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$400,000 won’t get a top team

By johnboy 12 August 2009 27

The Canberra Times brings word that the AFL’s contempt for Canberra becomes ever more open.

    Having a leading Victorian side preferably the Saints or Cats playing the Sydney Swans was the ACT Government’s primary prerequisite to parting with a $400,000 asking price for one game next season.

    Sports Minister Andrew Barr ruled out paying the fee for a match between two lesser teams, saying it would be economically unviable. The Wallabies, Socceroos and both the men’s and women’s Australian basketball teams played in Canberra this year for a combined fee of $115,000.

But despite that Andrew Demetriou says there’s no chance of getting Geelong or St Kilda coming to Canberra.

Can we spend the money on a Bledisloe Cup game please?

What’s Your opinion?


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$400,000 won’t get a top team
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Anna Key 10:54 pm 13 Aug 09

Spitfire3 said :

The Raiders play here every couple of weeks, often against the best clubs in the world in their given sport. I just don’t get why I hear so many canberrans who are down on them and don’t want to support them.

Spot on. Canberra has two top teams that attract below average crowds, even with the Bruce stadium creativity in counting. Likewise the Canberra Cosmos got mediocre crowds and yet there is still a push for an A League team. Why should the AFL come here with anything other than a game like Syd v Freo, or in the future, W Syd v Gold Coast.

The Govt dropped the GMC 400 due to a lack of interest (ie cost). Why throw money at the AFL only to be treated like dirt?

Holden Caulfield 10:31 am 13 Aug 09

bd84 said :

Hawthorn are sponsored by the Tasmanian Government (their main sponsor too), they get paid well and hence why you see them playing 4 games a season in Launceston…

ORLY.

The point being though, the Hawks appear to give a shit about the Tasmanian market. Teams that come to Canberra don’t. As much as I don’t care a lot for what Jeff Kennett has to say, I heard him speaking on the radio the other day about their Tasmanian venture and he sold the message pretty well.

As I have already said, there is a lot of self-interest for Hawthorn with this move, but to their credit they are giving something back to the Tasmanian market in the form of promoting the game (as well as themselves, of course) and offering regular footy clinics to the junior leagues.

chewy14 9:49 am 13 Aug 09

bd84 said :

Hawthorn are sponsored by the Tasmanian Government (their main sponsor too), they get paid well and hence why you see them playing 4 games a season in Launceston.

Firstly, the market in Canberra for AFL is on par with that of the NRL and Super 14. The average crowds of 10-14k people at AFL games here is directly comparable with the Brumbies games, and probably a bit better than the 8-10k at Raiders games.

Canberra is a difficult market, basically because people only go to games if the team is currently successful, if it’s warm enough and not pouring with rain. The Raiders and Brumbies haven’t been particularly successful over the past 5 or so years and the crowds have declined. They will always have better attendances at games against popular teams.

Having said that Barr needs to pull his head out of his ass and stop demanding things he is not going to get. It is unrealistic to get games between the two most popular teams at a ground that holds 15k odd when they would get 50k+ playing in Melbourne. Games involving Sydney will normally draw well here because of the proximity, I wouldn’t expect teams much different to the games we currently get. Though if Melbourne magically went to the top of the ladder next year, the game would likely to get moved pretty quickly.

Accept what we can get at the moment, the prospects look better if the 2nd Sydney team gets admitted.

Firstly if you want to try and claim that AFL is on a par with League and Union in Canberra at least try to get your stats close to being right.
Raiders are averaging about 11000 this year
Brumbies averaged over 16000 in their six games
AFL is below 10000 for this year

Even with the Raiders and Brumbies having more games and not winning a lot this year they are still getting bigger crowds. The AFL cannot even fill Manuka when they only have 2-3 games here a year.
We are too small a market for the AFL to even consider bringing one of its top flight sides here and having good sides play here is the only way they would be able to get a large crowd. Although in saying that, if the Brisbane Broncos or NSW Waratahs played here all year I’m sure the League and Union crowds would be higher too.

Pelican Lini 11:28 pm 12 Aug 09

2604 said :

Pelican Lini said :

seems to be doing a lot better job keeping players on the straight and narrow, unlike hapless Rugby League.

