Whitten Oval set to be revived

Roogal

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I highly doubt the AFL would ever charge $50 to go to a smaller stadium just because it's smaller.

It sounds like you don't want it to happen because the Bulldogs will then pull out of playing games in Ballarat, which comes off as a bit selfish.
You obviously aren't aware that the Western Bulldogs do indeed add a Ballarat Premium to their memberships for Melbourne based members who wish to attend Ballarat games. Ballarat resident members don't pay that premium.

The Dogs in Ballarat doesn't phase me one way or the other, but it is rare that you would get crowds under 20,000 these days in Melbourne. Even for North Melbourne. Otherwise it might be reasonable to argue that Port Adelaide should have its old home ground developed in Adelaide and a boutique ground for Freo.

There are many members of the WBFC who are rightly arguing that paying a premium for membership to watch games at Ballarat is a bit rich. The reality is that whatever the capacity, they have to reserve a percentage of the ground for opposition members and supporters. In Ballarat they reserve 70% of available seating for Western Bulldogs members and the rest for the opposition and those who wish to pay a one off payment to attend one game. I am wondering if 18,000 is big enough for a ground in Melbourne? Should the ground be closer to 30,000 capacity or even the same proportions as Kardinia Park. After all, 30,000 was long considered too small for the Cats and they are screaming for their ground to be 40,000. It's food for thought.
 
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Bomberboyokay

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Obviously, you wouldn't play games likely to draw a big crowd at a smaller stadium. The very reason to redevelop the smaller grounds is to save clubs like St Kilda and the Bulldogs money and to limit the likelihood of playing in front of 12,000 people in a 50,000 seat stadium. Saints fans would love Moorabbin to be redeveloped into a 20-25k seater where we would still get a reasonable crowd Vs GWS or Freo and not lose precious money we can't afford to lose, and it would certainly help to have it for our eventual AFLW and VFL sides.

I can't honestly see any downside in it, the cost could easily be recouped and would pay for itself very quickly, and I highly doubt the AFL would ever charge $50 to go to a smaller stadium just because it's smaller.

It sounds like you don't want it to happen because the Bulldogs will then pull out of playing games in Ballarat, which comes off as a bit selfish.
How long is it going to take St Kilda, playing 2 games a year, to pay back to the cost?
 

Kwality

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Obviously, you wouldn't play games likely to draw a big crowd at a smaller stadium. The very reason to redevelop the smaller grounds is to save clubs like St Kilda and the Bulldogs money and to limit the likelihood of playing in front of 12,000 people in a 50,000 seat stadium. Saints fans would love Moorabbin to be redeveloped into a 20-25k seater where we would still get a reasonable crowd Vs GWS or Freo and not lose precious money we can't afford to lose, and it would certainly help to have it for our eventual AFLW and VFL sides.

I can't honestly see any downside in it, the cost could easily be recouped and would pay for itself very quickly, and I highly doubt the AFL would ever charge $50 to go to a smaller stadium just because it's smaller.

It sounds like you don't want it to happen because the Bulldogs will then pull out of playing games in Ballarat, which comes off as a bit selfish.
Up keep, who pays .. ?
 

Roogal

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Up keep, who pays .. ?
The local council (Who would own the ground). Remember that VU Whitten Oval, Ikon Park, Victoria Park, RESA Park, Mars Stadium, and even Kardinia Park are all owned by the local councils. The footy teams are mere tennants. I can certainly vouch that in Ballarat many vocal opponents to Mars Stadium have questioned who will foot the bill for the upkeep as the ground develops? At its present size (11,000 capacity with 5000 seats) it is just the right fit for Ballarat with or without AFL. It is very low maintenance because it is built to be run and maintained on a very low budget and the ground gets good sized crowds of 4000-10000 on at least six occasions during the year in addition to its use for BFNL/CHFL gzmes, being used for TAC Cup finals, rugby union, and now possibly A League soccer.

