Tasmania Where will the Hawks and Roos go?

thegreig

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Aug 12, 2010
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AFL need more matches in NSW, Qld... North sell two games into Sydney..one against swans , one against GWS. play at neutral venue North of Sydney.. then away games Swans SCG, Giants at Homebush...effectively get 4 games in Sydney. Hawks do similar thing on Qld Sunshine Coast...4 games Qld.
WinWinWin for Tassie, AFL expansion..and Nth and Hawks..
I think Hawthorn playing on the Sunshine Coast would be great as we already have a large Qld supporter base but 4 games would be to many. I also have a feeling the AFL don’t want Vic teams playing in SEQ as it’s Lions and Suns territory, same goes for NM in Sydney. Only options would be North Queensland, Central Coast and possibly South West Sydney
 

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Hawkk

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Sep 17, 2004
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I think Hawthorn playing on the Sunshine Coast would be great as we already have a large Qld supporter base but 4 games would be to many. I also have a feeling the AFL don’t want Vic teams playing in SEQ as it’s Lions and Suns territory, same goes for NM in Sydney. Only options would be North Queensland, Central Coast and possibly South West Sydney
I lived in Queensland for a decade and I can confirm that Hawthorn has a very large supporter base in SEQ (especially along the sunshine and gold coasts) but to be honest I would be disappointed if Hawthorn looked for another secondary market.

Tasmania has served a purpose and we have been in the market for almost 20 years but its time for Hawthorn to return to Melbourne and focus on its primary market.

There is myth pushed by the Hawthorn board around Docklands but our crowds at the venue have now normalised, and in fact in recent season's Hawthorn have now lost it's 7th MCG home game (which was long the reason why we pushed for the 7/4 agreement).

Docklands home games

Round 22, 2019 Hawthorn v Gold Coast (this will draw a terrible crowd, but honestly would it draw many more at the MCG?)
Round 10, 2018 Hawthorn v West Coast 28,077
Round 23, 2017 Hawthorn v W Bulldogs 48,090 (L Hodge's farewell game)
Round 21, 2015 Hawthorn v Port Adelaide 28,567
Round 13, 2013 Hawthorn v West Coast 32,567

Average: 34,325

Between 2007-2012 Hawthorn never played a home game at Docklands (this gentlemen's agreement was honoured by the AFL and coincided with the original agreement struck in 2006 and was renewed in 2009)

Before the 7 / 4 Tasmanian agreement...

Round 22 2006 Hawthorn v Geelong 28,188
Round 2 2006 Hawthorn v Collingwood 43,296
Round 16 2005 Hawthorn v Kangaroos 23,722
Round 7 2004 Hawthorn v Geelong 28,612
Round 7 2003 Hawthorn v Kangaroos 32,435
Round 15 2002 Hawthorn v W Bulldogs 35,434
Round 18 2001 Hawthorn v Fremantle 16,595
Round 12 2000 Hawthorn v Fremantle 16,004

Average: 28,035

The landscape has now changed, the AFL owns and operates Docklands and there is a good chance that the AFL will continue taking MCG games off the MCG tenants to get return on investment.

Hawthorn can no longer sell home games into secondary markets as a trade off for MCG home games, that model hasn't worked for 6 years. And a Queensland or ACT model won't have the same benefits for Hawthorn (clean stadium, established support etc.) as these are essentially markets developed by the AFL, where the AFL will reap the majority of the financial benefits to grow the code.

It really should look for a similar agreement to Carlton where it locks in a long term stadium deal for 7 MCG games / 4 Docklands games or 6 MCG games / 5 Docklands games when they are inevitably removed from Launceston.

I think it's time that Hawthorn embrace Docklands and make the best of it, I understand that it has a major project underway in Dingley but it really should have strong enough revenue streams (it has made 23 years of continued profits and has significant cash reserves) to play all 11 of their home games in the one state.
 

speedpeck23

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Jul 20, 2008
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I think Hawthorn playing on the Sunshine Coast would be great as we already have a large Qld supporter base but 4 games would be to many. I also have a feeling the AFL don’t want Vic teams playing in SEQ as it’s Lions and Suns territory, same goes for NM in Sydney. Only options would be North Queensland, Central Coast and possibly South West Sydney
Thanks, So for example I am suggesting Hawks only ever play Brisbane or Gold Coast in Qld. 2 home and 2 away.....leaving Hawks to play 2 more home games in Melbourne than they do now.

