Essendon got a deal with Docklands back in the 90s that meant they profited from the first patron to walk through the door. Victory has a similar deal. These two clubs were the main “anchor” clubs to ensure the ground was paid for year round.
Every other AFL club (Roos/Dogs/Saints/Blues mainly) were on the AFL’s joint agreement requiring a 30k crowd to break even (under 30k and you had to pay the difference to Docklands, hence why these clubs were bleeding big time) and a crowd of ~35k to make any sort of decent cash to fund the clubs day to day activities (all well and good to break even, but you need to make some cash to run your business too).
One of the reasons the cats have been so strong about moving games to Geelong is that a Geelong games makes the club ~$750k to $1m per game (25k seats are pre-sold as reserved seat packages at $350+ each or $40 per game, the remainder as GA memberships ($235 for an adult ($25 per game) or walk up tickets in the $40-80 range).