AFL

No real stadium for AFL, the facilities here are even worse for oval/round grounds than either Blundstone or York Park. The AFL is going to look two faced if it were to turn a blind eye to that when it’s demanding Tasmania builds a new stadium to accommodate them.

And staunch NRL / Knights territory.

Yeah a stadium is an issue but it is also an investment. They are building a stadium for a smaller population in Tasmania so they can do the same for a larger population in Newcastle. If they want to build the game then going into northern NSW will bring more fans to the game, more engagement and more grass roots talent. It might be easier to get the NSW government on board to build the stadium if the AFL promised gather round for 5 years.

AFL is also very popular in Newcastle.

One problem for NSW is the Premier Minns is refusing to invest in more/upgrades to existing stadiums for Sydney, Newcastle already has a very good albeit rectangular stadium, I think that’s going to put him in a similarly difficult position if he approves funds for an upgrade/new round/oval shaped stadium for Newcastle when he’s not doing the same for Sydney.

This is what the most prominent oval/round stadium in Newcastle looks like now… well short of AFL standard.

I didn’t realise he was saying that. And that ground is definitely not big enough.

I do wonder though if the AFL promised the gather round for 5 years and a few other things whether they could attempt to change his mind. It would bring in a lot of tourism to Newcastle and the Hunter Valley and would bring so much to the AFL.

I do think Newcastle has to be the push for the 20th licence. It would just bring so much to both the area and the AFL.

The AFL were already asked a few years back about a third team in Adelaide or Perth and their answer (McLachlan from memory) was a stern “no”.

They said their focus was on GWS and Gold Coast, as well as Nsw and Qld in general and obviously now Tasmania.

Norwood have zero chance, IMO.

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And I guess the other possibility is whether two Victorian teams will need to merge to survive and/or if the AFL refuses to continue to prop up any under performing VIC teams like eg. Kangaroos.

That might get the number of teams back to an even number when the Devils join and/or open the door to TWO more expansion teams?

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I’d rather see them shed a Victorian-based team first - adding more teams isn’t the answer, we’ve already got issues about the depth of the talent pool to support the teams we already have.

That said, I think the AFL is better off being concerned about the desire for Port Adelaide to leave the SANFL - maybe it is time to have a national second-tier competition that feeds from the state leagues (and reestablish the NEAFL)

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I don’t think losing a team is ever going to happen. An extra game a round is too big a payout for the AFL. I think by 2040 there will be 22 teams in the AFL.

This has to happen next year. It’s such a disadvantage for the SA and WA clubs. Round 1 the SANFL were still in preseason whereas the VFL had already started. So that meant the SA clubs couldn’t give their non starting players a run. It’s why Mitch Georgiadis is only playing this week rather than last week. I’m not saying that is why Port lost but he is a good finisher and it’s something port have struggled with and could have been a big difference to that game.

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An NT team would be great, but would likely not be financially viable, which is why I was suggesting that if Norwood did join the AFL, it could play something like 2 home games in Darwin, and one more in Alice Springs, similar to what GWS does in Canberra.

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I always wondered why the NEAFL was dismantled in the first place? Now some of those NEAFL teams like Southport and reserve sides of Swans and Giants are now playing in the VFL, which now has 21 teams. The AFL is using the VFL as a de facto national second-tier competition, which defeats the original purpose of the VFL/VFA.

The AFL needs to form its own second-tier competition next year to prevent Port Adelaide leaving SANFL. This will see the VFL having only Victorian-based teams once more. It also means however teams like Casey and Box Hill will have to end their affiliations with AFL clubs (Melbourne and Hawthorn respectively).

I belive the VFL (and possibly the NEAFL) collapsed due to the financial effects of COVID restrictions, so they decided to merge them.

SANFL and WAFL probably survived as there were less lockdowns and restrictions in SA and WA, which meant there were more crowds at games.

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From my understanding after the pathway for Tasmania was released the NT and Cairns were all using it as a blueprint for requirements for the 20th licence and I think they’re reasonably advanced with trying to make it happen but not sure what timeline that would be looking at.

I know Newcastle has been mentioned recently on the AFL shows but I can’t remember who it was by. I think there’s other teams to be added before Adelaide gets a third team but let them apply anyway.

I’d really love for the NT to be able to be involved but I don’t think they’d be able to sustain a team but could an option work for a combined NT/FNQ team? e.g. give it a name involving Northern to cover Northern Territory and Northern Queensland and have it based in Cairns but playing regular games in Cairns, Darwin (I think they were also looking at an undercover stadium if that was one of the requirements similar to Tasmania) and some at Traeger Park in Alice Springs. I doubt it would be the richest of clubs but with the amount given to GC and GWS I’d like to see it as NT have a good AFL population and history.

Is it time to start looking at a conference type system too if there’s more teams?

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I’m fully expecting an AFL reserves comp to be re-established in the next few years, sitting at a level below the AFL and above the VFL, SANFL and WAFL. The current model of mixing reserves teams and standalone teams in the second tier doesn’t seem to be working out and I can see the AFL clubs and AFL management keen to take greater control over their talent pipelines.

I would imagine (with the loss of reserve teams from the state comps), all 3 comps should retain 8-10 standalone teams. The VFL would be by far the hardest hit though given over half their makeup is purely reserve teams.

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I think things may sustain if Box Hill, Casey and Sandringham became un-affiliated. Same with Peel in the WAFL. Those three clubs might take a hit though. I’d expect a national AFL reserves comp soon as well.

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Could have an NT team, but do what GWS does in Canberra and have them play a number of games in Cairns.

Only issue IMO that would stop an NT team would be lack of facilities (unless the NT Government want’s to spend big on upgrades and redevelopments), travel costs and sponsorships.

Could maybe even send a struggling Victorian team up to the NT.

Kevin Sheedy was the first to mention it. And I think it’s brilliant. The AFL does need to move away from metropolitan Australia. Newcastle is one of the biggest growing areas in Australia outside the capital cities. Sunshine Coast is the next one I would look at expanding to.

I don’t really like the idea of sending struggling clubs to new areas. Why would you sending a wounded soldier in to battle?

For future expansion I think the AFL should prioritise
Newcastle
Sunshine Coast
Canberra
Northern Crocodiles (NT+Cairns)
Then very future would be Auckland

I would then get another team in Brisbane and Sydney and a third team in Adelaide and Perth.

If you were to relocate any Victorian team it should be to the bigger growing regional towns like Bendigo and Ballarat.

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That’s the one! Yeah, I hadn’t thought of them but would be a great expansion area.

Not sure about Sunshine Coast there - that would make 3.5 teams for Queensland and 3 of them relatively close together in a still NRL area while Adelaide and Perth would remain at 2.
Definitely like the idea of including NZ, wonder if we could make it popular over there from memory the ANZAC exhibition matches weren’t a roaring success? It’d be great for maybe 2 teams long term, one north island and one south island. Dare I say it Launceston gets another Tassie team after the roaring success of the Devils! Hobart Devils vs Launceston Thylacines since the Lions are already taken (the lion is on the state flag already)

So we could be looking at a 28 team competition? :slightly_smiling_face:

Eventually. They could then have two conferences with the top 4 or 6 of each conference facing off in the finals.

It’s a place that has no football code. It could potentially be the biggest payout for the AFL. If you want to expand the game you need to invest in the areas with the highest growth and highest population. It might not be the most popular sport right now in those areas but by 2050 or 2060 who knows.

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Sunshine Coast has a rugby league team called Sunshine Coast Falcons which plays in the Queensland Cup and is affiliated with the Melbourne Storm.

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