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Opinion

Dear footy fans: Stop saying you want North or Gold Coast to move to Tassie

Tarryn Thomas (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Roar Rookie
25th March, 2022
62

AFL fans, I love you to bits but god you can be damn foolish about these two teams.

I think by now everyone and their dog is in agreement that Tasmania deserves their own team in the AFL, finally giving every state a team in the national competition. However, the Kangaroos and the Suns are as important to the AFL as they have been impotent in recent years. And, for the record, I have no bias here as a Collingwood fan.

North Melbourne

The simple fact is that Victoria is never getting another team in the AFL, no way, no how. So keeping a club in the city that makes the most money, is the lowest in cost to put on a game for the AFL is valuable in and of itself.

In 2015 ,which was the last season the Roos made finals, they averaged 25,682 in attendance. 25,000 people at Marvel is a tidy bit of cash nine times a year for the AFL, and in 2021 they broke their membership record with 45,133 members in a year where the majority of their fans had no hope in going to the games.

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So what if they haven’t won anything since Wayne Carey left? The same was true for Melbourne and the Bulldogs and unlike those teams, and the Saints for that matter, the Roos are debt-free, and just last year broke their membership record, despite finishing with the spoon.

They are an important part of the AFL tapestry and moving the team to Tassie is a harm to the AFL as well as all their fans. So, next time you’re changing the bath water, double check that you’ve taken out the baby first.

Gold Coast

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Oh my god. This one’s worse than the first.

I don’t care that they’re a basket case – they’re meant to be. It has always been a 30-year plan with them, cradle to grave they are there to break into the market of a city full of retired Victorians starved for football and with a population greater than that of the entire state of Tasmania and a lot more money too.

The Suns’ primary competition is the Titans, not any AFL team, and at the moment they’re kicking the NRL side’s arse.

Suns last year had 19,460 members. In 2019, they had 13,649 – that’s some outstanding growth. The Titans, on the other hand, have yet to release 2021 data and in 2019 only had 6517 members. Hell, they even have better attendances than the Titans, 19,810 to 11,085. Safe to bet the AFL was very happy with those numbers.

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This team will not win a premiership for at least another six years, so what? They are there for the growth and expansion of the game we love and we get more football out of it so I’m not going to sit here complaining. They don’t play 22 excellent quality games yet, but they will someday and they’re going to make a profit and be a great thing for the city of the Gold Coast. So stop saying we should move them, you’re all just being myopic.

Don’t touch it – you’ll break it

The AFL is set to be the dominant sporting code in this country for at least the next 20 years. Pre-COVID, the game was growing at rates never seen before, female inclusion and outreach into the community are at an all-time high and it’s the clubs that facilitate that so we don’t want to lose a single one of them.

So, in short, shut up. You haven’t thought this through at all.

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