Ben Cousins, Barry Hall, Alan Didak, Heath Shaw…AFL has had just as many off- and on-field miscreants as the NRL.

The misdemeanors just get less coverage here in the ACT, mainly cos almost nobody here cares about AFL.

That’s four names … the NRL has player-linked scandals at least once a week, often in multiples.
And you couldn’t be more wrong about nobody caring about AFL in Canberra but dream on …

bd84 10:53 pm 12 Aug 09

Holden Caulfield said :

Affirmative Action Man said :

Barr is an idiot. How can you plan in advance which teams are going to do well.

That’s why they should aim to bring one of the proper clubs here. Carlton, Collingwood or Essendon. At least that way, no matter where those teams are on the ladder, a venue like Manuka is going to be full.

But the real question has to be asked, why do the AFL bother with Canberra at all?

There is no genuine long term vision of having a team based here. Clearly the AFL doesn’t give two shits about our market (and, when it comes to it, why should they). So what is the point?

Games were first scheduled here when North’s deal with Sydney expired and they needed to whore themselves out to someone else willing to pay. They probably made the best effort at trying to fit in, but really, it was a half arsed attempt and the public knew it. So it was no surprise that it failed.

Melbourne and the Bulldogs have come here simply chasing money. They are not in Canberra for the betterment of the game. Turn up, grab the cash, then get out of this godforsaken place as quickly as they can. That seems to be the attitude anyway.

Either the AFL needs to (re)locate a team here and get fair dinkum about it, otherwise, as much as I hate Demetriou, there is little point in maintaining a presence in our small market. And there’s certainly no point in Barr throwing good money out for bad.

At least the Tassie Hawks have gone into the Tasmanian market of their own free will with what appears to be a genuine attitude and willingness to promote the game, as much as themselves. Sure there is a lot of self-interest there (naturally, with their current president, haha), but from what I can tell they are there for the right reasons and not only a cash grab.

The best approach at getting a real AFL presence in Canberra is through the West Sydney franchise. But Jabba will be so hell bent on making that work he won’t worry about any requests from piss ant Canberra governments.

Hawthorn are sponsored by the Tasmanian Government (their main sponsor too), they get paid well and hence why you see them playing 4 games a season in Launceston.

Firstly, the market in Canberra for AFL is on par with that of the NRL and Super 14. The average crowds of 10-14k people at AFL games here is directly comparable with the Brumbies games, and probably a bit better than the 8-10k at Raiders games.

Canberra is a difficult market, basically because people only go to games if the team is currently successful, if it’s warm enough and not pouring with rain. The Raiders and Brumbies haven’t been particularly successful over the past 5 or so years and the crowds have declined. They will always have better attendances at games against popular teams.

Having said that Barr needs to pull his head out of his ass and stop demanding things he is not going to get. It is unrealistic to get games between the two most popular teams at a ground that holds 15k odd when they would get 50k+ playing in Melbourne. Games involving Sydney will normally draw well here because of the proximity, I wouldn’t expect teams much different to the games we currently get. Though if Melbourne magically went to the top of the ladder next year, the game would likely to get moved pretty quickly.

Accept what we can get at the moment, the prospects look better if the 2nd Sydney team gets admitted.

Holden Caulfield 9:14 pm 12 Aug 09

peteypops said :

I enjoy your sentiment, but considering Collingwood’s average home attendance watching them in 2007 was 54,898, and the average AFL crowd for 2008 was 37,133, there’s not much chance of the big foundation Melbourne teams wanting to play in front of 15,000 at Manuka (all stats from Wikipedia), no matter how much Government money is thrown at them…

Which brings us back to the question, why does the AFL bother with Canberra at all?

If they were truly in it to grow the game then they would be happy to sacrifice a single 60K crowd each year to help spread the word on semi-neutral territory.

Holden Caulfield 9:10 pm 12 Aug 09

Pelican Lini said :

Why the “hate” for Mr D.?

Is it jealousy of success, sour grapes or good ol’ TPS?

Nah, he’s just a self-serving dickhead. Pretty simple really.

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