But over the longer term, it is being questioned as to how big the ground should be if it is only hosting two AFL seasonal games per year? Does it need to have anything more than 10,000 seats with the rest being standing room on grassed terraces? At the end of the day it will be the rate payers of Ballarat maintaining it, therefore the ground has to pay it's way beyond just 2 AFL games. These are issues that Ballarat has to address if they are to make the game workable for them.

This is exactly the same for the VU Whitten Oval. All well and good to propose spending $150 mil, but in the end it has to paid back to the club, the council who own the ground and the government. An 18,000-20,000 capacity oval could quickly fall into disrepair if not maintained. Consider that the Launceston City Council recently considered selling off the 19,500 capacity York Park which hosts 3 AFL games and the occasional BBL game but not much else. They've decided to keep it for the time being, but considering that it is largely constructed from scaffold stands that are roofed and covered at the rear to create an enclosed stadium, it will eventually need to to have permanent stands built, which would cost a considerable sum to build and to maintain.

best-venues-aurora-stadium-01.jpg
 
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Roogal

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Maybe back in the 70's the old suburban grounds were like that, but the stadiums being constructed now are done so to meet the demands of the modern discerning fan who expects to be treated to more modern conveniences than the supporter of the past.
In addition, we have come a long way design wise since the days of one brick grand stand and concrete outer and a ground with no drainage or floodlights.

I'm certain nostalgia has made people remember the grounds of the past as a far better experience that they actually were, but that is no reason to dismiss redeveloping those grounds now to a modern standard and bringing back a small slice of that experience.
It comes down to who will foot the bill for ongoing maintenance? The AFL won't pay a red cent toward their upkeep!

I would suggest that the developments at Werribee Oval, Queen Elizabeth Oval in Bendigo, Casey Fields, Arden Street and RESA Park are more in-keeping with a sustainable scale of modernisation while preserving local character. The QEO in Bendigo is probably the best example which clubs ought to be scaling and modeling the development of their grounds on for VFL competition. The ground is not over-developed, but offers a wonderful heritage experience.

Consider that the QEO can hold around 12,000 (mostly standing) with enough cover for a few thousand, it has an excellent playing surface, 500 lux capacity lighting and is about to have new modern changerooms built to accommodate both genders. My understanding is that Arden Street will be of a similar scale and concept once it is re-developed for VFL by mid-next year.

The images below show the ground before and after shots after new shade sails and standing terraces were built:

qeo_cl6.jpg


qeo_cl2.jpg

qeo_cl7.jpg
 

Rob

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Obviously, you wouldn't play games likely to draw a big crowd at a smaller stadium. The very reason to redevelop the smaller grounds is to save clubs like St Kilda and the Bulldogs money and to limit the likelihood of playing in front of 12,000 people in a 50,000 seat stadium. Saints fans would love Moorabbin to be redeveloped into a 20-25k seater where we would still get a reasonable crowd Vs GWS or Freo and not lose precious money we can't afford to lose, and it would certainly help to have it for our eventual AFLW and VFL sides.

I can't honestly see any downside in it, the cost could easily be recouped and would pay for itself very quickly, and I highly doubt the AFL would ever charge $50 to go to a smaller stadium just because it's smaller.
Sorry, what do you think a boutique 20k seater costs?

Hint: Metricon cost $144 million 10 years ago. You seriously think a few small clubs playing a few games at this mythical place will save that sort of money?
 

Silent Alarm

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The issue is...

Carlton have a great ground with lots of potential but North wouldn't want to play there, Melbourne see the 'G (rightfully) as their one and only, St Kilda and Bullies want their own ground... and it's the same for the Western Oval and Moorabbin.

It is a city of 8 million people but you can't have three suburban grounds unless Etihad goes. And Etihad is cheap, accessible, and a nice ground to go to.
 

Kwality

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The issue is...

Carlton have a great ground with lots of potential but North wouldn't want to play there, Melbourne see the 'G (rightfully) as their one and only, St Kilda and Bullies want their own ground... and it's the same for the Western Oval and Moorabbin.

