The Roar
The Roar

Canberra Pear

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Joined December 2018

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Paul, I think East Coast might be a bit vague and you’d risk alienating particularly the Sydney market.
More footy for Canberra can only be good and Canberrans would support more matches. But you’d risk alienating Western Sydney fans. Sydney already has the Swans, so without a differentiating marker, I think it would be hard for Western Sydneysiders getting on board with a half Canberra team if they weren’t already on board.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

Zaco,

I’d actually get the Saints playing in Auckland before they go back to Wellington.

The new Western Springs Stadium redevelopment will create an AFL configuration not far from the centre of Auckland. The city had about five times as many people as Wellington and much of the grassroots Aussie Rules as well.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

It would actually be fitting. Blue and gold (and sometimes white) are on a few of our teams.

The Brumbies, the Brave, the Caps. Even the Canberra Demons had blue and gold in the NEAFL.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

No worries, the comments section is a tricky one to navigate sometimes.

I wouldn’t be opposed to an Auckland team when the time is right!

Capital idea for AFL expansion

Concerned Supporter,

I’m not suggesting new teams immediately. A Canberra entry would be at least a decade away to give enough time to set everything up and also ensure GWS are viable without the Canberra lifeboat.

But if a Tasmanian team is as inevitable as it seems, and nobody sticks their hand up for relocation, then expansion is the only option. And the AFL likes to expand in even numbers.

With an extra game every round, a new deal would only need an extra $40-50m annually to distribute to Tasmania and Canberra.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

As much as I would love to see a Cairns team running around in the AFL, I have to disagree that they’d have a greater economic claim than Canberra.

It’s only a third of the size of Canberra. It’s only benefit is that it doesn’t have any other professional winter codes to compete with. I would love it if they could replicate the Cowboys’ success in Townsville, but a lot would have to go right.

I think their best best would be a shared “Northern” team. A few games each in Cairns, Townsville, Darwin and Alice. It won’t happen, but I think it’d be the best bet as none of them could go it on their own.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

Victoria has 10 teams for nearly 500k participants.

Queensland and NSW have 4 teams for nearly 600k participants.

These numbers are still growing faster than Victoria and the junior numbers will filter up to the AFL and AFLW. Thomas Roker mentioned the GWS academy is already overflowing. By the time Canberra gets a team in at least a decade, the numbers should be there for NSW/ACT.

Tasmania might struggle for numbers. Having their own team should help boost it a bit though.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

Gerry, I think a strong Canberra bid would actually complement a Tasmanian entry.

The AFL – like most leagues – loves to keep their numbers even. They’ve only had an odd number of teams for seven seasons since 1925. If expansion is the only way to go to get a Tasmanian team, then I think having another strong option ready to go for team 20 would only be good for Tasmania.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

Haha, I’m not sure. That’s actually a good question.

I kind of assumed everybody knew, but I’m probably more obsessed with AFL than the average Canberran.

It’s definitely not as obvious as Parliament House on the Canberra Demons’ jumper: https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/canberra-demons-vow-to-be-more-than-one-hit-wonders-20180908-p502k3.html

Capital idea for AFL expansion

That would be awesome. I’m not sure how it works, but you’d assume there’d be a few Canberra-Riverina players for whom Sydney would be too far to participate as well, so there might already be enough players for two academies.

I’d definitely be keen to follow an AFLW side here. And Manuka is the perfect size for an AFLW team. Women’s sport is well supported in Canberra. The UC Caps in the WNBL get a lot of air time here (it helps that they’re reigning champs).

Capital idea for AFL expansion

Hey Micko

This article shows the Canberra guernsey reveal. This is worn for every Manuka game: https://the-riotact.com/giants-fans-now-have-a-canberra-jumper/61963

And this article explains that it’s supposed to be the tower: https://aflnswact.com.au/giants-reveal-canberra-guernsey/

Although searching deeper I see Canberra written on the backs elsewhere, too. I’d always thought it was a Canberra-specific thing. That made more sense to me for it to complement the Telstra Tower guernsey.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

There would need to be a focus in the schedule for mid-winter games to be played during the day. On the plus side, there’s no humidity, so crisp skills if the ground stays dry!