It's helps AFL expansion because it would give Bris and Gold Coast an extra game each in Qld although not at there home venue. The presence of another team polarises the supporter bases for Bris and Gold Coast and increases their memberships.

Some people felt that GWS moving into Sydney would dilute the AFL supporter base to the Swans.....but it actually increased......memberships increase when you create rivalries.
 

speedpeck23

All Australian
Jul 20, 2008
840
199
Melbourne
AFL Club
Hawthorn
I lived in Queensland for a decade and I can confirm that Hawthorn has a very large supporter base in SEQ (especially along the sunshine and gold coasts) but to be honest I would be disappointed if Hawthorn looked for another secondary market.

Tasmania has served a purpose and we have been in the market for almost 20 years but its time for Hawthorn to return to Melbourne and focus on its primary market.

There is myth pushed by the Hawthorn board around Docklands but our crowds at the venue have now normalised, and in fact in recent season's Hawthorn have now lost it's 7th MCG home game (which was long the reason why we pushed for the 7/4 agreement).

Docklands home games

Round 22, 2019 Hawthorn v Gold Coast (this will draw a terrible crowd, but honestly would it draw many more at the MCG?)
Round 10, 2018 Hawthorn v West Coast 28,077
Round 23, 2017 Hawthorn v W Bulldogs 48,090 (L Hodge's farewell game)
Round 21, 2015 Hawthorn v Port Adelaide 28,567
Round 13, 2013 Hawthorn v West Coast 32,567

Average: 34,325

Between 2007-2012 Hawthorn never played a home game at Docklands (this gentlemen's agreement was honoured by the AFL and coincided with the original agreement struck in 2006 and was renewed in 2009)

Before the 7 / 4 Tasmanian agreement...

Round 22 2006 Hawthorn v Geelong 28,188
Round 2 2006 Hawthorn v Collingwood 43,296
Round 16 2005 Hawthorn v Kangaroos 23,722
Round 7 2004 Hawthorn v Geelong 28,612
Round 7 2003 Hawthorn v Kangaroos 32,435
Round 15 2002 Hawthorn v W Bulldogs 35,434
Round 18 2001 Hawthorn v Fremantle 16,595
Round 12 2000 Hawthorn v Fremantle 16,004

Average: 28,035

The landscape has now changed, the AFL owns and operates Docklands and there is a good chance that the AFL will continue taking MCG games off the MCG tenants to get return on investment.

Hawthorn can no longer sell home games into secondary markets as a trade off for MCG home games, that model hasn't worked for 6 years. And a Queensland or ACT model won't have the same benefits for Hawthorn (clean stadium, established support etc.) as these are essentially markets developed by the AFL, where the AFL will reap the majority of the financial benefits to grow the code.

It really should look for a similar agreement to Carlton where it locks in a long term stadium deal for 7 MCG games / 4 Docklands games or 6 MCG games / 5 Docklands games when they are inevitably removed from Launceston.

I think it's time that Hawthorn embrace Docklands and make the best of it, I understand that it has a major project underway in Dingley but it really should have strong enough revenue streams (it has made 23 years of continued profits and has significant cash reserves) to play all 11 of their home games in the one state.
I think you make some great points. The AFL owning Docklands is a game changer. I can't help but think though that the AFL is under utilizing the fact that there are two teams based in each of NSW and Qld. The Victorian teams get 14 or 15 games in their home state...clubs in NSW and Qld are at a distinct disadvantage with fewer "effective home state games"...yet the AFL has invested heavily in these clubs...for the sake of the competition and growth of the game the AFL needs to support them with more matches. Hawthorn has shown that you can have two bases and significantly grow your supporter base in two states and be successful.
 

abcde12345

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May 15, 2018
197
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Brisbane Lions
Plus I don't think North would want to return after their last entry into the market
Bit before my time - but seems like they went about it really halfheartedly?.. Committed for what 2 years, with no unique selling point. You'd think if the plan was to just play games at the SCG, they would have stuck to games against the Swans at the start (and maybe a game that would draw poorly in Victoria like the Eagles or similar). Instead they seem to have taken games up there that would have been against low national presence teams at the time (St Kilda, Geelong etc - obviously a bit different now) and just played them at the SCG, when they would have gotten acceptable crowds in Victoria. I imagine they'd struggle to pull a crowd against St Kilda even at Optus or AO today, let alone in less familiar territory like the Gabba or SCG - why would they care?