It is a city of 8 million people but you can't have three suburban grounds unless Etihad goes. And Etihad is cheap, accessible, and a nice ground to go to.
The problem is will the people PAY to go to the venue, see those who wont go to .... or ...

Supply exceeds demand & we want to spend more on infrastructure.
 

Roogal

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Good points. We might also consider that 20 of the lowest AFL attendance records occurred in the 90s and 2000s when other teams were forced to play at Whitten Oval and Princess Park. One game at Whitten Oval drew barely 6000. People forget how immensely unpopular these grounds had became, paticularly as people's expectations had grown. Would North Melbourne supporters seriously be happy about having low crowd pulling games shifted from Marvel Stadium to the Western Bulldogs old home ground?

Goodness, you could build modern facilities and even have gold plated toilet seats, and the North supporters would likely stay away in droves. This all happened when the AFL tried to force Fitzroy to play home games at Whitten Oval in the 90s and later when they moved North and Footscray home games to Princess Park in the late 90s.
 
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Roogal

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Sorry, what do you think a boutique 20k seater costs?

Hint: Metricon cost $144 million 10 years ago. You seriously think a few small clubs playing a few games at this mythical place will save that sort of money?
My point exactly. Mars Stadium built in a regional city on crown land, using local labour and 80% materials sourced locally and cost $3000 per seat to build. The local builder and architects at the time emphaised that similar stadums in bigger cities with higher labour costs accross the board cost upward of $8-9000 per-seat. Consider that the fifth stage at Kardinia Park is predicted to cost upward of $60-70 milliom and will replace 5000 old seats and add a mere 5000 seats. Overall cost about $6-7000 per-seat.
 
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Kwality

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My point exactly. Mars Stadium built in a regional city on crown land, using local labour and 80% materials sourced locally cosr $3000 per seat. The local builder and architects at the time emphaised that similar stadums in bigger cities with higher labour costs accross the board cost upward of $8-9000 per-seat. Consider that the fifth stage at Kardinia Park is predicted to cost upward of $60-70 milliom and will add a mere 5000 seats.
Amortised as a $ per seat per game, Geelong will sell all on a seasons membership. Very different to Ballarat?
 

Cold Sober

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And in the meantime people die in hallways of hospitals on trolleys.
Every major ground in Australia seems to be getting upgraded at one stage or another, for what ? Most times they're 3/4 full or 1/2 empty.
 

Elroo

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If this happens the Kangaroos should get on board as well and play a few home games there.
We already have VFL games played at Arden street; we also have a proposal to expand Arden street into a sports precinct.

https://www.nmfc.com.au/news/2017-05-09/norths-bold-plan

North's bold plan
Nick Bowen (AFL.com.au)

May 9, 2017 4:30PM







North Melbourne will boast the biggest and best inner-city training complex in Melbourne under an ambitious plan submitted to the Victorian government.

Under North's proposal, its Arden St headquarters' footprint would grow from 4.5ha to 11.2ha and would be upgraded to include:

- An indoor centre with a large synthetic oval.
- A second indoor centre with four multi-use hard courts.
- An indoor aquatic centre with a 50m pool.
- An outdoor synthetic oval with lighting.
- Sports changerooms and social rooms, which could be used for AFLW and VFL games.
- A café and other shops.

The Kangaroos' plan was submitted in response to a proposed $7 billion redevelopment of an industrial pocket of North Melbourne, which will become known as Arden.

The redevelopment will stretch over 10 years and, by 2051, is forecast to bring 34,000 workers and 15,000 residents into Arden. From 2026, the precinct will be serviced by an underground railway station, which will be one stop from the CBD, western suburbs and Melbourne University (Parkville).

North's proposal is before the Victorian Planning Authority, which last September released a draft vision and framework for Arden
090517_redevelopment_1.jpg
 

Johnny Bananas

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We already have VFL games played at Arden street; we also have a proposal to expand Arden street into a sports precinct.
How are North funding this?

