HomeAFLNorthern Territory Presents Strategic Case for 20th AFL Team

Northern Territory Presents Strategic Case for 20th AFL Team

TIO Stadium, Darwin

Northern Territory Presents Strategic Case for 20th AFL Team

On Thursday, the Australian Football League Team Northern Territory Taskforce officially released a strategic business case, which includes a 10-year-plan to establish a Northern Territory based AFL club.

The Taskforce, which includes representatives from the Northern Territory Government, AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT), and leaders from the AFL industry, was established in 2021 to explore the viability of an AFL club in the region.

The AFL’s popularity in the Territory is signficant, with over 40,000 active participants, including 5,000 in Darwin alone.

The business case suggests that an NT-based AFL club would offer sporting benefits and deliver positive social and economic outcomes. It is also expected to help promote the Northern Territory as a prime destination for travel and lifestyle, enhance the region’s liveability, and contribute to the Northern Territory Government’s 2030 goal for population growth.

An integral element of the plan is the proposal of a multi-purpose stadium based in Darwin, which would serve as the team’s home ground. The stadium is in the early stages of planning, and if the licence were to be awarded, the incoming government would have the plan to bring it to life.

The plan also suggests TIO Stadium, a venue that has been utilised by the Gold Coast Suns and Parramatta Eels, could be upgraded to better accomodate major sporting events.

The next stage of development will be managed by Investment NT, with guidance from an advisory group comprising industry experts and professionals. This group will direct the implementation of the strategic business case’s recommendations and oversee investment decisions and the benefits of establishing an AFL team in the NT.

This strategic business case marks the initial phase of introduced a new AFL club, with several recommendations set to be actioned over the next 18 months

A 2019 Bastion EBA study found the potential economic benefits to the NT could total as much as $559 million with new facilities, and $148 million in the first season with existing facilities. The induction of a 20th AFL team is also projected to create 160 full-time jobs and add $116 million annually to the local economy.

For additional information on the strategic plans and progress, visit the official AFL Taskforce website.

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