If they had gone in with something unique it might have been a bit different - like maybe trying to find a different (more boutique) ground to base themselves out of, or trying to appeal to a particular segment of the market (North Melbourne - North Sydney for example).

On that point, feels like the AFL dropped the ball a little bit in not trying to cozy up to the NSW Government with regards to North Sydney Oval. Not based in Sydney so feel free to correct - but from what I can gather from the net, it seems to be based on a pretty big area of green. Surely the AFL could have offered to contribute somewhat (boutique facilities are usually pretty cheap) in exchange for expanding the stands out somewhat to make it acceptable size for AFL games (I've heard it's too small as it is), and made it a bit of a hub for AR in North Sydney? Could have also packaged it with an agreement to have NM or a similar team looking to sell games playing there against the Giants, Swans, and maybe one or two others, as well as maybe the Swans playing their GC game there.

When you factor in the lack of AFL grounds for grassroots in Sydney, as well as the strength of AR on the north shore, really feels like an investment in the facilities would have a pretty good return for AFL NSW. Might be a bit late now though as it seems like the NRL and Cricket are really trying to make it the hub for their respective womens' codes.

Can't really see any other realistic options in the North of Sydney for AFL level facilities anywhere near proper public transport infrastructure. Gore Hill Oval seems to be the only one near any train station but that's wedged between a road, a hospital and a cemetery so it's unlikely that would ever be able to fit an AFL sized ground and tiered seating.
 

abcde12345

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May 15, 2018
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Brisbane Lions
I think Hawthorn playing on the Sunshine Coast would be great as we already have a large Qld supporter base but 4 games would be to many. I also have a feeling the AFL don’t want Vic teams playing in SEQ as it’s Lions and Suns territory, same goes for NM in Sydney. Only options would be North Queensland, Central Coast and possibly South West Sydney
Hawthorn is big up here through SEQ - but the AFL should only consider a move like this if it's beneficial to the local clubs. No point trying to make Hawthorn a force up here when they're based in Melbourne and there are other teams that are intended to service the markets. I could only see it working if Hawthorn works with the QLD government as a whole and does a deal for Hawthorn hosting the Lions and Suns for a game each in their respective zones (Lions on the Sunshine Coast, Suns in NQ at either Cairns or Townsville).

Flip side of that is - AFAIK there aren't any AFL level facilities on the Sunshine Coast, and why would the QLD government sink the millions to develop a stadium for one game a year? The money would be better spent (and is being spent) on the Gabba.

In addition to this, the AFL needs to ensure that:
1. Both teams (Lions and Suns) get access to the MCG enough during the year.
2. The Lions are still able to fulfil their Fitzroy merger quota.

Realistically, I think the Hawks are big enough now to stand on their own two feet in the Victorian market. More MCG games is always good for a club, so I think they would be crazy to look to sell games going forward provided they remain financially viable.

The only tenants looking to sell games should be North, Bulldogs, Saints and Melbourne. Bulldogs (Ballarat) and Melbourne (Darwin/Alice) are already locked into deals (Saints too but for only one game in China), so really a second market is only needed for North and maybe St Kilda if Tasmania wants the current teams out.

Only (not wildly ambitious) options that really jump out to me are games based out of the Murray region or Sydney for North, and maybe regional East Victoria or New Zealand (if a stadium is ever put forward in Auckland or Christchurch) for St Kilda. Otherwise, the only other things I can really see are the more ambitious types (India?) or selling home games to interstate clubs at their home grounds (not the best option as it hurts the club on field).
 

robbieando

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Oct 9, 2001
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Bit before my time - but seems like they went about it really halfheartedly?.. Committed for what 2 years, with no unique selling point.
They committed for longer to start with (even committed to play their games in the long term at the Olympic Stadium), but jumped once the Sydney market turned against them and stuck behind the Swans as the Swans were seen as equalling the AFL at the time in Sydney. They thought they could roll into Sydney and market their Premiership success as a selling point against the Swans and Greg Miller thought Wayne Carey would be even more marketable in Sydney than Plugger. But once the crowds weren't as high as they expected they jumped ship for Canberra with the Roos deeply unpopular with the AFL supporters in the city because they went at it half hearted and Carey was unmarketable because he wasn't Plugger.