If the Dogs end up going through with their plans I could see them abandoning Ballarat altogether for Whitten Oval. Maybe then North will move back into Ballarat. The Tasmanian push for their own team is so strong that there's surely a shelf life for the Hobart deal.
 

Elroo

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How are North funding this?

If the Dogs end up going through with their plans I could see them abandoning Ballarat altogether for Whitten Oval. Maybe then North will move back into Ballarat. The Tasmanian push for their own team is so strong that there's surely a shelf life for the Hobart deal.
Under North's submission, the club's expanded grounds and most of its facilities would be open to the local community, and would serve as the new precinct's primary open space. New public amenities would also be installed around the site.

A new primary school is planned as part of the broader Arden redevelopment, with North proposing it be located at the public archives building on Macaulay Rd, which would give its pupils easy access to the Arden St grounds.

North also plans to expand its administration building and to relocate its Huddle social-inclusion program to adjacent larger premises, which will allow the club to expand its community work.

For the Kangaroos' proposal to become a reality, land and roads between the club's existing grounds and Clayton Reserve (to the north on Macaulay Rd) might need to be acquired.

Most of that land is owned by the City of Melbourne and government entities, with only 25 per cent privately owned.

North has also included potential flood planning solutions in its plan, something the government and Melbourne Water have identified as a critical consideration for the new precinct.

North's plan is yet to be costed, but the club proposes it be funded in partnership by the City of Melbourne (via revenue received from the Arden redevelopment), the State Government, AFL and Kangaroos.
Mentioned in the article above.
 

Roogal

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How are North funding this?

If the Dogs end up going through with their plans I could see them abandoning Ballarat altogether for Whitten Oval. Maybe then North will move back into Ballarat. The Tasmanian push for their own team is so strong that there's surely a shelf life for the Hobart deal.
Tasmania won't get its own team sadly, and there's well established reasons for this. Mainly stemming from the weakening of the TFL teams due to declining regional populations and demographic changes. This has been analysed to death by the AFL and by the media commentators who all agree that Tassie couldn't support its own AFL team.

On your point on Ballarat, remember that it was the Bulldogs who demanded from the AFL that they wanted to play in Ballarat and demanded that North Melbourne not be a player in that region. In other words they muscled their way in, insisting that it was their right to play there exclusively and forced North Melbourne out of a very good mutual partnership with the North Ballarat FC. The state government and Council went out of their way to fund the building of facilities there for them and they are paid generously for playing games there until 2021 at least and the Andrews Government committed to sponsoring AFL games to be played at Ballarat until at least 2028. Of course, that may not be the Bulldogs after 2021, but in consideration of how hard they fought to get into Ballarat, it would seem quite shallow and fickle to walk away after four seasons.

And NOBODY has yet answered the question of whether Western Bulldogs members would be happy to perhaps pay up to $100 premium per game to reserve a seat at an 18,000 capacity VU WO, because remember that at least 33% of the reserved capacity has to be allocated to the opposition team. Would the novelty factor of playing at the WO very quickly evaporate on cold, wet and blustery days with limited parking? It's all well and good to look back on the old grounds nostalgically, but I'm old enough to remember why they were abandoned in the first place. :rolleyes:

I do appreciate that a redeveloped VU WO would be well lit, have individual seating for at least 10-12,000 and have substantial standing room for the remainder. But if people have to pay $100 premiumfor the experience and the weather goes pear shaped, many might begin to ask why they aren't using the rarefied, cheaper and more comfortable amenity at Marvel?
 
