense, considering Geelong (also regional) has a smaller population. (Even if most of their supporters are based in Melbourne.) How is Ford still their major sponsor when they closed their factory and ended their manufacturing operations there?

A combined North Melbourne/Tasmanian AFLW club and team is entering the AFLW next year. (With financial support from the Tasmanian Government to the sum of $500,000 each year for 5 years.)

Fremantle recruited ex pat Tasmanians:
Alex Pearce, Lachie Weller (now back on the Gold Coast with most of his family), Hugh Dixon (Yet to debut.)
 
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madmug

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 17, 2009
15,184
8,496
Hobart
AFL Club
Collingwood
I have followed one or both WA clubs.

I stopped following AFL for several years after the disrepute and damage Ben Cousins and company did.

Even now, it could take Freo until 2023 or longer to reach the summit or pinnacle.

1994 - Established
2003 - First finals match.
2013 - First Grand Final

Tasmanian AFL fans are like refugees, they have to find clubs based elsewhere to follow or support.

The money spent by the Tasmanian Government on Hawthorn ($19 million for 5 years, or CPI of $3.8 million per year) would be better spent on things that actually benefit local people - housing, health, education, hospitals, schools.

TT Line (Spirit of Tasmania ferry service - State Government Enterprise) is sponsoring North Melbourne to play in Hobart until 2021.

Come 2022 to 2030, probably no Tassie Devils.
Despite certain media reports claiming the AFL will eventually want to increase and expand to 20 clubs for greater TV rights revenue.
But WA 3, Canberra, who knows?

Parochialism between Northern and Southern Tasmania would need to be resolved for the goal of 'One State, One Team.' (Every second home match would need to be in turns at Bellerive and Launceston.)

Economist Saul Eslake said the myth that Tasmania can't afford to run its own AFL club is nonsense, considering Geelong (also regional) has a smaller population. (Even if most of their supporters are based in Melbourne.) How is Ford still their major sponsor when they closed their factory and ended their manufacturing operations there?

A combined North Melbourne/Tasmanian AFLW club and team is entering the AFLW next year. (With financial support from the Tasmanian Government to the sum of $500,000 each year for 5 years.)

Fremantle recruited ex pat Tasmanians:
Alex Pearce, Lachie Weller (now back on the Gold Coast with most of his family), Hugh Dixon (Yet to debut.)
The North/South thing is parochialism but it is over stated. It certainly can be a negative thing, it can also be a positive thing. Politicians use it all the time to divide us, & carry on about 'Them v Us'. They & the media use it all the time, all over the country. Not just here.

The BBL was a Hobart thing. Its first game in Launceston it got a great crowd. Its now a whole of state thing. The NBL Huskies proposal is also pushing the whole of state approach. The same would happen with an AFL team. The excuse that somehow you have to change some people before you get the one thing that will unite everyone, is just stupid. The team is the thing that would break down any barriers that do exist.

Yet the AFL chose to divide us. People are realising the damage the AFL have done & are doing, for purely negative reasons. The AFL's own behaviour here reinforces their own ignorant position. They aren't interested in AR, only in the small minded corporatism. And that only when it suits them. Some places are wrapped in welfare. We just get petty insults.

The under investment over the years has finally taken a toll here. Yet its our fault. Its their game, not ours anymore. The cure is to reinforce their own pathways & do basically nothing for the game here.
 

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