Capital idea for AFL expansion

Interesting. A NAB League team would be a great entry point.

It looks like the majority of the u19s academy list is from Canberra/Wagga, so we’d be able to field our own competitive side, but it might butcher GWS’ side. The u17s list looks more Sydney-focused so it looks like numbers should improve as grassroots growth filters up.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

Oof, I didn’t realise the offer was that big. It could’ve been a very different league.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

I think a new entity would be better.

A composite team from the AFL Canberra clubs would be better than the Canberra Demons (in my opinion). The Demons weren’t even the most successful club in Canberra. Ainslie wanted to be the sole representative in the NEAFL, but withdrew when they couldn’t be it.

A new team with whole-of-community buy-in would be best. Get the community involved with the new identity (one that’s not in the AFL so promotion is easier down the track). Get them playing in the new NEVFL for 5 to 10 years to build support before they enter the AFL.

Apparently the AIS split because they want to focus more on Olympic success.

Who do the RAMS juniors play against? Would there be any scope for a Canberra region team in the NAB League in the future?

Capital idea for AFL expansion

I think relocation was the original plan, but the AFL couldn’t pull it off.

North was clearly the option for the Gold Coast. If they’d managed to get North to move, they may have tried for another in Western Sydney.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

I think the majority would be willing to make the jump across. The original 6,000 Canberra members all had other teams but were willing to get on the Giants to support AFL in Canberra. I would expect the same but in greater numbers for our actual own team.

The biggest issue might be a younger generation that have grown up with the Giants as their first team.

It would help make for an instant rivalry though!

Capital idea for AFL expansion

Looking forward to reading that Sunsland article!

Canberra is closer to the majority of NSWACT players’ hometowns, so it would be a tricky one to carve out. You’d think it’d be a more attractive proposition for players from country towns to live three hours closer to home. More than half of the current players are either from Canberra, or west of: https://aflnswact.com.au/afl-nswact-players-afl/

Ideally the increased grassroots in Sydney and along the coast will filter up to the AFL and anything east of Canberra can be split between GWS and Sydney. If Canberra gets a team in 10 or more years, that scenario could very well be the case. But anything before that scenario and you’d have to carve up the Riverina a bit, too.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

The Brumbies only have eight home games, so a few extra games wouldn’t get us far off that.

Fitzroy tried to play seven games a season in Canberra pre-merger. That would have been a great result, but I doubt we could get any Melbourne team to commit that many these days.

If partially relocated teams is the route the AFL wants to go down, getting a couple of Melbourne teams to play games with GWS as the away team (on top of GWS’ current games) could capitalise on Giants support, give us five or six games a year, and not diminish the Giants’ presence in Western Sydney. Would also give a chance to show that Canberrans can support closer to a full-time team.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

They only made up about 20% in 2018. Their total numbers haven’t dropped, but it just looks like the Sydney numbers have grown, which is a good sign.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

It’s also only specifically for Canberra games. Along with the Telstra Tower on the front of the guernseys.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

It would be interesting to see how many others feel this way as well. I imagine they’ve probably gained a decent number of Canberra fans to balance it, but if it’s alienated Western Sydney fans that’d be bad for the long game.

Also, what are your thoughts on the GWS name? Does that resonate with you as a Blacktowner (is there a term?), or do you think Western Sydney Giants would work better?

Capital idea for AFL expansion

There’d be a few factors to take in, and obviously it’d be a whole different ball game with an actual home team, but Canberra crowds were about 2k higher than Hobart in 2019.

Interestingly, Launceston had bigger crowds than both, but you’d imagine there’s not a lot of room for growth there.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

A Canberra team would take at least 10 years of planning, which should give the Giants enough time to capitalise on their record membership numbers. I think they’re even beating the Sydney NRL teams. They just need to convert those and their growing junior participants to bums on seats.

I’d also like to see them play a game or two in Newcastle.

Capital idea for AFL expansion

My preference would be a 20-team comp with no need for mergers. But if clubs were in a position that they were looking at relocation to survive, I think their fans would prefer a merged team they can see every other week rather than a relocated they can see only two or three times a year.

Capital idea for AFL expansion