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Johnny Bananas

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Tasmania won't get its own team sadly, and there's well established reasons for this. Mainly stemming from the weakening of the TFL teams due to declining regional populations and demographic changes. This has been analysed to death by the AFL and by the media commentators who all agree that Tassie couldn't support its own AFL team.
What on earth does declining regional populations have to do with a team based in Hobart or Launceston? Hobart is growing reasonably well in people while Launceston is remaining steady. Tassie as a whole is aiming for a 25% increase in population by 2050, and they're on track to do that by 2041. It's not Melbourne levels of population growth, but it's significant.
https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.net.au/article/10366054

Nobody is arguing that Tassie is some sort of West Coast in the making, it will need assistance from the AFL, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. There are noises coming out of Tasmania that neither existing AFL contract will be renewed, and the AFL knows it'll be shooting itself in the foot if participation rates fall in a heartland state due to a lack of engagement. But this is probably better suited for one of the many Tasmania threads so I'll stop here.

On your point on Ballarat, remember that it was the Bulldogs who demanded from the AFL that they wanted to play in Ballarat and demanded that North Melbourne not be a player in that region. In other words they muscled their way in, insisting that it was their right to play there exclusively and forced North Melbourne out of a very good mutual partnership with the North Ballarat FC. The state government and Council went out of their way to fund the building of facilities there for them and they are paid generously for playing games there until 2021 at least and the Andrews Government committed to sponsoring AFL games to be played at Ballarat until at least 2028. Of course, that may not be the Bulldogs after 2021, but in consideration of how hard they fought to get into Ballarat, it would seem quite shallow and fickle to walk away after four seasons.
You know as well as I do that the Bulldogs are in Ballarat for the money rather than any sentimental reason. If they can make more money playing at their traditional home, I'd imagine they'd drop Ballarat if they're allowed to. I don't think the Whitten Oval capacity will remain at 18 000 forever because there's a bigger game at play here for the Bulldogs, they could potentially make more money hosting games at their own stadium than at Marvel, even with a lower capacity. At minimum they can use the threat of decamping to WO for more games to leverage Marvel into giving them a much better deal than at present, if the capacity of WO rises to maybe 25 000.

And NOBODY has yet answered the question of whether Western Bulldogs members would be happy to perhaps pay up to $100 premium per game to reserve a seat at an 18,000 capacity VU WO, because remember that at least 33% of the reserved capacity has to be allocated to the opposition team. Would the novelty factor of playing at the WO very quickly evaporate on cold, wet and blustery days with limited parking?
Where are you getting this figure of $100 from? I understand the desire to limit members coming if they were going to play Collingwood or Essendon at WO, but they'll be playing the least popular interstate teams, and they just barely crack 20k against them at Marvel anyway.

And WO has a train station next door. Are there large numbers of people driving to Marvel too? Because I thought most people caught public transport there.
 
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windyhill

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Showing my age, but anyway. Had many great days out at the Western, Dad and I would park near the Kentucky near the ground and walk from there. The palm trees would come into sight and we'd walk through "the away members gate" ( membership card always clipped, not scanned !!)
Being Bombers we would always stand on The Hawkins wing, it was funny, Malthouse would be in the EJ Whitten stand, but the next year he had swapped as if the coaches box on the outer wing was providing some sort of advantage to the opposition (sheedy) coach.
I've seen us kick record scores out there, I've seen monsoon conditions where 4 goals was enough to win, I've seen The Dogs beat us and the ground announcer going " We are now on top of the ladder after beating this mob" and The 'scray fans going off their heads with joy
Loved every minute of it. Half cooked pies, warm cans of coke, Dad mouthing off, ankle deep in piss, magnificent.
Also saw us play The Roys out there it was surreal seeing Dougie on his wing in a foreign jumper. I always had an affinity with Dougie as my junior club wore old school Footscray jumpers and I was lucky enough to wear the no.7
 