If they had gone in with something unique it might have been a bit different - like maybe trying to find a different (more boutique) ground to base themselves out of, or trying to appeal to a particular segment of the market (North Melbourne - North Sydney for example).
Not really. NSO is too small for AFL and it will never be developed large enough to allow for AFL matches (heck Pre season games that were held there were 16 a side and had its famous fig tree interfering with the goal at one end). That aside, North didn't spend enough time in Sydney marketing themselves other than giving a few people Swans scarfs when they handed out North membership brochures outside the SCG. They flew up the day of the games and only held one kids clinic which was after one match for kids who paid to get in.

Could have also packaged it with an agreement to have NM or a similar team looking to sell games playing there against the Giants, Swans, and maybe one or two others, as well as maybe the Swans playing their GC game there.
No. The Swans always have had contracts in place to play at either the SCG or the Olympic Stadium. So we wouldn't be looking for a ground to play a team like the Suns. We get a good return each game at the SCG regardless who we play and we would want to play any away game in Sydney at the SCG. The Giants might benefit from it in terms of having a place to play during the Easter period that keeps them in Sydney, but I doubt the Swans would welcome them doing so on the North Shore. So I doubt the AFL would be interested in pouring money into a ground that would get limited use. Better to spend on grassroots grounds and focus on upgrading the grounds we have already.
 

Mr Taswegian

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May 25, 2019
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North Melbourne
I'm expecting a low crowd for Hawthorn vs Fremantle in Tassie on Saturday,the crowds continue to decline in Tasmania,it scares me to think how bad the crowds are going to get if we keep these two teams. Tasmania really needs to start thinking about what they are going to do with AFL in the future,if we don't get our own team.Considering we get a lot of poor drawing games,the crowds will probably only decline even more,a lot people I talk to in Tasmania have said they no longer have interest in watching these games anymore,but would go to games if we got our own team.The government would be crazy to resign these two teams post 2021 with the crowds in decline for these teams in Tasmania.
 

Hawkk

Hall of Famer
Sep 17, 2004
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I'm expecting a low crowd for Hawthorn vs Fremantle in Tassie on Saturday,the crowds continue to decline in Tasmania,it scares me to think how bad the crowds are going to get if we keep these two teams. Tasmania really needs to start thinking about what they are going to do with AFL in the future,if we don't get our own team.Considering we get a lot of poor drawing games,the crowds will probably only decline even more,a lot people I talk to in Tasmania have said they no longer have interest in watching these games anymore,but would go to games if we got our own team.The government would be crazy to resign these two teams post 2021 with the crowds in decline for these teams in Tasmania.
Surprisingly good crowd in the end...

13,006 which is the second highest for a Hawthorn v Fremantle game since 2010 (topped only by 16,792 in 2015 when Hawthorn and Fremantle were premiership favourites)

Rd 17 2019 Hawthorn v Fremantle - 13,004
Rd 8 2016 Hawthorn v Fremantle - 12,012
Rd 15 2015 Hawthorn v Fremantle - 16,792
Rd 4 2013 Hawthorn v Fremantle - 12,019
Rd 8 2012 Hawthorn v Fremantle - 12,959

I am very critical of Hawthorn's crowds in Tasmania but it is pretty clear that there is a core of 10,000 that go to Launceston games rain, hail or shine.

And depending on the popularity of the opponent (i.e. Carlton drew a 15,888 'sell out' this season), on field performance of Hawthorn or the weather there is a swing of 6,000 to 8,000 extra to come along to matches.

The biggest impact for Hawthorn's games in Launceston was when North went into Hobart, effectively this shaved 2,000 to 3,000 of our 12,000 to 13,000 'core' support that rocked up to Launceston matches rain, hail or shine between 2001 and 2010.

By playing matches across both markets, Hawthorn and North effectively weakened attendance for matches in Launceston and Hobart.

If Tasmania gets its own team the location of matches has to be a consideration, the same thing happened to the Lions when the Gold Coast entered the competition (where 5,000 to 6,000 Gold Coasters used to travel up the highway to watch Lions matches)
 
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