AFL Pledges $360 Million Toward Inaugural Tasmanian Team
The Australian Football League (AFL) has announced an AUD$360 million commitment to funding a 19th football team in Tasmania.
The deal’s approval is contingent on both the federal and Tasmanian governments providing funding for a new stadium to be built in the state, worth AUD$715 million.
AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan, outlined plans for the funding to be spent over a decade, allocating more than AUD$90 million toward game development, and AUD $33 million to develop prospective players in three new talent academies.
Some key points from the staged funding vision over the next ten years include:
- Minimum of $15 million in the stadium in the Arts and Entertainment precinct.
- $10m in the Clubs Training & Administration facility.
- $93m in game development.
- $33m to develop young male and female talent in Tasmania.
- $209m in distributions to the new club over the first 10 years to cover base funding, variable funding, AFLW funding and special list establishment funding to ensure a strong team from the start.
Additionally, the league has promised at least AUD $15 million towards a proposed new stadium in the state’s capital.
The state Liberal government will commit AUD $375 million toward the stadium project in Hobart, however, is seeking an AUD $240 million contribution from the federal Labor government.
Commenting on the announcement, Tasmanian Premier, Jeremy Rockliff, said: “We’ve been excluded because we don’t have the infrastructure that every other state has. Tasmania should not be overlooked.”
“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” he said.
AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan, added: “Our fans want, deserve, and expect the best experience and the best experience needs the best stadiums and the supporters are voting with their feet.
“That is why there can be no team without a stadium. We need to set up a team for future success, not for future failure. It is that simple.
“We have a moment in time here decades in the making, to have a strong Tasmanian team and a sustainable club,” he said.
Ten Tasmanian federal politicians have signed a letter advising the league to grant Tasmania a 19th license, without the funding requirement of a new stadium.
The statement outlines their standing against a government-funded stadium: “Tasmania is one of the founding football states and has a long history of making rich contributions to the national game.”
“We deserve a team of our own without having to make taxpayers pay for a stadium–something no other state has had to do to get a team,” the letter states.
The AFL is engaging in ongoing discussions with the Commonwealth, with a decision not expected to be made until the federal budget is announced in May.