00Stinger

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Showing my age, but anyway. Had many great days out at the Western, Dad and I would park near the Kentucky near the ground and walk from there. The palm trees would come into sight and we'd walk through "the away members gate" ( membership card always clipped, not scanned !!)
Being Bombers we would always stand on The Hawkins wing, it was funny, Malthouse would be in the EJ Whitten stand, but the next year he had swapped as if the coaches box on the outer wing was providing some sort of advantage to the opposition (sheedy) coach.
I've seen us kick record scores out there, I've seen monsoon conditions where 4 goals was enough to win, I've seen The Dogs beat us and the ground announcer going " We are now on top of the ladder after beating this mob" and The 'scray fans going off their heads with joy
Loved every minute of it. Half cooked pies, warm cans of coke, Dad mouthing off, ankle deep in piss, magnificent.
Also saw us play The Roys out there it was surreal seeing Dougie on his wing in a foreign jumper. I always had an affinity with Dougie as my junior club wore old school Footscray jumpers and I was lucky enough to wear the no.7
My old man and I would go to Melbourne games there as a kid as well as we didn't live that far from the ground.

Was especially enjoyable when Fitzroy played their games there as we would go watch Neitz kick a bag and the Dees win in front of a very ordinary sized crowd
 

00Stinger

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It's funny how not long before the Dogs moved to the Docklands they were looking at leaving the Whitten oval and going to Skinners reserve. They did train at Skinners in the last 90's.

Now they want to go full circle and move back to the suburban Whitten oval ground
 

Roogal

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What on earth does declining regional populations have to do with a team based in Hobart or Launceston? Hobart is growing reasonably well in people while Launceston is remaining steady. Tassie as a whole is aiming for a 25% increase in population by 2050, and they're on track to do that by 2041. It's not Melbourne levels of population growth, but it's significant.
https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.net.au/article/10366054

Nobody is arguing that Tassie is some sort of West Coast in the making, it will need assistance from the AFL, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. There are noises coming out of Tasmania that neither existing AFL contract will be renewed, and the AFL knows it'll be shooting itself in the foot if participation rates fall in a heartland state due to a lack of engagement. But this is probably better suited for one of the many Tasmania threads so I'll stop here.

You know as well as I do that the Bulldogs are in Ballarat for the money rather than any sentimental reason. If they can make more money playing at their traditional home, I'd imagine they'd drop Ballarat if they're allowed to. I don't think the Whitten Oval capacity will remain at 18 000 forever because there's a bigger game at play here for the Bulldogs, they could potentially make more money hosting games at their own stadium than at Marvel, even with a lower capacity. At minimum they can use the threat of decamping to WO for more games to leverage Marvel into giving them a much better deal than at present, if the capacity of WO rises to maybe 25 000.

Where are you getting this figure of $100 from? I understand the desire to limit members coming if they were going to play Collingwood or Essendon at WO, but they'll be playing the least popular interstate teams, and they just barely crack 20k against them at Marvel anyway.

And WO has a train station next door. Are there large numbers of people driving to Marvel too? Because I thought most people caught public transport there.
In consideration that a one-off VU WO game per season would be very well supported you would have to concede that more thn 18,000 members would want to attend that game. In consideration that re-developed ground would only have 18,000 capacity, 6000 places would still have to be allocated for the opposition members/supporters. Therefore a hypothetical $100 premium on top of existing memberships to attend that game would not be unreasonable to constrain the numbers. The premium would likely be closer to $200. It would be what ever the Club believes supporters/members are willing to pay. That is my point! It's just wouldn't be like the good old days when punters used to rock up, pay $5.00 and stand shoulder to shoulder on the outer. Remember that the VUWO redevelopment is largely being funded by government who are trying to promote AFLW. We further need to consider whether AFLW crowds will remain as strong once the AFL starts charging attendance fees?

As for Ballarat, my point is that the State Government have committed to underwriting AFL games in Ballarat until 2028 at this stage. Whether it's the Bulldogs, the Saints, North Melbourne (unlikely) or even Melbourne after 2021 is of no personal concern to me. Remember that it was the Bulldogs who approached the AFL, the State Government and Ballarat Council in 2016 demanding for a new $20 million stadium to be built for them. Therefore why would they subsequently only play seven games over four seasons (in some sort of a smash and grab campaign)? That makes utterly no sense! The appeal, drawing power and status of the Western Bulldogs as a club seems to be massively over stated. It seems that they want the State Government to chip in hundreds of millions of dollars developing facilities for them in Ballarat and at Footscray too, when their real membership is still only around the 42,000 and their average home game attendances in Melbourne this year have been 26,870 - well below Richmond (65,000), Collingwood (58,000), Carlton (50,000) and Essendon (51,000).

