To show that they really loved playing in Canberra after all… forget it….
The Australian reports that the North Melbourne Kangaroos, after begrudingly being forced to play in Canberra for all those years in return for their economic survival, may, in fact, be returning (if the price is right).
After dumping Canberra for the bright lights (and bigger pay cheques) of the Gold Coast before going all fridgit and returning to Melbourne when they realised the AFL thought there’d be merit in relocating an economically unviable, low supporter base team to QLD permanetely. The Roos have found out that no matter who they whore themselves too, they just can’t turn a buck.
The solution now they’ve stagnated in Melbourne and the Gold Coast has been taken? Come back to the beginning, cap in hand, to the AFL and ACT Government to try their luck again. The catch? They would require a far bigger financial commitment than the $250,000 to $300,000 they were getting, per game, last time they were here. We’re apparently talking a multi-million-dollar deal from the ACT and AFL.
As the Kangaroo’s Chief Executive noted, Hawthorn is the benchmark in developing a secondary fan base. The difference being (despite Tasmania being a more footy friendly market), Hawthorn actually put the effort into developing their fan base by going out to schools, attending community events, heck they went to Launceston the day after they won the Grand Final! History suggests that the Kangaroos are that interesting in actually becoming involved in their secondary community.
Now, I LOVE my footy and the more games in Canberra the better (hell… I’d just like stupid Prime and Southern Cross to put the games on FTA at a reasonable time….). But in these days of pig-flu and global financial turmoil… 7 years of Budget deficit… (and the AFL’s desire to set up a Western Sydney team) I don’t know if the Roo’s are worth it. At the very least they’d have to commit to actually doing something in return for the money, other than fly-in fly-out matches.
… but apparantly they’re “not talking about selling one-off games to make money, that would be short-sighted”.
So, any Roo’s supporters out there? Anyone else keen for the AFL to have another crack at the Canberra market – but perhaps with a team that may be more committed to our local area?