Some have argued that the Whitten Oval sits adjacent to the fastest growing region of Australia. This is true but it's growing rapidly with Indian, Sri-Lankan, African and Asian migrants who are more drawn to other sporting codes, particularly Soccer. Even the ethnic profile of Footscray these days does not support the growth of AFL in that suburb. This seems to be re-inforced by the targeting of the new A-League franchise in Tarneit. Soccer Australia have done their homework. The new Western United Soccer Club certainly didn't choose the Whitten Oval to be their new base, they targeted the new growth suburbs on the outer Western fringes of Melbourne.

Finally, on the subject of Tasmania, I think that North and the Hawks are in Tassie for the long haul. North have had a seven year association with Tassie so far and the Hawks go back to 1999. Those two clubs are reaping great financial beneifts by their associations with Tassie, therefore I reckon that they'll be there for quite a while to come. :thumbsu:
 
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Johnny Bananas

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In consideration that a one-off VU WO game per season would be very well supported you would have to concede that more thn 18,000 members would want to attend that game.
No, I wouldn't have to concede that. The Bulldogs just barely crack 20 000 total whenever they play a Queensland team at Marvel. Moreover, as I said previously, I don't believe WO will stay at 18 000 for too long, the Bulldogs will push for more seats to be added so they can host more games there.

In consideration that re-developed ground would only have 18,000 capacity, 6000 places would still have to be allocated for the opposition members/supporters.
This may be the case, do you have a citation for it? I am unable to find similar information by my own searching.

Therefore a hypothetical $100 premium on top of existing memberships to attend that game would not be unreasonable to constrain the numbers. The premium would likely be closer to $200.
Do you work for the Bulldogs or something? If not, you're inventing figures out of thin air.

Remember that the VUWO redevelopment is largely being funded by government who are trying to promote AFLW. We further need to consider whether AFLW crowds will remain as strong once the AFL starts charging attendance fees?
I have not heard of any time frame for entrance fees being charged at the AFLW, please do correct me if I'm wrong.

Therefore why would they subsequently only play seven games over four seasons (in some sort of a smash and grab campaign)? That makes utterly no sense!
It makes perfect sense if their long term plan is to get enough money to fund their own home ground in Melbourne.

Some have argued that the Whitten Oval sits adjacent to the fastest growing region of Australia. This is true but it's growing rapidly with Indian, Sri-Lankan, African and Asian migrants who are more drawn to other sporting codes, particularly Soccer. Even the ethnic profile of Footscray these days does not support the growth of AFL in that suburb.
This is just defeatist thinking. All these groups can be won to the sport with outreach. The Greeks and Italians and Slavs were drawn to soccer too, and yet many of them still followed and played Aussie rules. I find it particularly odd that you write off Africans too, given Majak Daw plays for your club. Last year had a Sudanese draftee, this year probably will too.

This seems to be re-inforced by the targeting of the new A-League franchise in Tarneit. Soccer Australia have done their homework.
Let's wait a season and see their crowds before crowning them as a success story.

Finally, on the subject of Tasmania, I think that North and the Hawks are in Tassie for the long haul. North have had a seven year association with Tassie so far and the Hawks go back to 1999. Those two clubs are reaping great financial beneifts by their associations with Tassie, therefore I reckon that they'll be there for quite a while to come. :thumbsu:
You haven't been following this issue it seems. There have been a few reports in the media that the Tasmanian government won't be renewing either deal, precisely because both those clubs "are reaping great financial benefits" at the expense of Tasmania's ambitions for their own team. There are two sides to every deal and Tasmanians aren't stupid, they know that both clubs are FIFOs, not permanent residents.
 
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